LONDON: Struggling Crystal Palace have been given permission to discuss their managerial vacancy with Newcastle’s Alan Pardew.
Newcastle confirmed late last night that the Eagles had made a formal approach for the 53-year-old, who has been in charge at St James’ Park since December 2010, as they look for a replacement for Neil Warnock.
A statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Crystal Palace have made a formal approach requesting permission to speak to Alan Pardew in relation to their vacant managerial position. Crystal Palace have offered compensation at a level whereby Alan has now been permitted to speak to them.
“As a result of this development today, Alan will not be at training on Tuesday. Training will be the responsibility of assistant manager John Carver. The club will make a further announcement in due course.”
Some bookmakers suspended betting on Pardew’s appointment at Selhurst Park on Sunday as speculation mounted that he was heading back to the club he represented with distinction as a player, although there had been no formal contact between the two clubs at that point.
Pardew further fuelled the rumours when he failed to conduct media interviews after his team’s 3-2 Barclays Premier League victory over Everton, asking assistant Carver to speak to journalists instead.
However, the situation has moved on rapidly since and with compensation understood to be in excess of £2million now agreed, it seems likely that the deal will be completed sooner rather than later.
That would bring an end to Pardew’s eventful reign on Tyneside a little more than four years after he was controversially parachuted in, much to the dismay of many fans, as Chris Hughton’s replacement.
Hughton, of course, had dragged the club back out of the Championship at the first attempt after stepping into the maelstrom caused by relegation at the end of the 2008-09 campaign when even the efforts of Tyneside hero Alan Shearer could not spare them from the drop.
From the off, Pardew was viewed simply as another member of owner Mike Ashley’s so-called Cockney Mafia, although positive early results – he presided over a 3-1 victory against Liverpool in his first game at the helm on December 11, 2010 – and a comfortable 12th-place finish eased his passage through a difficult period after striker Andy Carroll was sold to the Reds for £35million weeks later despite the manager’s repeated insistence that the player was going nowhere.
There was much to celebrate the following season when Pardew led the Magpies into fifth place and back into Europe, although the Europa League with the toll it took upon the domestic campaign under club’s strict financial constraints proved a competition too far.
Only a January spending spree helped to avert disaster, if by not very much, during the 2012-13 campaign, and a positive start to last season soon dissolved after star man Yohan Cabaye was sold by the soon-to-depart director of football Joe Kinnear to Paris St Germain.
As the only public face of the club, Pardew often bore the brunt of fans’ frustrations, inviting some of it himself following his infamous touchline clash with Hull midfielder David Meyler and unsavoury spat with Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
The discontent came to a head on May 3 this year when he was roundly booed by large sections of the home crowd at St James’ Park despite guiding his team to a 3-0 victory over relegated Cardiff, a campaign which has been maintained by a vocal minority largely ever since.
Ashley now faces the task of recruiting the seventh permanent manager of his seven and a half-year tenure and his sixth appointee with Ajax boss Frank de Boer, Hull’s Steve Bruce and former Palace manager Tony Pulis among the bookies’ favourites, with skipper Fabricio Coloccini also a possibility.
However, what is certain that whoever does get the nod will have to work under exactly the same conditions as Pardew with Premier League survival and financial self-sufficiency the dual prongs of a hard and fast policy.
The former Palace midfielder, who had five and a half years remaining on his contract, was due to hold his pre-match press conference at Newcastle’s Darsley Park training headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, but that has now been delayed by 24 hours and it seems extremely unlikely that he will conduct it when it finally does come around.