Crystal Palace reappoint Roy Hodgson as manager

Patrick Vieira and Roy Hodgson - Crystal Palace reappoint Roy Hodgson as manager - PA/John Walton
Patrick Vieira and Roy Hodgson - Crystal Palace reappoint Roy Hodgson as manager - PA/John Walton

Roy Hodgson has agreed to an incredible return as Crystal Palace head coach at the age of 75 until the end of the season.

The former England manager will come out of retirement for a second time to take over from Patrick Vieira – who succeeded him in 2021 and who was fired last Friday after a run of 12 matches without a win.

Hodgson said: "It is a privilege to be asked to return to the club, which has always meant so much to me, and to be given the important task of turning the team’s fortunes around. Our sole objective now is to start winning matches, and to get the points necessary to ensure our Premier League status.

“Crystal Palace is known for its fighting spirit, and I have no doubt that all our supporters will fight with us, beginning with the visit of Leicester City a week Saturday.”

The poor form left Palace chairman Steve Parish concerned over whether the club could avoid relegation with Under-21 coach and former captain Paddy McCarthy then overseeing a 4-1 defeat away to Arsenal.

Before that game it is understood that talks were already advanced to bring back Hodgson, who was approached when Vieira was sacked, with Parish deciding that he is the best option to guide Palace to safety before a permanent appointment is made.

Parish said: “I would like to welcome Roy and Ray back to the club. We are obviously in a very challenging period but we believe that Roy’s and Ray’s experience, knowledge of the club and players, alongside Paddy can help fulfil the immediate requirement of keeping us in the league.”

Hodgson was brought in on a similar short-term deal last January to try and save Watford, then in the bottom three, from relegation. Ultimately he could not achieve that but Palace believe his knowledge and experience of their club will make a difference.

Hodgson was a boyhood Palace fan and took over in Sept 2017 keeping the club in the Premier League for four consecutive seasons. He indicated when he stepped down that he would be retiring but the lure of returning to the dug-out has once again proven to be too strong.

Even though Palace have overhauled their squad since Hodgson left he has worked previously with a number of key players including Wilfried Zaha who the club are hoping to persuade to sign a new deal. But that can only happen if they stay up.

Despite their awful run of form Palace are still 12th in the table, albeit just three points ahead of West Ham who occupy the final relegation place with two games in hand. Hodgson’s first game in charge will be at home to relegation rivals Leicester City on April 1.