On Tuesday 20th June it will be 4 weeks to the day since Sam Allardyce resigned as Palace manager. Why are we unable to appoint a new manager?
The Clause In Sam’s Contract
When Sam Allardyce resigned as Palace manager to put his feet up and enjoy life there weren’t many fans at the club who thought he didn’t deserve to take it easy after the miracle he produced in securing us top flight football for a record 5th season.
Sure, there were a few eye brows raised, after all he signed a 2½ year deal to be Palace manager. After he resigned there was talk that there was a clause inserted in his contract that allowed him to walk away in the summer. That was the first time that my ‘bullshit warning system’ began to chug into life.
Let’s look at this a little more. Why have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave after 6 months? It makes no sense because, as we all know only too well, a manager can leave whenever he feels like it. Had he intended to go and manage another club then I could understand it. Sam Allardyce might be many things but stupid isn’t one of them and I’ve no doubt he knew full well what happened with Tony Pulis.
So, had Big Sam intended to retire no clause was needed. Can you imagine any tribunal in the world insisting that a manager has to carry on working and no be allowed to retire?
I think there was a clause in his contract to say after 6 months either side could call it a day with little or no compensation to be paid above and beyond the agreed bonuses. As I said, Sam probably learned a lot from Pulis and didn’t fancy a court case.
I’d hazard a guess that there is a time limit stipulated in Sam’s contract that says that if he left us then he can’t manager another club for 6 months or so.
Why Did Big Sam Leave After Securing Our Safety?
As I’ve mentioned in other articles and on my YouTube channel, I think it all boiled down to planning for next season.
When Sam took over he probably did so on the understanding that he could bring in his backroom team. There was probably a budget agreed for the January transfer window and how many players he could bring in.
So far so good. Sam appointed ‘Little Sammy’ and 3 or 4 other backroom guys such as a sports science expert and a goalkeeping coach. He signed 4 players who all seem to be quality though one of them, Sakho, returned to Liverpool.
Big Sam got his head down and set about doing what he needed to do and eventually things started to click. Once our Premier League status was secured he began to have preliminary talks about next season.
So far this is all pretty much fact, confirmed by Steve Parish in various interviews. Some people say no transfer budget or plans for next season had been discussed prior to Sam’s resignation but this is not true. Steve Parish himself stated in the interview with a US radio show that the two had agreed in principal on us getting in “one, maybe two signings”.
So while that is all fact the next part is theory. Sam knew we needed more than two signings and knew money would not be made available to bring in the players that he knew our squad needs. He knew we’d be struggling next season and didn’t fancy it much.
That isn’t a criticism, I don’t blame him! He came in and did a job. Plans for next season were not part of the package he signed up for and when he was told what budget he’d be working to he knew there was no point arguing.
Sam Allardyce performed a minor miracle in my opinion and had he remained in charge he’d either fail miserably resulting in his reputation taking a kicking or he’d die from the stress of it all. So he decided to ‘retire’.
I have no doubt that we’ll see Sam Allardyce in charge of another team before the 2018/19 season starts in 14 months time. The only question in my mind is how long he is contractually obliged to wait before working again.
Since He’s Been Gone
Since Big Sam has left the club we’ve lost 6 senior squad players for various reasons.
Mamadou Sakho and Loic Remy have left the club because their loan contracts have expired. Joe Ledley, Mathieu Flamini, Zeki Fryers and Frazier Campbell have left the club.
This means that either the “one, maybe two signings” Parish was talking about is a complete red herring, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he doesn’t know what is going one or he think our academy players are all going to be able to step up next season.
I know which one I think is correct. For me, this all smells like we are trying to do everything on the cheap and I am beginning to get worried about next season.
And people wonder why Big Sam retired!
Where Are All The Managers?
When you consider the fact we’ve gone through a shed load of managers since CPFC 2010 have taken over the club it wouldn’t be a surprise if there isn’t anyone else to appoint.
The fact is many names have come and gone. Steve Parish has not confirmed or denied any of the names we’ve been lined with however a couple of them have either confirmed that they were spoken to or it has come from “good sources”, etc.
We all know that agents talk their clients up for a variety of reasons and this could be part of paper talk but there have been too many names in the frame to think they are all just gossip.
For example, Gary Monk was a strong rumour. He went to Middlesborough. Roberto Mancini was ‘in talks’ but he is expected to take over Zenit St. Petersberg. Claudio Ranieri was supposedly in talks and nailed on for the job but he went to Nantes.
So what about Marco Silva. He was the early favourite, even before he resigned from his post at Hull. Last week he said in the press that he was interested in the Palace job but nobody was available to talk to him. He suggested that Steve Parish was away on holiday, which isn’t quite true. Parish was away in the Med but it was with Wilfred Zaha and his agent to discuss the new contract he signed.
There are other names I could mentioned, such as Thomas Tuchel (about to be appointed manager at Borussia Mönchengladbach), Slavisa Jokanovic and Laurent Blanc.
All the above managers seem to have one thing in common. They didn’t think the Palace was worth taking the risk so they either stayed where they are, signed for someone else or prefer to be unemployed than risk their reputation.
But We Are A Premier League Team, What’s The Problem?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Money!
Any manager worth his salt will insist on a transfer kitty before he signs for us, especially if he knows our squad. If you look at who has turned us down to sign for someone else you can understand that they will be given money to spend.
The two exceptions are Monk to Middlesborough and Silva to Watford.
Gary Monk probably thinks he will get money to spend and they are a good tip for promotion. As a young manager making his name is it better to have a promotion under your belt or take a job which will be neigh on impossible to get right?
As for Silva to Watford, that genuinely mystifies me but before he was appointed by Watford I said on Facebook that he would take the Watford job because he is waiting for a bigger job next summer. Watford only keep a manager for a season so this is the ideal temporary job for him which, unless he completely fucks it up, he will be safe in until next season.
Who Is The Favourite For The Palace Job?
At the time of writing (Sunday evening) the three clear favourites are Frank de Boer, Sean Dyche and Mauricio Pellegrino.
In my opinion only one of those candidates is a realistic option, one is a back up and one will be appointed by Southampton.
We can discount Mauricio Pellegrino off the bat. He is favourite for the Southampton job and, if I am honest, they are streets ahead of us in terms of development, squad depth and so on.
Frank de Boer is an outside shout and though the bookies have him as the favourite for the job I don’t think he’d come to Palace without money to spend.
I think the clear favourite for the Palace job is Sean Dyche. He isn’t favourite because he is the best candidate, he is the favourite because he can do the job on the smallest budget.
For what ever reason we don’t have money to spend. Quite a few people, myself included, are puzzled by this. I know, I know, there is Financial Fair Play (FFP) to think about and we need to balance the books but Bournemouth don’t seem to be worrying too much about that do they? See here
Why balance the books if you are only going to receive an £8m fine? Staying in the Premier League is worth more than that so why should we play fair when other teams are not? We all know that FFP doesn’t do what it is intended to do, it just means the smaller clubs stay small while the bigger clubs can spend, spend, spend.
Why have rich American investors is we can’t use their money? Our American investors can pump money into the club but because they expect to see a return on the money it can’t be used for transfers. If they gifted us money then we could.
Unfortunately the American money is going in to ground updates which will facilitate an increase in transfer funds.
All in all it is our inability to spend money in the summer which is hampering our search for a new manager. Ironically it is this delay in appointing a new manager which will see us get less for our money.
I have never seen a Premier League football club have such a difficult time appointing a manager.
Are we the first club in Premier League history that is so undesirable to manage that we can’t find someone willing to be appointed?