He’s back! ‘Experienced head coach’ Sam Allardyce handed Leeds reins as mammoth bonus revealed

Will Ford

Leeds have sacked manager Javi Gracia and appointed Sam Allardyce to take charge for the rest of the season as they bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Having already removed director of football Victor Orta, the Yorkshire club announced the departure of Spaniard Gracia on Wednesday morning along with his backroom staff.

A poor season at Elland Road sees the club languishing in 17th, and only goal difference keeps them out of the relegation zone.

Leeds have lost four in a winless run of five matches and have four games left to save themselves.

A club statement read: “Leeds can confirm Javi Gracia will leave the club after 12 games in charge.

“Zigor Aranalde, Mikel Antia and Juan Solla, who joined alongside Gracia, will also leave the club.

“We thank Javi and his team for their efforts under difficult circumstances.

“The remaining four games of the season will be overseen by experienced head coach Sam Allardyce.”

Former MK Dons, Charlton and Oxford boss Karl Robinson will be Allardyce’s assistant.

Leeds travel to leaders Manchester City on Saturday, before hosting third-placed Newcastle. A trip to West Ham and an Elland Road encounter with European hopefuls Tottenham round out the season.

Allardyce takes charge after suffering his first Premier League relegation with West Brom, when he left six months into an 18-month contract.

The 68-year-old former Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham and England boss becomes Leeds’ third permanent manager of the season after Jesse Marsch and Gracia.

Allardyce is reported to have agreed a basic salary of £500,000 for his four games in charge, with a £2.5million bonus if he can keep Leeds up.

READ MORE: Leeds begging Allardyce to pull them from the ‘sh*t’ is the swerve this ridiculous season deserves

Jamie Carragher understands why Leeds would be looking at a manager like Allardyce, but he is unsure if the fans would get behind the idea.

“It sounds crazy and we never used to think this could happen in our league, but the stakes are so high I think I could probably understand it,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

“I don’t think Sam Allardyce has ever come in this late. He’s normally come in in January, has time to change it.

“Decent appointment. Whether the crowd get behind it, I’m not so sure. In terms of making them more solid and better defensively, there’s probably no one better out there.”