Crystal Palace have finally confirmed former player Alan Pardew as their new manager on a contract until the summer of 2018.
Pardew's coronation as Palace boss had been delayed in the last 48 hours as haggling over the fine print of his move from Newcastle is finalised, with reports on Friday suggesting that a 3.5 million-pound compensation deal had been agreed with the St James' Park club.
But early on Saturday, Newcastle confirmed that they had released Pardew and moments later Palace themselves announced the deal, as he replaces Neil Warnock who was sacked a week ago.
- Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) January 3, 2015
Pardew told Palace's official website: "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 and the board I can help achieve that and create some new exciting history for the club."
He added in a later interview broadcast on the Palace website: "I think the fans remember that era I was in, they admired the spirit and they'd probably like to see a bit more of that. Hopefully I can bring that back. It's been a while since I played here but it's somewhere I know well and it's close to my heart.
"It was difficult because I'm leaving a big club in Newcastle [but] really and truly, my home is in this area and for me it's what you would class, as close as you can as a manager, as your own club.
"It's a little bit sticky at the moment and we need to find a way out of that. The players have got great attitudes here, I've been very impressed. Can I help change that energy into more tangible results? That might take a transfer, it might take a change of style a little bit, and that's what hopefully a manager of my experience can do.''
One target Pardew has been linked with in the January transfer window is Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
And the new manager said: "Without putting pressure on the chairman -- because it's difficult when the manager keeps talking publicly about players -- I think we're going to need a player or two and that's what we're going to try and do.''
Palace chairman Steve 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."
The Eagles also thanked Newcastle, and their owner Mike Ashley, for their help during negotiations.
Pardew will have something of a baptism of fire to life at Palace, as they face the potential banana skin of a trip to Conference Premier side Dover in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Pardew also thanked Newcastle in a statement on their official website:
Pardew said: "It has been a privilege to manage Newcastle United and I want to thank my captain Fabricio Coloccini and all the players, [coaches] John Carver, Steve Stone, Andy Woodman and all the staff, all of who 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 managing director Lee Charnley added: "I would like to thank Alan for his service to the club. Despite public perceptions, fuelled by the media, Mike Ashley had never met nor spoken to Alan before his appointment. However, what developed over the last four years was a very strong and positive relationship between all parties.
"It is these relationships that, four years later, means the Club is in a far better position, both on and off the field, and Alan has had a big part to play in that. During his time with us, Alan achieved two top-ten Premier League finishes, including a fifth-place finish in 2012, as well as taking us to the quarter-final of the Europa League. He goes with our best wishes and thanks."
Pardew had five-and-a-half years left of the eight-year deal Ashley -- who had stood by him through times of mass supporter dissent -- handed him and his staff in 2012.
He played at Selhurst Park from 1987-91 and his famous FA Cup semifinal winning goal against Liverpool back in 1990 has ensured the former midfielder has a special place in Eagles fans' hearts.
The former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss was under serious pressure at St James's Park at the start of the 2013-14 season, but turned things around with a good run of form to leave Newcastle in 10th place at the end of 2014.
Newcastle will now begin the search for a new head coach, with bookmakers in the UK slashing the odds on Derby manager Steve McClaren replacing Pardew. Former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood also among the early favourites for the job.