ALAN Pardew says his departure from Newcastle United came at the right time – for him and the club.
Pardew was appointed as Crystal Palace’s new manager last week after more than four years at St James’s Park.
Today, he broke his silence on the reasons behind his exit from Newcastle, and said it was correct for “personal and professional” reasons.
Pardew said: “It’s difficult, because it (Newcastle) is a big club.
“It’s a club that’s run on fairly tight financial margins. Our net spend was one of the lowest.
“We’ve had to really work hard at transfers because the funds for a club that size makes it difficult sometimes, for the fans, to understand that you need to have a slow progress and build slowly, which we did during my four years there.
“I’m under no illusions, and I understand the football community having a slight concern with why that happened.
“For me, personally, and professionally, it was the right time, and I think it’s the right time for Newcastle, too. It was my decision.
“Steve Parish met the clause in my contract and I therefore had a decision to make, and I just thought it was the right decision for me, and I hope for Crystal Palace.
“We’ll have to wait and see whether that’s the correct decision.”
Pardew also feels a managerial change has come at the right time for Newcastle, who he believes he has left in good shape.
He has thanked the club and the fans for their support during his spell on Tyneside, and thinks he has grown as a manager because of it.
He added: “Also for Newcastle, because I think four years under that type of monetary situation and the fact that they are trying to push, and the history, and everything else, it’s difficult for the manager. I’ve left a good club.
“I’ve left it with, I like to think, a good base of young players, some fantastic professionals who I am going to miss, the staff and players have been phenomenal for me at that football club.
“We have actually punched above our weight at times.
“Also the fans. There has been a lot of talk, and some of it completely off the mark.
“Of course, when you lose games there is going to be criticism from the stands, but never once did I sense that outside of the ground.
“I had tremendous support in my time there, and I want to thank all Geordies for their help, and also for Mike (Ashley) and everyone at the club, who have helped me grow as a manager.
“You cannot help but grow as a manager there. My resilience and character has grown because of the nature of the club.”
Pardew went on to say: “I think at Newcastle I proved that I can handle a big club in difficult circumstances, and with a difficult agenda, and I don’t think anyone at Newcastle would have an issue with me saying that.
“Sometimes you have to take a step that is best for you, personally and professionally, to bring the best out of you, and I think this will bring the best out of me.
“I’m a fighter and I fight for the team, I want to prove that I am a top manager in this division, and this is a chance for me to do that.
“It would have been easy for me, maybe, to stay at Newcastle and get a top 10 finish this season, or easier, but I decided to take this challenge.”
On rumours of his departure from Newcastle being linked to a possible takeover, Pardew added: “I have not heard that, and that is just a rumour.
“Mike never suggested that, it was never in the format, it was a simple equation really.
“Crystal Palace wanted me as their manager, they met the clause in my contract.
“Newcastle told me that that had been met, and quite simply, I had a choice, whether to stay or go.
“Professionally and personally, I decided that this new challenge here would probably be a good one for me and Crystal Palace, because I think I am a good fit for them.
“Also for Newcastle. That was not a huge part of my thinking, but I thought it might work for them as well.”