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Emotions run high at Hillsborough

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Paul Fletcher | 19:03 UK time, Sunday, 2 May 2010

At Hillsborough.

Sunday's relegation showdown at an emotional and tense Hillsborough showed us so much of what is great about football and, regrettably, a little of what is not.

Sheffield Wednesday needed to win to climb out of the Championship's bottom three and send opponents Crystal Palace down instead.

If it wasn't quite a straight shoot-out then it wasn't far off, and one group of supporters was always going to greet the final whistle with the kicked-in-the-stomach sensation that comes when you look up from your newly-relegated players slumping to the turf to see the opposition fans celebrating their team's survival in the stand opposite.

It is always a vivid contrast and Sunday was no exception.

wednesday_fan_getty_blog.jpg A Sheffield Wednesday fan comes to terms with relegation - photo: Getty

Darren Purse's goal after 87 minutes drew Wednesday level at 2-2 and ensured a grandstand finish, particularly when the fourth official's board revealed there would be five minutes of extra time.

Hope that had been so clinically extinguished by the excellent Darren Ambrose's side-footed finish to put Palace back in front in the 63rd minute, surged back through the home stands, while the jubilation of the away support was immediately suspended.

Palace fans will not agree but it was the finish that the game deserved. It had been a largely equal contest played in front of 37,151 supporters, all of whom were well and truly put through the mill.

Considering the high stakes, I thought it was a fairly open contest and both managers reflected afterwards on how it must have made for engrossing viewing for neutrals who watched the match on television. Not half.

The atmosphere was sensational and the way the two sets of fans responded to the theatre that played out in front of them illustrated why football is so special: the power that the game has to pulverise our emotions.

The weeping Wednesday fans as I walked away from the stadium, many being comforted by friends or relatives, told you that it would be their team playing League One football next season.

In sharp contrast, the Eagles supporters with whom I am currently sharing a train heading back to London, are singing about their love of Palace, in triplicate.

They probably feel they deserve some good news after a torrid few months. The Eagles' push for promotion was brought to an abrupt end when the club was put into administration in January and subsequently docked 10 points.

hart_getty_blog.jpgHart has been in charge of two crisis clubs this season - photo: Getty

Their best player was sold and the manager left. Despite staying in the Championship, the very future of their club remains in doubt.

Now that the season has ended there is no more money to keep the club going and hope lies with the CPFC 2010 consortium that is currently trying to thrash out a deal to buy both Selhurst Park and the club (which are in the hands of separate administrators).

I'd imagine that to some extent all of this season's uncertainty, tension and anxiety rose to the surface on Sunday. After months of being battered and bruised, Palace supporters had something to celebrate.

For some it was too much and as the Palace players headed towards them after the final whistle they rushed on to the pitch. It was at this point that Sunday threatened to turn very ugly.

Wednesday supporters also invaded the playing area. Some headed towards the Palace fans but, as far as I could tell, the police ensured they remained segregated.

Several Palace players had been engulfed by their supporters and as I looked down at the pitch from the main stand it was difficult to work out exactly who was where.

A stand-off of sorts ensued between the two sets of fans and, in what must have been a fairly terrifying few seconds, Palace defender Clint Hill was pursued as he tried to leave the field. Several aware and courageous stewards ensured he made it to the tunnel safely as irate individuals lashed out at him.

A group then tried to chase Hill down the tunnel and it required baton-wielding police to restore order. It was ugly and unnecessary. It reminded me that sometimes football supporters lose their sense of perspective.

What made the whole incident even more idiotic was that Hill had been one of three Palace players that I saw who spent the initial few seconds after the final whistle trying to console Wednesday players rather than savouring their own achievement.

One Palace supporter told me he had been extremely anxious as he left the ground. The two sets of fans were separated by a police line but, even so, scuffles broke out and he felt the situation had the potential to quickly degenerate.

Neither Wednesday boss Alan Irvine nor Palace counterpart Paul Hart had witnessed the post-match events. After shaking hands both had immediately returned to their respective dressing rooms.

Irvine always strikes me as a decent, hard-working manager with an excellent temperament. I am sure that he is distraught by his team's relegation but he spoke with great common sense and dignity afterwards.

The Scot felt his team had almost climbed a mountain after twice falling behind in the game but acknowledged that wasted chances were the story of the season since he became Wednesday manager in January.

