Sam Allardyce was paid millions after getting the boot whilst trying to ruin Newcastle United and now he has found a new way to get money via The Magpies.

Allardyce only lasted seven months at St James Park in 2007/08 but bought a luxury Spanish villa with his ill-gotten gains.

Now he says he would love to have a bet on Newcastle beating Crystal Palace, claiming it is almost a foregone conclusion as all Palace’s players will ‘have been on the pop’.

Rules forbid Sam Allardyce placing his bet but he claims he believes Newcastle are a bigger threat to Sunderland than Norwich are.

This weekend could be pivotal because with only three matches to go (Norwich and the Mackems have four each), it is surely imperative that Newcastle are at least out of the relegation zone after Saturday’s fixtures.

Sunderland are away at Stoke and Norwich visit Arsenal, so at least on paper (and in Sam Allardyce’s mind games) Newcastle should have the best chance of picking up three points and moving ahead of the other two, who currently both lead United by a point.

Sam Allardyce:

“Newcastle will win on Saturday, I’d have a bet on that if I could…

“Newcastle pose the bigger (than Norwich) threat to our survival.

“I think they will beat Palace and they have got Villa, then it depends on what Spurs do there. So I think they’ll win at least two.

“Palace are in the FA Cup final and they would all have been celebrating, they would all have been on the pop.

“They won’t be mentally ready for it and neither will Alan Pardew, he will be thinking about the final now, not thinking about Newcastle away.

“You are not going to stop the lads celebrating having got through to a final, particularly Crystal Palace, because it’s such a good achievement for the club, the fans, Alan and the owner, there is such euphoria around the place.

“It could well serve in reverse. He could say, ‘Go on off you go lads, play today and relax, the result doesn’t matter so much…’ but it could go the other way…‘I’ve had a good couple of days off, don’t want to get injured for the final – I might just stay out of that tackle’…I suspect it might be the latter.”