By George Sessions, PA
Crystal Palace have announced Roy Hodgson will leave the club at the end of the season and the veteran boss says he will not manage in the top flight again.
The current terms of the 73-year-old’s deal will expire in the summer and he will depart Selhurst Park after the final match of the campaign against Liverpool on Sunday.
Hodgson, who started out as a manager in 1976 with Halmstad in Sweden, has overseen top-flight stability since he was summoned by the Eagles in September 2017 and has helped Palace become an established member of the Premier League.
After nearly four years of managing his boyhood club, Roy Hodgson will be stepping down as our manager at the end of this season.
Thank you for everything, Roy ❤️💙
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 18, 2021
Hodgson told cpfc.co.uk: “After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.
“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.
“I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.”
When Hodgson was appointed early in the 2017-18 campaign, Palace were pointless and had failed to score during their opening four league games after a disastrous start to life under Frank De Boer.
Premier League safety was eventually secured and 11th, 12th and 14th-placed finishes have followed to help the club enjoy their longest consecutive spell in the top flight, with another mid-table finish to be confirmed.
Chairman Steve Parish said: “It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager. I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child, adding to his distinguished and unparalleled career in football management.
“His record with us simply cannot be overstated, he is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times. We will be forever grateful for his immense contribution and I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to show our appreciation at Selhurst Park after the Arsenal match, alongside 6,500 supporters.
“Roy will leave us after our final Premier League match of the season with our enormous thanks for his incredible contribution to our club, and with our very best wishes for the future.”
Palace said first-team assistant manager Ray Lewington would also leave the club at the end of the season.
Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche and Frank Lampard are among those linked with the soon-to-be vacant role at Selhurst Park, with the club hopeful Hodgson’s successor can tap into the talented youth set-up at the club and bring down the average age of the squad.
It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager. Not a week went by where I didn’t learn something from him. I’m delighted we will be able to give him the send he deserves tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/AoF3sIpAkI
— Steve Parish (@CEO4TAG) May 18, 2021
For former England manager Hodgson, it will be a step into uncharted territory after the final game of the season at Liverpool on May 23rd.
The Croydon native has virtually been in work since he first accepted the job at Halmstad in 1976 and enjoyed plenty of success in the ensuring years.
Seven Allsvenskan titles were won during his trophy-laden stint in Sweden, five with Malmo, and international recognition followed when he guided Switzerland to USA 94 and Euro 96, their first two major tournaments since the 1996 World Cup.
After a rebuilding job with Inter Milan and further league championship glory with Copenhagen, Fulham offered Hodgson the chance to boost his reputation in England in 2007 and he enjoyed a memorable three years at Craven Cottage.
While the Liverpool job proved a low point, another successful survival battle at West Brom allowed the Londoner the opportunity to manage his country, but a respectable showing at Euro 2012 was soon forgotten when England suffered a painful World Cup group stage exit in Brazil two years later.
Hodgson again turned the tide and the introduction of several youngsters and a 100 per cent qualification campaign lifted spirits before Euro 2016, but a shock 2-1 loss to Iceland ensured the experienced boss left the international stage in embarrassing circumstances.
It was expected to be Hodgson’s last role in management but, tempted back into work by his boyhood club, the 73-year-old has brought stability to Selhurst Park and will depart Palace with the record of being the oldest person to ever manage in the Premier League.