Sam Allardyce has confirmed that he was offered the chance to return to Newcastle United last week – but admits he ‘politely’ rejected the opportunity, saying ‘it’s not for me’.
The former Bolton and Blackburn boss also insists that he never got the ‘type of talks people are suggesting’, stating he never got to speak to Mike Ashley himself and was instead contacted by his agent who flagged up Newcastle’s interest in bringing him back.
That’s as far as it went, however, with Allardyce clearly feeling it was a job worth avoiding – which says everything you need to know about the mess we find ourselves in!
Here’s what Big Sam’s had to say this morning after addressing last night’s shock claims live on talkSPORT:
“I was very flattered that I was considered but it’s that thing… don’t go back.
“It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn’t for me. I politely said ‘no’.
“I never got to talk to Mike (Ashley, owner of the club). My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much but (it’s) not for me.
“Maybe if it was the first time around I would have jumped at it. I appreciate the offer but I was surprised, I’ve not worked for a full season.
“It wasn’t something I thought about for too long.
“I thought it’d be better to make a quick decision for everyone. We’re in pre-season now and they’re back in training.”
Allardyce then said the following about Steve Bruce – the man who’s now being tipped to take the hot seat, with several reports claiming he’s now Mike Ashley’s number one target:
“If he gets offered the job I’ll think he’ll jump at the chance.
“I think it would be one of his dreams to manage his hometown club.”
After confirmation that we offered the job to Allardyce first, there must be a feeling of ‘sloppy seconds’ now for Bruce – not that he’ll mind too much if it means he’ll get the chance to make a top flight return and manage his boyhood club.
Finally, Allardyce then touched on his previous stint at St James’ Park during his appearance on talkSPORT earlier, suggesting it’s a ‘tough job’ and difficult to get the players you want if Rafa’s recent comments are anything to go by:
“It wasn’t pleasant in the end but it was in the middle of the takeover.
“I had a fabulous start but we were desperate for better players. I was trying to forge forward and they wanted to go in another direction and I have no problems with that. It was handled brilliantly by Mike and his staff at the time.
“The fans are a bit more tolerant now. They were very good with Rafa because there’s not as much money as other clubs have got and were a bit more patient.
“The transfer market is the hardest part of the job at the moment and getting the right players to go to Newcastle, listening to what Rafa said before, has been a tough job.”
Rejected by Big Sam and settling for Steve Bruce.
A depressing line that sums up the reality of life under Mike Ashley after his unforgivable error to let Rafa Benitez leave this summer.