LONDON – Sam Allardyce has been confirmed as the new manager of West Ham.
Owners David Sullivan and David Gold have turned to the former Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn boss to guide it to promotion to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt.
The 56-year-old replaces Avram Grant, who was axed minutes after West Ham's relegation was sealed by a 3-2 defeat at Wigan a week before the end of the season.
"It's a fantastic club with a great tradition and loyal supporters,'' said Allardyce. I am determined to get this club back up.''
Allardyce, who has been out of work since his surprise sacking by Blackburn's new owners in December, has reportedly been offered a huge bonus if the Hammers are promoted next term.
The appointment will not be met with much enthusiasm with many West Ham fans turned off by his direct style of play.
But Sullivan and Gold have opted for pragmatism over sentiment with Allardyce having taken Bolton from the Championship into Europe during his spell at the Reebok Stadium.
Allardyce added on the club's official website: "I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't think we could bounce straight back into the Premier League.
"More than that, I wouldn't have contemplated the job if I didn't think there was the opportunity to build something substantial at West Ham.
"I know there will be West Ham fans asking whether I'm going to abandon the style of play that's been the club's heritage over the years.
"All I'll say is it will be a tale of home and away. At Upton Park we'll try to play the kind of game the fans want.
"We will aim to continue in the same way on our travels but we'll also be tough, hard to beat and utterly resilient.''
Allardyce admits he is unlikely to be able to prevent an exodus of the club's
Goalkeeper Robert Green, striker Carlton Cole and player of the year Scott
Parker are all expected to quit Upton Park over the summer.
"That's probably going to be the case for financial reasons,'' Allardyce told talkSPORT Radio station in the UK.
"When a club is relegated it's a massive loss of revenue and you have to adjust.
"But for me, whatever happens, the basis is there of a very good squad and some good young players.''
On the future of England midfielder Parker, he added: "I don't know yet, we'll have to wait and see. From a distance it looks very difficult, but there is no indication of any bids for Scott yet.''
Allardyce confirmed he has brought in Neil MacDonald, his assistant at Bolton and Blackburn, to the backroom staff.