MANAGER Tony Pulis has left his position at Crystal Palace in a sudden and unexpected move last night, with David Moyes and Neil Lennon early favourites to succeed him.
Less than 48 hours before Palace begin their Barclays Premier League campaign at Arsenal, Pulis, whose appointment last November triggered a remarkable run from likely relegation to comfortable survival, departed the Selhurst Park club.
It is understood Palace will issue a statement today to address the resignation before holding an afternoon press conference.
Assistant manager Keith Millen will be in temporary charge for tomorrow’s trip to Arsenal but the London club’s start to the new season has already been thrown into chaos by the departure of their popular manager.
Pulis, 56, met with chairman Steve Parish yesterday amid suggestions of friction between the pair. Pulis had reportedly been unhappy with the budget available to him and the fact that several of his transfer targets had not been acquired during the summer.
Parish, along with Palace’s sporting director Iain Moody, are responsible for recruiting players identified by the manager. However, it is understood that Pulis was not happy with that situation and wanted to assume greater control of transfers.
Pulis inherited a team in turmoil last autumn, but such was the job he did, guiding the team to an 11th-placed finish, that the Welshman was named the League Managers Association’s Premier League manager of the year in May.
The exit of Pulis came on the day Palace clinched the signing of Liverpool defender Martin Kelly on a three-year contract.
Coaching staff, including Gerry Francis and Dave Kemp, have been asked to stay with Palace for the Arsenal match before leaving the club next week.
Other names linked with the vacancy include Malky Mackay and Glenn Hoddle.