Big Sam hints at re­tire­ment af­ter part­ing ways with Palace

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CRYS­TAL Palace’s for­mer Eng­land man­ager Sam Al­lardyce has quit the English Premier League club five months af­ter be­ing ap­pointed and said on Tues­day that he was leav­ing foot­ball man­age­ment.

Al­lardyce, 62, kept south Lon­don side Palace in the top flight af­ter re­plac­ing the sacked Alan Pardew in De­cem­ber, when the club were in 17th place just one point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone. He had signed a 2-1/2 year con­tract.

“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 in a state­ment.

“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.”

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 his 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 added.

“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.” Reuters

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