Crystal Palace dismissed manager Alan Pardew after almost two years in charge following a string of disastrous results.
Sam “Big Sam” Allardyce is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Pardew; his representative was understood to have talks with Palace’s chairman, Steve Parish, on Thursday evening.
Pardew was appointed on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2015, but the 55-year-old has been dismissed after a run of one victory in 11 games.
Crystal Palace also lost eight of their past 10 league games, and 22 over the calendar year, to slump to within a point of the Premier League relegation zone.
“I would just like to take the opportunity to thank everybody at Crystal Palace for their fantastic support,” Pardew said in a statement following his dismissal. “In particular a big thanks to the players who gave me absolutely everything and Steve Parish and his board.”
“Personally I have a lot of good feelings for this football club and am sad that my time there has ended. I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn’t been affected.”
“Relegation is so costly and I feel, with no blame attached, we got ourselves in a rut and need a change,” Parish said.
“We hope a change will change things. We all bought into the decision to play a more expansive style of football. We all believed in it. That hasn’t worked. It’s no one’s fault. The players have been running their socks off for Alan, the spirit is good. But now we’re going to wind the dial back the other way.”
Meanwhile, Palace is yet to confirm who will take charge of the team for their league fixture at Watford on Boxing Day.