LONDON Alan Pardew has been sacked as Crystal Palace manager, the Premier League club said on Thursday, with former England boss Sam Allardyce appearing poised to take over.
Pardew has paid the price for a dreadful start to the season -- eight defeats in 10 games have left the team in 17th place, just one point and one place above the relegation zone.
British bookmakers immediately installed Allardyce as favourite to succeed him at Selhurst Park.
In a statement the club's co-owner, Steve Parish, said: "I would like to put on record our sincere gratitude for the tremendous service Alan has given us, both in his time here as manager and previously as a player.
"During his tenure Alan’s hard work and dedication were without question. He has improved so many areas of the club and we wish him the very best for the future.
"With games now coming thick and fast over the holiday period the club are hoping to put someone in place as quickly as possible but have nothing to say about a replacement at this time."
Pardew, a former Palace midfielder, was appointed at the start of 2015 and led them to their best Premier League finish. He also took the club to last season's FA Cup final, where they lost to Manchester United.
But their league form tailed off towards the end of the campaign, and they have endured a disastrous start to the current season, having won just six games in the whole of 2016.
Pardew said: "I would like to thank everyone for their support, in particular the players who gave me everything. I feel I had a special bond with the club."
Earlier this month Pardew courted controversy after a 3-0 win at Southampton when he said the club have investors "who perhaps don't know a lot about football".
British media interpreted that as a reference to American billionaires David Blitzer and Josh Harris, who provided part of a 50-million-pound ($61.47 million) cash injection into the club last December.
Pardew's departure seems likely to trigger a return to management for Allardyce, who was sacked as England manager after just 67 days in September after a newspaper caught him on camera offering advice on how get round FA rules on transfers.
Bookmakers have the former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United boss as odds-on favourite at prices between 1-3 and 1-5, and British broadcaster Sky said Allardyce's representatives would be meeting the club in the next 24 hours.
His first game in charge could be away to Watford on Boxing Day.
($1 = 0.8134 pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Robinson; editing by Ken Ferris, Neville Dalton)