Premier League: Tony Pulis departs Crystal Palace after another manager finds himself at odds with their chairman
Tony Pulis became the surprising first managerial casualty of the Premier League season, just two days before Crystal Palace play their first match.
Palace had only this week announced the signing of Liverpool right back Martin Kelly, who like other new signings Brede Hangeland and Fraiser Campbell, had cited working under Pulis as one of the main reasons they signed for the club.
On Thursday morning Pulis was priced at 40/1 to be the first manager sacked this season, but as rumours surfaced of unrest at the club, by the end of the day many bookmakers had suspended betting on Pulis leaving the club.
And so it proved to be, as 'crisis talks' were held between Pulis and chairman Steve Parish last night. But after an agreement could not be reached between the two parties, they both decided it would be best for Pulis to leave, with the club confirming the departure this morning.
The club said "The club would like to thank Tony for his efforts with the club last season and wish him all the best for the future."
His departure will come as a shock to many after Pulis helped guide the club from bottom of the table last November, to an 22 year high 11th place finish.
Pulis left Stoke last summer after seven years in which he had got the promoted to the Premier League and kept them there. He has never suffered a relegation as a manager.
There were initial problems between Pulis and Parish when he was first appointed at Palace, but Pulis had recently stated that they had a 'good relationship', and that it was the most important relationship at the club.
However, as the summer transfer deadline looms, Pulis has been apparently less than satisfied with the ability of the club to sign their key targets.
He also reportedly was unhappy with the structure within the club, with transfer business being handled mainly by Parish and Director of Football Ian Moody.
Assistant Keith Millen will take charge for Palace's season opener away to Arsenal, before also departing the club along with the rest of Pulis' coaching staff.
It is still too early to judge whether Pulis' departure was down to his own stubbornness, and lack of flexibility with the chairman, or whether it was Parish himself who was too single minded for Pulis to keep working with him.
One thing is certain though, Palace fans who were looking forward to another positive season, will now be thinking back to where they were when Pulis took charge, and whether they will now end up back at the bottom of the table without him.