Sam Allardyce Recalls 'Heartbreaking' Bolton Exit

  • April 30, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Sam Allardyce has recalled the 'heartbreaking' moment he knew his time as Bolton manager had come to an end.

Allardyce, who oversaw more than 350 matches as Wanderers boss between 1999 and 2007, is widely regarded as the most successful manager of the club's modern era, but left under a cloud with two games of the 2006/07 campaign left to play.

The 64-year-old, who had one game in charge of England in 2016, admits to setting a target of Champions League football.

After seeking the backing of then chairman Phil Gartside and owner Eddie Davies, Allardyce has revealed he was soon writing a letter of resignation, having been told 'We don't want to finish in the Champions League'.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Allardyce said: "I felt we were ready to go to the Champions League, so I needed to go and see Phil Gartside and say 'I need two players now'.

"There was plenty of money. Eddie Davies ended up saying he put £180million in - he could have afforded another £8-10million at that time.

"It would have come back the year after because we were way above budget. We set our budget at finishing 10th and we were 3rd in the league, so there was going to be another £6-9million in the budget anyway.

"I didn't think we needed any forwards. I wanted a midfielder and a defender, just to strengthen the squad.

"Sitting 3rd in the league at that time, I wanted to grasp the opportunity.

"I asked the club to grasp it and these are the words that killed me: 'We don't want to finish in the Champions League'. So I wrote out my resignation.

"My wife and my agent said I was being far too hasty, take some time. I said 'I can't take any time over this, it's got to happen now'. So I wrote my resignation and gave it in.

"Rather than leave at such a high note at that particular time, we both decided through a lot of negotiation that we would see it through until the end of the season and then part company.

"But it got leaked out just before the end of the season, so I had to leave.

"It was heartbreaking for me but that was the true story of why it happened. If we've got nothing to aim for, no ambition and no goal, where do you go?"

Following the turn of the year, Bolton won just four of their final 17 games and went on to finish 7th in the final Premier League table - securing UEFA Cup qualification for the second time in three years.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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