Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside says he tried to bring Sam Allardyce back to the club before the appointment of Owen Coyle.
In January last year he turned to former Bolton player Coyle, the boss he had recommended to Burnley and a cheerful face from a glory era.
But Gartside revealed he had been thinking about bringing back Allardyce to get the fans off his back.
He told the People: "I have never admitted this before but I thought about Sam, despite all that was said when he left.
"I sat down with the owner Eddie Davies and chief executive Alan Duckworth but they said: 'No, we don't want to go back to that.'
"I still put a feeler out but the answer was a negative."