A poster on the tram I took back to Sheffield station showed a Wednesday fan with the strapline: "It's my life, it is in my blood."

Owls supporters must be hurting right now but Irvine pledged to build a Wednesday team the fans can be proud of and I do not doubt the sincerity of his words for a second.

The rebuilding starts now at the club and, with three players whose loan deals have expired and a further eight out of contract, Irvine has a busy summer ahead of him.

Rebuilding is the last thing on Hart's mind. He arrived on a short-term deal in March after Neil Warnock jumped ship and his contract ended with Sunday's game.

Hart made it clear he would like to be considered for the managerial position if a new consortium does complete a deal at Palace, but after a season that saw him in charge at Portsmouth and QPR, as well as the Eagles, he ruefully admitted: "I'm job hunting again."

Hart said he had felt relief at the final whistle but also sadness. He is a former Wednesday player and a friend of Irvine. It was clear his joy was conditional.

After Hart finished speaking to the media he walked out of the door and headed home to spend some time with his family. He was going to do the normal sorts of things that are not possible when you manage a football club.

Not an hour had elapsed since the final whistle but already Hart and Palace had gone their separate ways, for now at least, while the size of Irvine's job at Wednesday has just increased significantly.

As I walked to the tram stop after the game I saw a ferris wheel turning in the distance and it made me think that although seasons end, football never really stops.

Wednesday fans currently absorbed in their own private grief will slowly heal over the summer months as their squad is reshaped, while the anxiety continues for Palace supporters, who have seen their team stay up but desperately need someone to rescue their club.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Hopefully the minority of fans that marred what a great occasion the game was will be identified and get lifelong bans. I do however think the police could have done more - there was a line of riot police and a line of stewards in front of the Palace fans and they just stood by as they flooded onto the pitch, a move that would obviously provoke some.

    On a footballing note, we aruably should have bee playing against 9 men for the majority of the match- though it's our peformances over the whole season that are responsible for our downfall

  • Comment number 2.

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  • Comment number 3.

    As a Wimbledon fan, I never thought I'd say this. Well done Palace. The players and fans have really shown the directors/boardroom/whoever got them in the mess. Great support, a great fighting spirit on the pitch and a deserved continued stay in the Championship.
    If the Dons can get a decent manager next season, I look forward to seeing the Eagles again!

  • Comment number 4.

    In terms of the football both sides looked poor, Wednesday lacked passing in midfield and strikers with a sharp eye for goal. The Owls have a job on rejigging the squad to challenge next season. As for Palace, it looks like they start next season strugling and with a potential second points deduction (if not homeless).

  • Comment number 5.

    And on the pitch invasion, Plymouth did it right when Newcastle had their on-pitch party. Sorry Owls but just let them have it and walk out with your heads held high. There's no need to run on to the pitch and potentially cause a riot. I had a lot of respect for the Plymouth fans that night, they behaved sensibly and there was no trouble.

  • Comment number 6.

    No regrets when the season is looked over as a whole. Wednesday never got going and Laws was finally found out - a good motivator but tactically inept and the confidence seeped away from the side early on. Irvine always had a hard job on his hands. The game summed up the season, missed opportunites and sloppy defending. I think Irvine tried to win any way he could and the long ball stuff was pretty awful but it was never going to be pretty. In terms of footballing ability, Palace were the better team but both club's finacial predicaments tell a sad story of how football has become today. A tough season ahead for both clubs beckons

  • Comment number 7.

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  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    #3 - To be fair HowayTheDons there was 13,000 at that Plymouth match, a large portion of that was Newcastle fans, and most Plymouth fans already knew they were consigned to relegation.

    At the match today, there were 32,000 Wednesday fans who have only just found out they were relegated, and then Palace fans run onto the pitch. I'm not defending their actions, they were a disgrace to the club, but there is a big difference between the two matches.

  • Comment number 10.

    Wednesday will rise like the phoenix.... this club is to proud and to full of tradition to let this minor blip halt them. They WILL return. Leeds have suffered and it looks like they have done it by travelling the hard way and so have many others. I watched my beloved Blackpool in the old 4th Div in the not so distant past and now they are in the CCC playoffs. If we can do it on crowds of 7/10k so can Wednesday.

