GOLDIE, our tame Eagle, reports on the latest exit through the Selhurst Park manager’s revolving door
It’s another case of one step forward, two steps back at Selhurst Park today.Sam Allardyce, after rescuing Crystal Palace from the threat of relegation from the Premier League and in doing so his own career from the ignominy of being dismissed as England manager, this morning cleared his desk at the club’s Beckenham training ground.
Allardyce had decided to quit the club after a meeting with Steve Parish, the club chairman. It is being reported that differences arose over the club’s transfer policy for the summer, which is the euphemistic way of saying that Big Sam wanted a bigger transfer budget.
Certainly, today’s news has caused frustration and anger among Palace fans.
By mid-afternoon, someone – possibly a Selhurst regular – had amended Parish’s personal Wikipedia entry, adding the line: “As of the 2016/17 season, Crystal Palace have played four consecutive seasons in the higher tier but still lack any investment in infrastructure, academy or ability to hold on to a decent manager. This has been largely due to Parish putting himself over the future of Crystal Parish [sic] FC.”
It was, of course, Parish who in 2010 stepped in to save the club from administration, and has overseen the most successful spell in the club’s history – a fifth season in the top tier is the longest period Palace have ever had among English football’s elite.
But three of the past four seasons have seen the club struggling in the bottom half of the table, and this latest turn of events may try even the most loyal fans’ patience.
Not including interim appointments, Allardyce was the club’s fourth manager in four years since Palace reclaimed a place in the Premier League via the play-offs in 2013. He is not the first to walk out in a dispute over transfer policy, either, as Tony Pulis, after performing a similarly vital resuscitation act on the club’s Premier League status, also quit on the eve of the 2014 season.
According to reports on national newspaper websites, Parish and the club are hoping to persuade Allardyce to reconsider and stay on at Palace.
But Matt Lawton, the Daily Mail reporter who broke today’s story and conducted a lengthy interview with Allardyce just last week, has filed a report which suggests that that is most unlikely to happen.Allardyce is known to relish having control of multi-million-pound transfer dealings, and after some of his struggles with the squad he inherited when taking over at Selhurst Park just before Christmas last year, it was a barely disguised secret that he felt he would need a considerable chunk of the £100million in revenue which the club is due from the Premier League for next season.
Today, Lawton wrote: “The 62-year-old was understood to be unhappy with the club’s transfer policy and did not get the guarantees he wanted that he would be able to strengthen in what he saw as the key areas this summer.”
Other reports have suggested that Allardyce may have decided to retire from football altogether, which if true might make the development a bit easier to take.
Neither Parish nor the club had issued any statement on the managerial position by 6pm tonight.
Five Year Plan, the independent Palace fanzine, reflected the mood when they tweeted: “Here’s the thing. As annoyed as we all are at this news, it’s typically Palace. Frustratingly, infuriatingly, lovably Palace.”
And they also added a sense of proportion to the news. “As annoyed as we all are, there are more important things in life than worrying about a millionaire football manager leaving a club.”
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