Sam Allardyce reveals a deal was 'done and dusted' to take over at Man City in 2007 which would see the Bolton legend 'rebuild the club'... only for ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson to be appointed by new owners
Sam Allardyce has claimed that he was in line to take over as manager of Manchester City in 2007, only for the club's new owners to decide on a different path despite a pre-existing agreement.
The 68-year-old revealed that he was due to become the new boss at the Citizens after leaving Bolton in 2007, and was set to replace the outbound Stuart Pearce.
He reportedly had an agreement in place with JD Sport owners John Wardle and David Makin, but the club ended up being sold that summer to Thaksin Shinawatra, with the new stewards of Man City preferring to appoint Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Allardyce had leapt to prominence in English football after a stunning spell with Bolton between 1999-2007.
Under 'Big Sam', the Trotters made it to the Europa League - or UEFA Cup as it was formerly known - and included some huge names including Nicholas Anelka Jay-Jay Okocha and Fernando Hierro.
Bolton legend Sam Allardyce revealed he was set to takeover Manchester City in summer 2007
The club's new owners however decided to appoint Sven-Goran Eriksson to the role instead
And the manager told No Tippy Tappy Football that a similar rebuild was on the blueprint for him to take over at the Citizens. 'I was going to be the Manchester City manager when Stuart [Pearce] left in 2007,' he began.
'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.'
Allardyce's spell at St. James' Park was ultimately ill-fated, departing the club in January 2008 after just half a season in charge of the Magpies.
He was replaced by England legend Kevin Keegan, returning to the club for his second spell at the helm.
Eriksson left City in summer 2008 while Allardyce lasted only half a season with Newcastle
But Eriksson did not last much longer at City, with his own tenure ending at the end of the same season to be replaced by Mark Hughes.
For Allardyce, there were numerous other Premier League clubs to come, with the 68-year-old going on to manage the likes of Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Everton and West Brom.
Allardyce also earned a reputation as something of a survival expert, guiding all but one of his teams to safety from seemingly improbably situations.
Like Eriksson, Allardyce also had a spell in charge of England, but lasted just one game before his notorious departure from the role after 67 days.
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