  • Comment number 11.

    I have no idea why there is a big thing about fans running on the pitch in England. I have never felt the need to run on the pitch when my team has won something. I dont think the Palace fans should have come on to the pitch but the trouble seemed to come from the Wednesday fans and to attack opposition players was too far. I would suggest punishment if it wasnt for the fact that tensions were high due to the nature of the game and it was a minority of idiotic fans involved.

  • Comment number 12.

    No time for the Wendys or their idiots, but the police & stewards got it wrong initially.
    Fair play to Palace's players & fans;the 10 points they were deducted by the FL was a disgrace.....

  • Comment number 13.

    The crowd trouble after the game at Hillsborough today completely undermined what was otherwise a passionately fought tie and a fantastic advert for the Championship and English football in general. Hopefully the lasting memory of todays encounter will be the football on the pitch and not the idiotic minority of both sets of fans who invaded it after the final whistle.

    Congratulations to Crystal Palace and good luck for next season, but if you do go out of business we'll happily take your place! Either way we'll be back one day!

  • Comment number 14.

    I Looked at my calender when I got home today, and I wondered where Wednesday went...then I remembered they got relegated :)

    But jokes (Sheffield Wednesday) aside...the way the Wednesday fans reacted to our celebrations on the pitch were shocking...I mean, ATTACKING players!
    Have some respect, it's their job...they don't turn up to your office and start throwing punches :/

    Disgraceful

    All in all, Palace definitely deserved what they got today after a season of bad luck, and I hope we get a buyer asap and continue to achieve great things :)

    EAGLES !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Attacking our players simply isn't on, and I hope the Football League move to take some action to ensure the culprits are at the least banned for life and perhaps look at criminal charges.

    Other than that I've had an incredible day, from being wide awake at 5am through nerves to going absolutely mental in injury time, only for Stern John's weak finish to be cleared off the line.

  • Comment number 16.

    The rules state that you are deducted 10 points. No more or no less. The strategic decision from Palace's board was that they would be deducted 10 points and that they would survive with that. It nearly didn't work!

    We deserve to go down because we didn't play well enough all season to stay up. Our board's strategic decision was NOT to go into administration. That decision has been made every year for the 10 years since we were relegated from the premiership.

    The Wednesday board's decisions over those 10 years have ended in failure as we are now in as low a position as we have ever been. We never really stabilised in the Championship since we were promoted 5 years ago.

    Palace have better players than Wednesday because they can afford them. That's why they went into administration. However unfair we feel the situation is, we can't blame Palace for taking advantage of lenient League rules.

    Serious investment or administration (or both) is our only way out.

  • Comment number 17.

    Can your stats guys tell us when was the last time a team was given a points penalty and was NOT relegated?

    Is this going to have any effect on the way point penalties are dished out? Are they going to increase them or make them 'automatic relegation' penalties or something? More importantly, does relegation help save a club from financial ruin? (It ought to, but football finances confuse me.)

    Congrats to Palace.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great article Paul. My friend (the football coach) sat next to you on the train back down as you were writing this article! I went to Hillsborough today as a neutral and i've got to say the violence i witnessed from many Wednesday fans after the game was disgraceful. i'm surprised at the lack of media coverage this has received so far as after many years watching games all over the country i've never seen anything like it first hand. Completely ruined an otherwise great day. We met plenty of decent Wednesday fans who felt the same but who were let down by other Wednesday fans, many of whom waited at the away end to attack Palace fans after the game. I always thought of Wednesday as a friendly / family club but clearly there's a big hooligan element among otherwise great fans. Shame as they are a proper football club with a fantastic history.

  • Comment number 19.

    Well done to Crystal Palace a fully deserved point against a poor wednesday, your massive following at hillsbourgh was loud and supportive, it was like a home game for you!
    Good luck with new investment and a club as illustrious as Palace belong up there.

  • Comment number 20.

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  • Comment number 21.

    Peter (comment 16)

    It most certainly was not a strategic decision by our board. We were put into administration by a hostile creditor, rather than doing so voluntarily.

    The scenes at the end were a little bit disgraceful and we got started on around the city a few times, but I guess that's the way football can be sometimes.

    All the best to Wednesday for next season.

  • Comment number 22.

