London (AP) — Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce announced Tuesday that he is leaving the club after just five months and does not plan to continue his 26-year career in coaching.
A season that started with Allardyce managing the England national team, before leaving after just one match in charge, ended with him guiding Palace safely away from Premier League relegation.
The 62-year-old Allardyce, who established his credentials during an eight-year spell with Bolton Wanderers, said in a statement that he was leaving Palace for entirely personal reasons.
“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,” Allardyce said. “I owe that to my wife and family.
“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.”
Allardyce joined Palace in December on a two-and-a-half-year deal after the short, ill-fated spell as England manager.
Three months earlier, his unguarded comments to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practices had made his position as England coach untenable, and his contract was terminated after 67 days.
However, he made a successful return to coaching with Palace, and thanked the south London club “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,” he said. “I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and showing that I still had the ability to achieve something significant.”
Before taking the England job, Allardyce had coached Sunderland, West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton, where he arrived in 1999 and built combative, but also skillful sides that included the likes of France’s 1998 World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff, Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha and former Real Madrid defender Fernando Hierro.
His management career started in 1991 as a player-manager with Irish club, Limerick, and then continued at Preston, Blackpool and Notts County.
On Tuesday, that coaching journey looked to have finally come to an end.
“I want to be able to savor 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,” Allardyce said.