LONDON: One day before the start of the Premier League season Crystal Palace secured a place among the favourites for relegation by parting company with manager Tony Pulis.
Thus the south London club open their campaign with a daunting visit to Arsenal without the man whose appointment last November led them from likely relegation to comfortable survival.
Pulis had been preparing his team for the trip to north London when he and co-chairman Steve Parish fell out in talks to discuss transfer issues. The manager was reported to have been frustrated by the club failing to follow through on deals for players he had wanted to strengthen the squad.
Pulis inherited a team in turmoil last autumn but such was the job he did, guiding the team to an 11th-placed finish, that he was named the League Managers Association’s Premier League manager of the year in May.
Malky Mackay, David Moyes, Neil Lennon and Tim Sherwood were installed as the early front-runners by Sky Bet to take over from Pulis.