    First and foremost the Wednesday fans throughout the game were fantastic. It's a shame that Wednesday's goals came late in both halves and we never took the lead as then the country would have witnessed another notch up in the noise but any neutral there can tell you that the vocal presence of the supporters was unlike anything they had witnessed before.

    As for the actions of the fans after, unacceptable yes but in a way understandable. I for one am not trying to justify their actions but it was simply a combination of frustrations. Frustration over our performances which time and time again have not been good enough. The fact that we hear from people within the club that O'Connor and Potter have the potential to be the best central midfield partnership in the league yet neither can head a ball shows that they're either deluded or seeing something in training we don't see in matches. Frustrated at useless officials. The ref bottled it on more than one occasion. You have to ask if it was a Newcastle game would the decisions have been different? probably. Calvin Andrew should have had a straight red for his challenge on Lee Grant. Grant's over 6ft yet Andrew's boot was level with his head with studs showing. Forget intention if that's not reckless or dangerous play justifiable of a red I don't know what is. Moreover, the Palace captain caused both O'Connor and Potter to suffer head wounds. Elbows on both occasions, a mere 5 metres in front of the referee in the second instance, yet no cards were banished. If this guy is going to get away with assault with the referee taking no action, you can't blame one or two of our fans wanting to give him his comeuppence. Finally, frustration at the fact that despite a strong police presence, the Palace supporters didn't show the respect to restrain their celebrations in a more appropriate manner and that the police weren't smart enough to prevent a pitch invasion which would inevitably provoke a reaction. Combine the above frustrations and you can empathise with the albeit idiotic reactions of a few supporters today. The best team on the day did not win. A decent referee would have made certain decisions which would have most likely led to a Wednesday win. I'm not bitter, quite the opposite. I think in the long term relegation will prove beneficial in the rebuilding process of the club. However, it is disappointing when a great game is ruined by the poor decisions of the man in black (and before anyone reacts by pointing to the so called controversial Leon Clarke goal, Butterfield was the one who made contact with Clarke's leg when attempting to clear the ball not vice versa, as far as I'm aware, that is not a foul).

  • Comment number 23.

    As a lifelong Owls fan, I felt bad about this during and just after listening to the game. But after a day thinking about it, one advantage of the time difference between where I live and GMT., I think we'll climb out of this. Enough players are leaving this summer for a rebuild to take place and that's what's needed to take us bk to the Championship. The hard truth is that we deserved to go down. We just weren't good enough. But Lg 1 is a rough and tumble league and we may not rebound at first attempt.

    I have absolutely no time for the so called Owls fans who engaged in brawling after the game. They are not real fans and should be banned. Up the Owls.

  • Comment number 24.

    wednesdaymargs, a touch bitter by any chance and really do you think it is justified for supposed supporters to attck players just becase they feel frustrated that their team lost get a grip football aint that important
    and as you say "the best team on the day didnt win" true especially as neither won but most importantly english football lost thanks to an idiotic section of supporters whose actions you seem to condone after a game that was a exellent advert for football

  • Comment number 25.

    A great day for Palace well done to everyone at the club we deserve to stay up as anyone can see that over the season having been deducted 10 points. As for the work by the police, well all i can say is South Yorkshire police at there best again, totally disorganised and totally clueless, things could have turned out a hell of a lot worse!

  • Comment number 26.

    It's a real shame for such a great club as Sheffield Wednesday to be relegated to League One but I hope that they can bounce back from this and come back stronger. It would have been a real shame, though, for Palace to have been relegated as a result of a 10 point deduction when their overall performance across the season would have been good enough for a mid table finish.

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 27.

    wednesdaymorgs
    you write a lot of sensible comment most times:
    your analysis of the poor players, the club in general, this particular game and therein some referee decisions is very good.
    don't let yourself down by in any way whatsoever trying to understand thugs and hooligans.
    Thugs and hooligans are a blight in football ( and society ) and there is no excuse whatsoever for their behaviour.
    I sure get frustrated at my boss, traffic jams, the Owls players, poor food in sloppy restaurants ...........but one cannot start smashing the tables or someone's car in the jam.
    Let's get rid of the MINORITY however we can, support the club and police in doing so and make Hillsborough again a super nice place to go to watch football, possibly with wife and kids.

  • Comment number 28.

  • Comment number 29.

