Saturday 24 February 2018

Allardyce may quit management following shock Palace exit

Sam Allardyce has brought his time with Crystal Palace to an end. Photo: PA News
Sam Allardyce has brought his time with Crystal Palace to an end. Photo: PA News

Jason Burt

Sam Allardyce has stunned Crystal Palace by quitting, with indications that he is now also bringing to an end his 26-year career as a manager.

Allardyce met with Steve Parish yesterday at the Palace chairman's offices in central London. Allardyce informed the chairman that he wanted to resign during talks which were said to be "amicable".

Under the terms of the 62-year-old's contract he is able to leave, once he puts it in writing, before June 30. Allardyce will be paid the £2 million bonus he is due for keeping Palace in the Premier League.

The talks were initially scheduled to discuss transfer targets and budgets. Instead they ended with Palace now searching for their eighth manager in seven years although the club are appreciative that Allardyce has told them quickly and they now have time to draw up a list of potential candidates.

It is understood that, also under the terms of Allardyce's contract, he is not able to take another management job for two years without having to pay substantial compensation to Palace. It is understood he genuinely wants to take time off.

Allardyce wanted to "go out on a high", according to a source, after successfully saving Palace from relegation, having guided them to safety after succeeding Alan Pardew when he was sacked around Christmas after a run of one win in 11 and with the club 17th. Allardyce secured Palace's top-flight status with the recent resounding win over Hull.

His decision, nevertheless, is a surprise. He is understood to want to travel and spend time with his family. His wife, Lynne, has remained in the family home at Bolton while he has rented a flat near Tower Bridge.

He will not formally retire from management although in a clear indication that his reasons are as stated, and nothing more fractious, he has walked away from receiving a big pay rise at Palace, where he would have tripled his salary had he stayed for the next campaign. He was contracted to the club until 2019 after agreeing an initial two-and-a-half- year deal last December.

It had been thought that Allardyce wanted assurances from Parish over the transfer funds available at Palace this summer to make sure they avoid getting into trouble again next season.

However, that was strongly denied last night with sources insisting he simply wanted to step down. Allardyce is aware that he is unlikely now ever to gain a job at a bigger club and, having spent the last few seasons successfully fighting off the threat of relegation at Palace, Sunderland and before that bringing West Ham back into the Premier League, believes it is a good time to go.

The club spent heavily in the January window with the signings of Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Schlupp, Luka Milivojevic and the loan signing of Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool - an outlay of more than £40 million, making Palace the biggest spenders in that month, to add to the expensive recruitment of Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend last year.

Allardyce had already started to think about the players he want to bring in this summer although one of those, striker Jermain Defoe who he worked with at Sunderland, is close to joining Bournemouth.

Palace's hierarchy were locked in meetings last night as they started to look for another manager.

They have to make decisions on the future of a number of players including Joe Ledley, who is out of contract, Frazier Campbell, Bakary Sako and Lee Chung-yong who are all expected to leave. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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