Sam Allardyce has surprisingly quit as manager of Crystal Palace just days after helping the club secure their Premier League status.
Allardyce informed Palace owner Steve Parish of his decision to leave the club on Tuesday, despite signing a two and a half year deal in December three months after leaving his role of England manager after just one game.
In a statement published on the official Club website, Allardyce said: “In some ways, this has been a very difficult decision to make but in others it has been a simple one.
“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.
“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 believe 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 for them 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.
“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 Premier League.
“Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today. 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.
“This is not about transfer targets, club finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself.
“I would like to thank everybody for their messages of support since the news broke. I’ve no doubt I will miss management but I certainly have no regrets at this decision.”
Allardyce replaced Alan Pardew in December with the club sitting in 17th place just a point above the relegation zone.
He inspired Palace to six wins out of eight games, including wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to finish 14th in the league and maintain his record of never being relegated from the Premier League.
Palace fans took to social media following the announcement:
— CPFCGIFS (@GIFS_CPFC) May 23, 2017
— Tom Curtis (@cpfctom99) May 23, 2017
@CPFC Thanks for the memories sam 👌👏
— Aaron Burnley (@Azza_burnz) May 23, 2017
@CPFC Really disappointed but pleased that he has clarified everything in this statement. Good Luck Sam, Fair dos.
— Andy Sparrow (@asparrow7172) May 23, 2017
@CPFC Fair enough Big Sam, thanks for some memorable games last season. Enjoy your retirement
— Jake 🚂 (@OatsInTheDark) May 23, 2017
@CPFC Good luck for whatever the future holds for you. Thank you for the last emotional 5 x months.
— Rob Golding (@RGolding) May 23, 2017