Alan Pardew has been confirmed as Crystal Palace’s new manager after being released from his contract at Newcastle.
The announcement was eventually made on Saturday morning, two days after the 53-year-old, who spent more than four years on Tyneside, sat in the stands and watched Palace draw 0-0 at Aston Villa.
A statement on Palace’s official website read: "Crystal Palace Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Pardew as the club’s new manager after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract."
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Pardew returns to a club he served for four years as a player and where he is remembered for scoring the winner in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted to be the new manager of Crystal Palace.
"Everyone knows my history here, what’s important now is to move the club to the next level.
"I believe with the backing of Steve (Parish) and the board I can help achieve that and create some new exciting history for the club."
Chairman Parish added: "We wanted a manager with a great track record and proven experience in the Barclays Premier League.
"In Alan we have both these things as well as a man who has great affection for this club and shares my determination to take us to the next level."
Pardew is the permanent successor to Neil Warnock, after Keith Millen took caretaker charge against Villa, and becomes Palace’s fourth manager in less than 18 months.
He takes over a side in the bottom three on goal difference that has not won for seven matches, with their last triumph the impressive 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on November 23.
Palace’s 3-1 defeat at Southampton on Boxing Day was the final straw for Warnock, who struggled to follow the fine example set by Tony Pulis last year as the Eagles made light work of a return to the top flight by finishing 11th.
The 66-year-old stepped into the Selhurst Park dugout after Pulis walked away on the eve of the 2014-15 campaign, but he only lasted six months and became the first Premier League managerial casualty of the season.
Pardew will now be looking to steady the ship and bring an end to the conveyor belt of managers at Palace, starting with the January transfer window in which he has already been linked with a move for Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis.
Newcastle first announced Pardew’s departure in a statement which read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Alan Pardew has been released from his contract in order to be installed as the new manager of Crystal Palace.
"John Carver and Steve Stone will be in the dug-out for at least today’s fixture, the club’s FA Cup third round fixture at Leicester City. The search for a head coach has begun and an announcement will follow in due course."
Pardew’s departure signals the end of an eventful era at St James’ Park during which he took the club to fifth place in the Barclays Premier League and subsequently the quarter-finals of the Europa League, but also came in for concerted criticism from some fans.
Owner Mike Ashley remained strongly behind him though, even after he had been banned from the touchline and fined for head-butting Hull midfielder David Meyler in March.
Pardew said: "It’s been a privilege to manage Newcastle United and I want to thank my captain, Fabricio Coloccini, and all the players, John Carver, Steve Stone, Andy Woodman and all the staff, all of whom have been outstanding servants to Newcastle United.
"A special thanks also goes to the fans for all their support over the last four years.
"I must also thank Mike Ashley and the board for their unwavering support during my tenure at the club."
Newcastle currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, the minimum requirement for the season set by Ashley.
He will now start the process of finding Pardew’s replacement, and confirmation that he is looking for a head coach rather than a manager is significant.
With the likes of Steve Bruce, Pulis and Tim Sherwood having already been ruled out, according to sources on Tyneside, it is understood the club will seek to a recruit a man comfortable with working under a "continental" model with managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr taking care of recruitment.
They will not confine their search to Britain and St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier and former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel have been linked with the club in recent days.
However, Press Association Sport understands no approaches have yet been made.