Football

Big Sam in shock abdication at Palace

Allardyce insists he wants to spend more time with his family

Sam Allardyce quit Crystal Palace in a shock move yesterday morning (Singapore time) and insists that he has "no ambitions" to return to football management.

The 62-year-old, who took charge at Selhurst Park on Dec 23, guided the Eagles to safety this month following a 4-0 win against Hull City, who were relegated as a result.

However, the former England boss has decided to walk away from his 2½-year deal with the south London club and intends to spend more time with his family.

Allardyce issued a statement detailing his reasoning behind what he felt was "a very difficult decision to make", but also "a simple one".

His Palace exit appears to be an amicable one, with Allardyce grateful for the opportunity he was given for "rebuilding my reputation" and "the chance of rehabilitation", following his 67-day spell in charge of the England national team last summer.

RIGHT TIME

Allardyce, who has earned a reputation of saving clubs from the drop, added: "There comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take.

"I want to be able to savour life while I'm still relatively young and when I'm still relatively healthy, even if I'm beginning to feel all my 62 years.

"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. I owe that to my wife and family.

"This is the right time for me, I know that in my heart. 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 EPL.

"(Palace chairman) Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations on Tuesday. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away, but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out."

Allardyce is said to have been due a bonus of about £2 million (S$3.6m) for helping the Eagles stay in the top flight.

Palace will now begin the search for an eighth manager in seven years, with former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri emerging as the favourite.

The Italian told Reuters on Tuesday that he wants to return to management in Europe and has not ruled out an EPL comeback. - PA SPORT

CONTENDERS

CLAUDIO RANIERI

The 65-year-old has emerged as the favourite for the Crystal Palace post, after his sacking from Leicester three months ago. The Italian had led the Foxes to a shock EPL title last year.

SLAVISA JOKANOVIC

The Serb, 48, turned Fulham from relegation candidates into EPL play-off qualifiers this season. Could be tempted to leave Craven Cottage for a top-flight job.

MARCO SILVA

If Palace want Hull boss Silva, they had better be quick. The Portuguese, 39, has reportedly held talks with Porto in his home country and the draw of Champions League football next season may prove too strong.

ROY HODGSON

Has been out of work since resigning as England manager following their abject failure at Euro 2016. May not be a popular choice, but the 69-year-old's experience could bring stability.

CHRIS COLEMAN

The former Palace defender might fancy another crack at the EPL, having managed Fulham from 2003 to 2007. However, the 46-year-old is still overseeing Wales' World Cup qualifying campaign.

eplcrystal palaceSAM ALLARDYCE