Alan Pardew has been released from his Newcastle United contract in order to be installed as the new manager of Crystal Palace. Pardew said, “It has been a privilege to manage Newcastle United and I want to thank my captain Fabricio Coloccini and all the players, John Carver, Steve Stone, Andy Woodman and all the staff, all of whom have been outstanding servants to Newcastle United. A special thanks also goes to the fans for all their support over the last four years. I must also thank Mike Ashley and the board for their unwavering support during my tenure at the club.” Newcastle managing director, Lee Charnley said, “I would like to thank Alan for his service to the club. Despite public perceptions, fuelled by the media, Mike Ashley had never met nor spoken to Alan before his appointment. However what developed over the last four years was a very strong and positive relationship between all parties. It is these relationships that, four years later, means the club is in a far better position, both on and off the field, and Alan has had a big part to play in that. During his time with us Alan achieved two top ten Premier League finishes, including a fifth-place finish in 2012, as well as taking us to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. He goes with our best wishes and thanks.”
Carver and Stone will be in the dugout for at least today’s fixture, the club’s FA Cup third round tie at Leicester City. The search for a head coach has begun and an announcement will follow in due course. Tim Sherwood (11/4) is the early bookmaker’s favourite to take charge at St James’ Park with Steve McClaren (3/1) and Carver (5/1) also among the front runners.