Neil Warnock returns to the Crystal Palace hot-seat on two-deal deal
Premier League relegation joint second-favourites Crystal Palace (11/8) have announced the return of former boss Neil Warnock back to the Eagles hot-seat, after the eccentric Yorkshireman left the club in 2010. He reportedly was preferred over Scotsman Steve Clarke.
Palace announced on their official website: “Crystal Palace are delighted to announce that Neil Warnock has been appointed as their new first-team manager with immediate effect.
“Neil has agreed a two-year deal and will lead the team this Saturday [August 30th] in our Premier League game at Newcastle United.”
The move comes after managerial candidates dropped like flies to replace Tony Pulis, who resigned just two days before the new season. Palace pulled out of a deal to appoint former favourite for the position Malky Mackay, while the likes of Tim Sherwood and Martin Jol reportedly ruled themselves out of taking over the London outfit, leaving Warnock the last man standing.
Keith Millen, who was caretaker boss for the start of the term, is expected to stay at the club, but Warnock’s backroom staff have yet to be named.
Warnock, who will reportedly still have money to spend, takes over the reins of a side for the first time since his departure from Leeds United in April 2013, following an unsuccessful short tenure. In between his managerial positions with the Yorkshire side and his first spell with the Eagles, he led QPR to the Premier League, but was surprisingly sacked in January 2012.
The 65-year-old former Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town boss enjoyed a reasonably successful stint with Palace from 2007-10, despite not living up to his tag as a promotion specialist and returning them to the promised land.
In his first season in charge with the Eagles, he led them to a fifth-place finish, but were beaten in the Championship play-off semi-final by Bristol City. Due to financial difficulties, the side slipped to end the following campaign in 15th and, due to a 10-point deduction due to administration in 2009/10, Warnock left the club.
Palace have had five permanent managers since, with Ian Holloway earning the side promotion to the Premier League for last term. He was later sacked and replaced by Pulis, who took over the club in the drop zone, before leading them to a great escape and finish in 11th.
Outspoken Warnock boldly said in 2007, when he first took over at Selhurst Park, that it would be his last job in football management, but seven years later it looks likely it will be this time as he reaches usual retirement age.
The Eagles are currently in 18th place after their first two games in the league this season, with no points, but Warnock is 4/1 to inspire his new side to victory in his first game in charge at Newcastle. A draw is rated more probable at 5/2.
Palace, meanwhile, are 15/2 chances to go one better than last campaign and finish in the top 10.