You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Crystal Palace fires manager Alan Pardew

Associated Press logo Associated Press 22/12/2016

In charge of English soccer's worst-performing team of 2016, Alan Pardew was already under heavy scrutiny at Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace.

Some unwise comments about the club's American owners might just have made his position untenable.

Pardew was fired as Palace's manager on Thursday, three days before Christmas and nearly two years into his job at Selhurst Park. The club may now turn to Sam Allardyce, who has been without a job since getting fired by England in September.

With nearly half the league season gone, Palace is in 17th place in the league with just four wins from 17 games.

"Personally, I have a lot of good feelings for this football club and am sad that my time there has ended," said Pardew, who played for Palace from 1987-91.

"I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn't been affected."

In a short statement, Palace said the club had asked Pardew to step down from his position and thanked him for his services.

Since December 2015, the club's board has contained American businessmen David Blitzer and Josh Harris, who were the target of remarks from Pardew after Palace's 3-0 win over Southampton that gave the under-pressure manager some breathing space.

"We have a lot of serious investors at the club who perhaps don't know a lot about football," Pardew said, before praising Palace chairman Steve Parish for defending him in troubled times.

Less than three weeks later, the 55-year-old Englishman is out.

British media reported that Allardyce will hold talks with Palace regarding the vacancy.

Allardyce lasted just 67 days - and one match - in charge of England's national team before he was fired over unguarded comments to undercover reporters posing as businessmen.

Palace has only won six league games in 2016, and has lost eight of its last 10 games.

Yet it all started so well under Pardew, who joined Palace after quitting Newcastle - where he made headlines because of his frequent flare-ups in the coaches' technical area. These included head-butting an opposing player as they jostled for a ball at a throw-in.

Palace finished in a club-record 10th place in the Premier League in Pardew's first season in charge, then began last season well until a drastic dip in form saw the team narrowly avoid relegation.

A run to the FA Cup final, where Palace lost to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, spared Pardew from more scrutiny.

Palace broke its transfer record twice in the off-season to sign England winger Andros Townsend and then Belgium striker Christian Benteke.

Scoring hasn't been a problem for the team nicknamed "The Eagles," who are the sixth-highest scorers in the league, but they have the third-worst defence and have conceded lots of goals at set-pieces.

Palace's next game is against Watford on Monday, which starts a run of three games in eight days over the festive period.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon