Dougie Freedman quits Crystal Palace for Bolton Wanderers

• Freedman leaves fourth-placed Eagles for Championship rivals
• Premier League an 'obsession' for the ambitious Scot

Dougie Freedman has left Crystal Palace to become the new Bolton Wanderers manager. The Scot's first game in charge after replacing the sacked Owen Coyle is expected to be Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.

Steve Parish, the Palace chairman, said that he considers that managing in the Premier League is an "obsession" for Freedman. A statement on the Palace website confirmed the news. "The board of the club would like to put on record their thanks to Dougie for all his efforts over the past couple of years and their disappointment over the events of the past few days," it read. "The search for a replacement starts immediately.

"The [running of the] team at the game against Barnsley will be taken by assistant manager Lennie Lawrence and first-team coach Curtis Fleming."

Freedman leaves Palace with the club sitting fourth in the Championship and just two points off the leaders Leicester City, while Bolton are a further six points back in 16th .

Parish told Sky Sports News: "I certainly don't feel betrayed. He had a very good offer on the table from us, I felt. I don't feel Dougie is somebody who's hugely motivated by money – he certainly didn't give me the impression we could fix it with money, I think it could be more about ambition.

"But maybe I could be proved wrong. I feel that we have got ambition, we want to get into the Premier League and stay there."

Paris said that Freedman's ambition to manage in the Premier League is an obsession. "I think it came down to him believing that his ambition was greater than ours. There is an element of this I don't understand. I thought it was exciting times ahead, but it's not to be. We have got to move on and get a manager as soon as possible.

"You need to ask him [why he has gone]. He obviously doesn't feel we can fulfil his ambitions. His burning ambition and desire is to get to the Premier League. My obsession is safeguarding the future of the club. It may boil down to more funds [being] available [at Bolton] and a better chance of promotion. I think that's what most discussions centred around.

"I had a very good relationship with Dougie and I wish him every success in the future. Football is a precarious situation for managers – eight games ago we had a boycott of fans wanting him out. Dougie feels his career can be served elsewhere, I don't feel betrayed and now we have to find a new manager. He had a good offer on the table from us."

Regarding a potential replacement, Parish said: "The last four days I haven't spoken to anyone. Steve [Coppell] is certainly someone I will speak to – somebody we will be consulting and [he] is a possibility."

Coppell, who along with the former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is the bookmaker's favourite, is Crawley Town's director of football. Should Coppell replace Freedman it would be his fifth time in charge of Palace. He managed the club between 1984-1993, 1995-96, 1997-98 and 1999-2000.

Bolton are yet to officially confirm Freedman's appointment.

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