Roy Hodgson’s final home game as Crystal Palace manager will be tomorrow night at Selhurst Park.
At least Eagles fans will be able to give their veteran manager a proper send-off, as some spectators will be allowed in for the Premier League game against Arsenal, the first time that has been possible since the covid-19 lockdown was put in place in March 2020.
This morning, Palace confirmed the inevitable, that Hodgson, at 73, would retiring from full-time management.
The former England manager’s final game in charge will be on Sunday, when Palace play Liverpool, one of Hodgson’s former clubs, on the last day of the league season.
Hodgson, who had been on Palace’s books as a teenaged apprentice, came out of retirement to take charge of the club early in the 2017-2018 season when they were without a point and had not scored a single goal under Frank de Boer.
Hodgson has given the club unprecedented stability in the Premier League over the past four years.
“After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace,” Hodgson said in a statement issued by the club.
“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace.
“I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.
“I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Palace, I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of professional and dedicated players, most of whom have been with me throughout the four years.
“A manager is only as good as the players who perform on the pitch. I have been fortunate that those in my charge have certainly given me that and I thank them for it.
“I am sure I speak for all the players, my coaching staff and backroom team, when I say I am proud of the work we have done together to retain our Premier League status during this time.
“I would also like to thank our Chairman Steve Parish, his partners David Blitzer and Josh Harris and Sporting Director Dougie Freedman for all their support over the years.
“They gave me an opportunity to return to my hometown club and I have always felt we were singing from the same hymn sheet in trying to achieve our joint goals. I can only wish them all the very best of luck for a successful future and I am convinced that the club will go from strength to strength.”
Read more: I don’t want to see a headline saying “Hodgson must go”
Read more: Veteran Palace boss Hodgson heading towards his final game
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