Sam Allardyce: Leeds United manager leaves club after Premier League relegation

Sam Allardyce while Leeds United manager

Manager Sam Allardyce has left Leeds United after his four-game tenure ended in relegation from the Premier League.

The 68-year-old lost three and drew one of his matches in charge, having succeeded Javi Gracia on 3 May.

Leeds will return to the Championship after a three-season stay in the top flight.

“It has been an honour to manage Leeds United, a great club with an incredible fan base, who deserve to be in the Premier League,” said Allardyce.

“At this stage in my career I am not sure taking on this challenge, which is potentially a long-term project, is something I could commit to, but I wish the club every success for the future and hope the club returns to the Premier League, where they belong.”

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear said: “We thank Sam for being brave enough to step in and do all he could to save us.

“Sadly, it was not to be, but Sam, [assistants] Karl Robinson and Robbie Keane did everything they could to lift the mood at Thorp Arch and Elland Road and for that we are all extremely grateful.”

The club said “an announcement on a new Leeds United head coach will be made in the coming weeks”.

Manager Club Joined Left Tenure (days)
Sam Allardyce Leeds Utd 03/05/2023 02/06/2023 30
Les Reed Charlton Athletic 14/11/2006 24/12/2006 40
Javi Gracia Leeds Utd 21/02/2023 03/05/2023 71
Rene Meulensteen Fulham 01/12/2013 14/02/2014 75
Frank de Boer Crystal Palace 26/06/2017 11/09/2017 77
Bob Bradley Swansea City 04/10/2016 27/12/2016 84
Quique Sanchez Flores Watford 07/09/2019 01/12/2019 85
Nathan Jones Southampton 10/11/2022 12/02/2023 94

Leeds were beaten 4-1 by Tottenham at home on the final day of the season, and finished five points shy of safety.

Allardyce became Leeds’ third non-interim manager of a turbulent season that began under Jesse Marsch, who had guided them to safety on the final day of the 2021-22 campaign but was sacked after less than a year in charge on 6 February.

Gracia lifted the club above the relegation zone on goal difference with 11 points from 11 games, only for a 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth to spell the end for the Spaniard and director of football Victor Orta, with Allardyce arriving alongside assistant Robinson.

The experienced Allardyce, who had not been a head coach since suffering the first top-flight relegation of his managerial career with West Bromwich Albion in 2020-21, drew headlines at his first press conference by likening himself to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.

Following a 2-1 defeat at City in his first game, Allardyce explained that his words had been designed to shift the focus from his players, in a ploy inspired by Sir Alex Ferguson during the 13-time Premier League winner’s era at Manchester United.

A comeback 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle United in their subsequent game was the only point Leeds won under Allardyce, leaving him “sad” at their demise three years after earning promotion in impressive style under Marcelo Bielsa.

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