SAM ALLARDYCE has claimed that he had a deal “done and dusted” to become Manchester City manager instead of Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Big Sam made his name in management with Bolton Wanderers.
He was in charge of the Trotters from 1999 to 2007 and led them from the Championship to the Uefa Cup while bringing in a host of star names such as Jay-Jay Okacha and Nicholas Anelka.
However, the summer he left the club for a short an ill-fated spell at Newcastle could have ended up very differently according to the 68-year-old.
Speaking to William Hill and Footy Accumulators’ No Tippy Tappy Football, a series in which Allardyce and host Natalie Pike discuss the big stories surrounding the 2022/23 Premier League and beyond, he said: “I was going to be the Manchester City manager when Stuart [Pearce] left in 2007.
“That was a deal that was done and dusted which was going to happen with John Wardle and David Makin, the owners of JD Sports.
“I think that they wanted me to come and help rebuild the club because they’d seen what I had done at Bolton.
“I’d left Bolton and was ready to go into the job and of course the day before it was due there was a phone call from either John or Dave to say ‘I’m very sorry Sam but we’ve sold the club and they want Sven-Goran Eriksson.’
“That was a disappointment but I ended up at Newcastle, so it looked like it was going in the right way at Man City and that changed unfortunately for me when the ownership changed, but Mike Ashley took over from Freddie Shepherd at Newcastle who chose me as manager.”
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Allardyce went on to manage Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland before landing the England job – only to be infamously sacked after just one game in charge.
Big Sam then saved Crystal palace from the drop before replacing Ronald Koeman in the Everton dug-out back in 2017/18 with the Blues deep in a relegation fight.
He spent just six months there but he guided them away from danger and to an eighth place finish.
Allardyce then ended up at West Brom midway through the 2020/21 campaign and was tasked with a similar job, but he was unable to stop the Baggies from sliding into the Championship which led to his departure and he has not managed since.