Crystal Palace have approached Roy Hodgson about making a surprise return to Selhurst Park until the end of the season after Patrick Vieira was sacked.
The former England manager, who is 75, is apparently interested in taking over from Vieira. The Frenchman was informed he had been sacked in a 7am call from the chairman, Steve Parish, as he traveled to the club’s training ground on Friday.
Hodgson, who was replaced by Vieira in July 2021 after the former England manager quit at the end of the previous season, is seen by Parish as a reliable option to steer Palace away from relegation trouble. Vieira’s departure came after a run of 12 games without a win so far in 2023.
Hodgson is due to hold talks with Parish after Palace’s trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Sunday, but is expected to be handed the role until the end of the season, when other candidates to fill the role long-term will be available.
It is understood Paulo Fonseca, who currently manages French side Lille and was close to being appointed Tottenham manager in 2021, is among those who could be considered.
Hodgson appeared set for retirement when he walked away from Palace 18 months ago, before returning to the management at Watford last year. After failing to keep the Hornets up, Hodgson said: “I don’t think I’ll be putting my name forward any more for further stories in the world of Premier League football.”
More immediately, former club captain Paddy McCarthy will lead the team against Arsenal on Sunday, with the Under-21 coach assisted by Darren Powell and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely.
It is understood the decision to part ways with Vieira was made on Thursday following talks between Parish and his fellow owners John Textor, Josh Harris and David Blitzer. Vieira’s assistants Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Saïd Aïgoun were told they would be leaving by Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman.
Parish is believed to have been deeply unimpressed for a time with performances under Vieira. The team has failed to score in any of their last four matches and lost to rivals Brighton for the first time in more than four years on Wednesday.
Other candidates reportedly on the club’s list to potentially replace Vieira long-term include former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, Burnley’s Vincent Kompany and Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick.
“It is with great sadness that this difficult decision has been made,” Parish said in a statement posted shortly after 8 a.m. “Ultimately, results over the past few months have put us in a precarious league position and we felt a change was necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status. Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest esteem by myself and all his colleagues.”
Parish later said his decision was “just football” but added he felt the team needed “new momentum”. He told Sky Sports: “I think things just didn’t happen. So the atmosphere was good, it was good, but obviously we’re hoping there’s a bit of new momentum, a bit of different ideas, maybe we surprise the opposition a bit by doing something different. “
“It feels good,” added Parish. “You know, everybody loved Patrick, they really did. The players had all the time in the world for him. You could see in the shows that he never dropped the players at all, they all ran and played for him.
Vieira’s departure means there are no black managers in charge of a club in the top flight of men’s and women’s football in England. Last week’s statistics from the Black Footballers Partnership revealed that only 4.4% of management-related positions in English football is held by black employees.