West Ham hired Sam Allardyce as manager as the club aims to gain promotion back to English soccer’s elite Premier League.
Allardyce, 56, replaces Avram Grant, who was fired May 16 after a 3-2 loss at Wigan in the next-to-last game of the season relegated the club to the second-tier Championship. The Hammers finished in last place, winning just 7 of 38 matches.
“It is a fantastic club with a great tradition and loyal supporters who deserve to be in the Premier League,” Allardyce said on West Ham’s website. “I can’t wait to begin preseason training as I am determined to get this club back where it belongs.”
Allardyce has managed at Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn, which fired him in December after a change in ownership. He won promotion to the Premier League with Bolton in 2001 and led Wanderers to a pair of UEFA Cup appearances.
West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold have said players will have to be sold as the drop from the top flight will cost the club 40 million pounds ($66 million). Midfielder Scott Parker, goalkeeper Robert Green and striker Carlton Cole are among those who may leave over the summer.
Even so, Allardyce said the West Ham job “excites” him and that he wants to instill a “winning mentality” at Upton Park.
“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t think we could bounce straight back into the Premier League,” Allardyce said. “More than that, I wouldn’t have contemplated the job if I didn’t think there was an opportunity to build something substantial at West Ham.”