Tag: Crystal Palace

Are Wednesday & Palace Cracking Up?

A brave, or foolhardy, contributor to the Sheffield Wednesday fans’ website “Owlstalk” last week asked the straightforward question “Who did what?” about club chairman Lee Strafford’s recent departure. The last time I dared look at the thread, it had stretched to 57 pages of responses but barely an answer. Meanwhile, at Crystal Palace, former chairman Simon Jordan is right where he wants to be, at the centre of the story. He is, so about 94 local and national newspaper headlines have informed us, the “key to Crystal Palace’s future.” But he’s been that for a long time and look where it’s got them So the Sheffield Wednesday saga drags on. Again. Having won a few ambiguity awards over the months, US “investment group” Club 9 Sports finally made an investment offer to Wednesday’s board on May 13th, and went terrifyingly public with the detail on May 17th. However, on May 14th, Wednesday’s board said an unequivocal “Foxtrot Oscar” to the terms. And on May 17th, Strafford resigned as chairman, to be replaced by rave from the Wednesday grave Howard Wilkinson, who had been “acting as technical adviser to the club” – which may have explained a lot to a lot of Wednesday-ites. Wednesday’s relegation had a significant, ultimately fatal impact on Club 9’s offer, not so much reducing it as moving it a decimal point to the right. What...

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Planning For Future, The Palace & Wednesday Way

Of the two teams involved in the unreasonably tense relegation “showdown” at Hillsborough last weekend, Sheffield Wednesday look the best, and possibly the only club capable of dealing with life in League One next season. On the brink of a takeover since Christopher Ecclestone was “The Doctor”, Wednesday will have been delighted with potential owner number 94’s pre-match assurances that they, Club 9 Sports from Chicago, would be as interested in a Wednesday team playing Rochdale for league points as one playing Reading. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, are reliant for survival on a mostly anonymous group of supposedly reluctant investors with a 1970’s Radio One disc jockey as its public voice, thankful for the twin mercies of Championship survival and the disc jockey not being Dave Lee Travis. Palace were worthy survivors on the pitch. Without the ten-point deduction for entering administration they’d have finished alongside Neil Warnock’s QPR in mid-table, possibly higher if Warnock had stayed. And at Hillsborough, they played that way, offering what understandably little composure was on offer and having the best player on the pitch by a country AND a city mile in Darren Ambrose. Wednesday, however, huffed and puffed and missed a load of chances, which, according to a Wednesday-ite acquaintance of mine, rather encapsulated their season. As a result of the result of the match, though, at least both sides now have a...

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End Of Season Crowd Trouble Blues – Part One

What to make, then, of the events at Kenilworth Road this afternoon? On the one hand, there are plenty of plenty of supporters of other clubs in the Blue Square Premier that seem to hold the viewpoint that serious crowd trouble at a Luton match has been something that has been waiting to happen for some considerable time. However, although finding more precise documentary evidence for this is obviously difficult, the links between the extreme end of the club’s support and various unsavoury political organisations has been noted elsewhere on plenty of occasions and talk of minor disturbances at Luton matches this season has not been uncommon. Was it a major surprise that there should be significant crowd trouble after a Luton home defeat in a play-off match? The unfortunate answer to this is no, probably not. Still, however, even if there were hundreds of people involved in scenes that cannot be condoned in any way whatsoever (and the predictable claims and counterclaims about what happened this afternoon will undoubtedly go into overdrive over the next few days), the picture is less clear-cut than simply being a matter of shouting for massive points deductions, fines or throwing the club out of football altogether. There will be many thousands of Luton supporters – far more than were involved in any trouble this afternoon – that will have been appalled by...

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Match Of The Week: Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Crystal Palace

That it should have come to this. Somehow, through a season-long narrative of financial implosion and mixed fortunes on the pitch, the final day of the season in the Championship has come down to a straight shoot-out at Hillsborough. Those that hold the belief that there is some kind of divine power with a steadying hand over the world may well take he fact that these two clubs are here this afternoon as proof of his (or her) existence. Results and circumstance have combined to ensure that the Football League’s match of the weekend will be watched by a sell-out crowd of almost 40,000 at a stadium that has seen triumph, occasion and, of course, the most awful of all British football tragedies in its past. Today promises to provide yet another extraordinary chapter in the life of one of our few remaining traditional, old football grounds and, for once, the mathematics are simple. Wednesday need to win to stay up – anything else, and Palace will avoid the drop. This is a match that doesn’t carry any tangible prizes. There will be no silverware handed out at full-time today. Yet what is on offer at Hillsborough this afternoon may even be more important. Both Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace are in a financial hole, and dropping from the Championship at any time would carry a cost that would...

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Palace vs Wednesday: The Tension Mounts

With Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion having already secured promotion back into the Premier League, the last day of the season in the Championship this weekend might have threatened to be something of a damp squib. At the top of the table, however, there is still one play-off place to be fought for, and anybody that has raised their eyebrows about the recent promotions of Burnley and Hull City into the Premier League from the Championship play-offs may well have more to get excited about if Blackpool, of all people, can beat Bristol City to secure the fourth play-off spot on Sunday afternoon. The main event of the weekend, however, will come at Hillsborough, where Sheffield Wednesday take on Crystal Palace. If Palace win or the match end in a draw, Wednesday will be relegated. If the home side can win, however, they will stay up and Crystal Palace will drop into the bottom two divisions of the Football League for the first time since 1977. It promises to be quite an occasion. The BBC will be covering the match live and, with tickets on sale for just £10, it is expected that a capacity crowd of almost 40,000 will be there for it. For the two clubs concerned, both of whom have significant financial problems, it is an absolutely critical match. Crystal Palace had a chance to...

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