Crystal Palace boss Sam ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce, 62, is putting his Spanish mansion on the market for a cool £3.5 million.
The ex-England boss has used his Spanish hideaway property to keep out of the spotlight, which proved very useful last year during the midst of a scandal in which he told undercover reporters he could help them “get around” Premier League regulations.
The 5-bedroom property is located in an exclusive enclave of Moraira, Costa Blanca and was built from the ground up by the ex-England boss for an approximate cost of £1.9 million in 2009, “It took two years [to build] but it was the best investment we ever made”, Allardyce says in his autobiography.
Beautifully furnished, the spacious mansion contains a pool, a jacuzzi and famously has a plaque fixed on to the wall outside bearing its nickname: ‘Big Sam’s Villa’.
Allardyce reportedly financed the purchase through a hefty £4 million cash payoff from Newcastle United after being sacked in 2008 after only 8 months in charge of the ‘Toon Army’. In a further jibe to the Geordie club, Sam allegedly nicknames his villa “Casa St. James” in a nod to the multi-million pound payoff.
After landing his dream job of England manager in 2016, Allardyce was caught in a sting operation by the Telegraph in which he was recorded allegedly negotiating a £400,000 deal offering advice on ways to get around FIFA and FA rules on third-party ownership of players.
As a result, he was sacked for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ after just 67 days and one match managing the national team. Despite the sacking, Big Sam received a healthy £1 million payoff from the English FA.
He remained in his Spanish mansion during the fallout of the scandal, to ‘chill out’ and ‘reflect’ on his actions, later admitting he had an ‘error of judgement’.
A source told the Daily Star, “Sam and Lynne put the place on the market and it’s taken everyone by surprise…they love the house and the area and everyone thought they’d retire there one day.”
Big Sam – Property Developer?
When he was still playing football in the 1970s, Allardyce started a building company called Tonge Fold in Bolton.
During the season he would purchase old terraced houses and single handily arranging all necessary mortgages, solicitors and building teams. In the summers during his 2-month holiday season, he would turn up on site in overalls, get his hands dirty and act as a lackey for the builders to speed up the development.
Whoever purchases the villa can count can count Chris Eubank as a neighbour, while another former Three Lions boss Terry Venables has a mansion in nearby town Javea, as does TV chef Nigella Lawson.
Sam reveals the story behind the plaque in his autobiography, “the builder was a bit naughty though. He carved out a sandstone sign in the shape of a football which reads ‘Big Sam’s Villa and nailed it to the wall between the first and second floor.”
Last years scandal hasn’t ruined his managerial career, with Allardyce on a winning streak with his newest team Crystal Palace after dragging them from the bottom of the league to their current 15th place.
It’s unclear why Big Sam is offloading his Spanish property. An entrepreneur in his own right, there may be something behind the scenes that DMZ aren’t privy to, as it seems strange to sell your dream retirement home in the sun unless you really have to.
Nevertheless, the potential £1.6 million profit could be funding a permanent move to the Capital.
There may be good news for South London estate agents – you could have a willing buyer for that £1.6 million 5-bed in Crystal Palace, the £1.9 million 6-bed in Streatham or the £5.2 million 6-bed in Dulwich Village!