‘Reputation rebuilt’: Sam Allardyce resigns after saving Hong Kong-bound Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace will be joined by Liverpool, Leicester City and West Brom in the Asia Trophy in Hong Kong and . . . perhaps Shenzhen
Hong Kong-bound Crystal Palace are searching for a new manager after Sam Allardyce quit the Premier League club after just five months at the helm.
Former England manager Allardyce kept south London side Palace in the top flight after replacing the sacked Alan Pardew in December, when the club was in 17th place just one point above the relegation zone.
Crystal Palace will be joined by Liverpool, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion in the Asia Trophy in July, with the English Premier League to confirm the four teams in an announcement on Thursday.
Hong Kong will host the final day of the tournament on Saturday, July 22, but confusion remains over the first day after Shanghai and Guangzhou both turned down the opportunity to host the double-header.
The Premier League is keen to promote its brand in China and Shenzhen is now in the running to stage the first day – probably on Wednesday, July 19 – and then the four teams will come to Hong Kong.
Allardyce, who had signed a two-and-a-half year contract, said he did not plan to continue his 26-year career in coaching.
“It’s been a privilege to have worked here for the past five months. But there comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take – and that’s been the simple part for me,” Allardyce said.
“This is the right time for me. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.
“While I’ve got the energy, I want to travel and also spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager,” Allardyce said. “I owe that to my wife and family.”
The former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Sunderland boss took over at Palace having lost his job as England manager last September following a newspaper sting after just 67 days and one game in charge.
On Sunday, Allardyce spoke about the need to bring in the right quality players after a season in which Palace survived thanks largely to a fine run in March and April, which included victories over champions Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Palace lost four of their last five games but their Premier League status was secured with a 4-0 win over Hull City on the second-last weekend of the season and they finished in 14th place on 41 points – seven clear of third-bottom Hull.
Allardyce told chairman Steve Parish he had decided to step down at a meeting in London on Tuesday. The club are now looking for an eighth manager in seven years with former defender Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, the early favourite to take over.
“In some ways, this has been a very difficult decision to make but in others it has been a simple one,” Allardyce said in a statement reported by British media on Tuesday.
“I will always be grateful to Crystal Palace and (chairman) Steve Parish for giving me the opportunity to go out with my head held high, having helped keep the club in the Premier League,” he said.
“More than that, they gave me a chance of rebuilding my reputation after what happened with England.
“I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and showing that I still had the ability to achieve something significant.”