Steve Parish 'does not begrudge' Sam Allardyce for joining Everton

Allardyce walked out on Palace at the end of last season, after keeping them in the Premier League, saying that he did not want another job in club football

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Monday 04 December 2017 21:29
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Sam Allardyce is back in club football after initially saying he wanted time off
Sam Allardyce is back in club football after initially saying he wanted time off

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has said that he “does not begrudge” Sam Allardyce for taking Everton’s lucrative offer last week, just six months after quitting Selhurst Park and saying that he was retiring from management.

Allardyce walked out on Palace at the end of last season, after keeping them in the Premier League, saying that he did not want another job in club football and wanted to spend time travelling and with his family instead. But last week he signed an 18-month deal to manage Everton, having initially turned the job down soon after the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

Parish was asked about Allardyce’s apparent volte-face today but said that he had no problem with the one-time England manager reversing his decision to take such a good job. Allardyce will earn close to £6m per year at Goodison Park. The size of the offer, Parish said, ensured his decision make sense. “I like Sam a lot,” Parish said. “Things have changed for him since he left us, and the opportunity is a very, very difficult one for him to turn down. And he did turn it down, a couple of times. I don’t begrude him.”

Allardyce joined Palace soon after resigning from the England job after just one month in charge, and Parish said he was proud of how Palace helped him to recover his dented reputation. “From where he was, after England, with his reputation somewhat tarnished, unfairly in my view, I am proud that I was part of picking him up,” said Parish, who gave Allardyce a glowing character reference. “He did a great job for us. He was 100 per cent honest for me the entire time he worked for the football club. I thoroughly enjoyed working him genuinely. I was asked by Everton what I thought and I said he was a brilliant manager to work with.”

After saving Palace and Sunderland from relegation, Parish said that Allardyce wanted a more ambitious challenge like the one he has at Everton. “This is a different kind of challenge,” he said. “When you have been fighting relegation for a lot of years as a manager and then you get the England job and then you fight relegation again one more time, there is a statute of limitations on that. You know you are going to take one job too many if you're not careful. Whereas this is a different challenge with the ownership they've got.”

The chance to spend big and target the top six made this a very different for Allardyce. “We all know the kind of money they are going to be prepared to spend,” Parish said. “I don't begrudge him it. I like the people at Everton and wish him every success.”

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