Alan Pardew has opened up on his Newcastle United departure and the rumours surrounding his relationship with Mike Ashley.
It's been five years since the 57-year-old left the Magpies for Crystal Palace after his relationship with the fans deteriorated.
He led United to their highest Premier League finish in the last 15-year, though Pardew believes it was his 'links' with owner Ashley caused the fans to turn on him.
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And when the opportunity to join Palace arose, he insists it was within the best interests of the club given his poor relationship with the St James's Park-faithful.
“I wasn’t forced out but the fans linked me 100 per cent with (owner) Mike Ashley,” he said.
“I left to go to Palace and people say to me ‘oh, you were great at Newcastle but I am sorry how it ended’.
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"Well it wasn’t sorry how it ended. I left them ninth! I wasn’t sacked. I needed to go because it was right for the football club.
"It didn’t matter whether I finished sixth that year, the fans were not accepting me."
When Pardew replaced Chris Hughton in December 2010, questions were raised surrounding Pardew's prior dealings with Ashley.
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One of which included rumours of their alleged casino meetings - which the ex-West Ham United denies.
“There were rumours that I went to casinos and that’s how I knew Mike. But I never go to casinos.
"I didn’t know him before I got the Newcastle job but that rumour never left me. I am not bitter about it. It is what it is.”
Pardew was speaking to the Daily Telegraph, where he hopes of getting back into management after his disastrous spell at West Bromwich Albion.