In a cruel and somewhat disrespectful gesture to one of the Premier League’s most experienced managers, West Ham released a statement seconds after the final whistle of Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle that they would not renew manager Sam Allardyce’s contract.
The statement reads as if things have been in the works for a while, saying, “The Board has already compiled a shortlist of replacements for Allardyce and will be making significant transfer funds available for the successful candidate.”
A website glitch actually momentarily released the statement during halftime of the game, but it was quickly taken down. The incredibly quick release of the club’s statement following the final whistle left Allardyce a sitting duck in his postmatch media requirements, forced to answer questions about his future and the club’s future.
“We would like to start by thanking Sam Allardyce for his valuable work since arriving at the Boleyn Ground four years ago,” Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said in the joint statement. “He leaves the Club in a considerably better state then when he arrived and, for that, the Board are truly grateful. However, we have made the decision not to renew his contract, so we now have the chance to appoint a new manager with a new philosophy to lead us into two of the most exciting years in our great Club’s history.”
The two-year period refers to West Ham’s eventual move into the Olympic Stadium in London, which will take place starting in August 2016.
“Our target is to recruit a manager that will build a team capable of saying a fitting farewell to the Boleyn Ground next year and do justice to the outstanding surrounds we will call home from August 2016,” the statement reads. “We have already been impressed with the quality of candidates that have expressed an interest in the role and fully expect to appoint a manager with the credentials to take this Club on to new heights. From our point of view there isn’t a more exciting job in the Premier League at present.”
The manager also confirmed he had something to do with his departure from the club:
Allardyce, who has been managing in English soccer since 1994, joined West Ham in 2011. He earned promotion to the Premier League via the 2012 playoff, but his playing style has constantly come under fire from West Ham fans who always want more. He took the club to a 10th place finish in their first season back in the Premier League, but they’ve only managed 13th and 12th since.