Freedman in the frame to take charge at Bolton
Dougie Freedman is set for talks to become Bolton’s new manager after a U-turn from his club Crystal Palace paved the way for negotiations over the Reebok Stadium vacancy.
Speculation mounted over the weekend that Wanderers, who sacked Owen Coyle on 9 October, had made an approach for Freedman.
A statement on Palace’s official website last night went back on their initial rejection of Bolton’s advances, confirmed by caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips at his morning press briefing ahead of tomorrow’s npower Championship trip to Wolves.
The statement read: “Following further discussions throughout the day, Crystal Palace Football Club can confirm that permission has been granted for Dougie Freedman to speak to Bolton Wanderers regarding their vacant managerial position.”
Phillips, who led Bolton to a dramatic 3-2 win over Bristol City on Saturday in the first match of the post-Coyle era, revealed he was aware of an approach for the 38-year-old Scot following discussions with chairman Phil Gartside. He said: “Phil said from the outset he’d be open and honest with us and he came to the training ground yesterday and said he had made contact with Palace to speak to Dougie Freedman.”
This news brought a swift response from Palace. “Crystal Palace can confirm that they have received a request from Bolton Wanderers to speak to Dougie Freedman regarding their vacant manager’s position,” read a lunchtime statement on the club’s website. “Permission has not been granted for Dougie to speak to Bolton.”
But the situation altered during the course of the afternoon, leaving the manager of the Championship’s fourth placed side as the overwhelming favourite to take charge of a team 12 places further down the standings. Having scored 108 goals across two playing spells with Palace, Freedman joined the south London outfit as assistant manager in 2010 and was put in charge following the departure of George Burley the following January.
In his first full season at the helm, the Scot led the club to a famous 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the League Cup at Old Trafford before eventually falling to Cardiff on penalties in the semi-finals.
In his column with a local advertiser on Friday, Freedman appeared to suggest he would might opt to remain with Palace in the event of an approach from Bolton.
He wrote: “Speculation comes with this job; either you get sacked or you get rave reviews. Either way, I can’t comment on maybe some young guy in his bedroom putting money on me getting the Bolton job – it’s just ridiculous. The simple facts are that I’m in the middle of building Crystal Palace Football Club, and when I picked the club up, we were in a dark place. I think I’m halfway there in getting the club the way I want it to be, and I’m not the sort of guy to leave jobs half done.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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