In a shock move, Sam Allardyce has decided to resign from his post as manager of Crystal Palace after just five months; and seems to be heading for retirement after stating he has “no ambitions to take another job” in order to “savour life” while he’s young.
Crystal Palace have confirmed the new on Tuesday evening, London time, publishing in full Allardyce’s statement on their official website.
The resignation comes after Big Sam helped Palace achieve survival from relegation. The former West Ham boss was brought in as gaffer at Selhurst Park to replace the sacked Alan Pardew back in December 2016, when Crystal Palace were hovering just above the drop zone with 15 points from 17 games.
After bringing in the likes of Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt, and Luka Milivojevic during the January transfer window, Allardyce was able to steer Palace towards safety. The club managed to win five of the seven matches immediately following the winter transfer window and in the months that followed even gained memorable wins against Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
“I will always be grateful to Crystal Palace and Steve Parish for giving me the opportunity to go out with my head held high having helped keep the club in the Premier League,” Allardyce said in his statement.
“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. As I said last weekend, Palace gave me the chance of rehabilitation.
“That’s why it’s hard walking away now. I think the club are heading in the right direction with a hugely supportive board of directors, a great squad of players and some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever met. It’s been a privilege to have worked here for the past five months,” Big Sam added.
The short-lived former England manager went on to say he is going to quit his post and refrain from management, maintaining, “I want to be able to savour life while I’m still relatively young and when I’m still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel, spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager.
“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 Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, and Sunderland boss added.
As it stands, Allardyce looks set for retirement from football management after a long 26-year career as boss of a total 10 clubs, including as manager of England, although that stint ended abruptly and in a bad light.
The 62 year old’s first stint as a full-time manager was with Blackpool in 1994. From there, he would have stints with Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, and Sunderland, before going to Crystal Palace.
Known for being a master of avoiding relegation and leading clubs to promotion, Allardyce has led a number of clubs to promotion, including Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, and West Ham United – of which he is most famous of. His achievement of keeping Palace up this season, as well as his equally impressive performance of avoiding relegation with Sunderland last season are also noteworthy accomplishments in his decorated CV.
While it remains to be seen whether Allardyce looks set for retirement or just a sabbatical, the Englishman’s personality will surely be missed.