    #20

    cardifflad???

    pot..kettle..noir.

  • Comment number 30.

    Clubs should take more responsibility for the behaviour of their fans inside their stadia. Points deduction for Sheffield Wednesday next season would encourage the club to do something about getting rid of the rather large minority of morons who follow them.

  • Comment number 31.

    #30 - I agree we should all do more and being blue and white through and through I am more than willing to accept our responsibility as a club for what happened yesterday. It's in no way acceptable or condoned. Just as long as we are clear about how this works. Palace fans invaded the pitch too and those identified accept the same fate and similarly their club have points deducted. Lets not think that this only works one way and that sometimes its acceptable and sometimes it isn't. There were two sets of fans on the pitch yesterday and no excuse for any of them to be there. It's wrong for any supporters to invade the pitch for whatever reason so ban them all. Please don't feel this is a chance to have a pop just at Wednesday like a lot of posts are doing. A very few of our fans were well out of order and should be banned without question but same applies to the same few Palace fans and any other club where this happens. Lets make the pitch a 'no go' zone across the board.

    Too easy to be whiter than white, but I agree lets get this sorted.

    Just the same with administration if it happens you get punished just like Palace have. It doesn't make a fair playing field as they have played with players and finance beyond their means this season. They have been punished according to the rules so no complaints at the end of the day and have still done enough to stay up. Well done to them and good luck for next season hope you stay in business no fan deserves to lose their club.

    Up the Owls and we will be back!!

  • Comment number 32.

    buymyespresso Last season 2 league 2 clubs (Rotherham and Bournemouth) were docked 17pts each, and neither were relegated. Southampton have been dock 10pts this season and weren't, in 07/08 Leeds were docked 15pts and got into the play offs - it happens a fair bit!

  • Comment number 33.

    Given the magnitude of the game and the proximity of Wednesday's known trouble-causing element to the away supporters you always felt things had the potential to boil over after the final whistle, regardless of which team came out ultimately victorious.

    The fans involved are idiots - on both sides. Any Palace fan that had their head screwed on should have known that running on to the pitch was only going to provoke a reaction from a vastly larger home crowd. Saying that, shame on all the Wednesday fans who have tainted if not critically damaged the public image of an otherwise great club. Those attempting to exact retribution on Palace players shouldn't just be banned for life - they should be locked up. Lee Strafford needs to publicly announce that he is going to deal with these people as they have no place at the club; the scenes of violence yesterday could have repercussions for England's chances of hosting the World Cup, or at least Hillsborough's chances of being a host venue should the 2018 bid be successful.

    As for the policing inside the ground, they are there to protect and be prepared for worst case scenarios. Why then did they only form a barrier in front of Crystal Palace supporters, only to let them on to the pitch en masse with minimum resistance, leaving unarmed and unprotected stewards to try and control a much larger (and angrier) group of Sheffield Wednesday fans. They could have prevented a lot of trouble by barricading the corners of the North and South stands (both adjacent to the away end) and leaving the stewards to control the away supporters. The police shouldn't always be the first to blame for crowd trouble in football, but in a high stakes game in a national sport struggling to shake off a bad reputation, the planning could have been much better.

    Get them identified, get them banned, and let's get on with playing and supporting football.

  • Comment number 34.

    I would just like to add that when Cardiff missed out on the Play-Offs at Wednesday last year, you well and truly rubbed it in, even showing the goals against Preston when we lost 6 nil tipping our goal difference.

    Don't dish it out if you can't take it, football always has a way of coming back to bite you on the bum.

    On a personal note 2 coach loads of Wednesday fans pulled into a pub in Caerleon a week ago Saturday (on your to getting beat by Cardiff) you sat in a family play area effing and blinding and singing the usual anti -welsh songs in front of families and children, very pleasant.

    Not that I tarnish all Wednesday fans with the same brush but based on my experience and your reaction at the end of the game yesterday, you deserve it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Thanks for the comments. The pitch invasion seems to be the main talking point to emerge from the game. I understand why but it is a shame that the behaviour of a small minority steal the headlines after what was an engrossing match with an amazing atmosphere inside Hillsborough.

    There is so much to consider as a consequence of the result.

    What now for Wednesday's rebuilding? Alan Irvine will remain in charge but what will his squad look like next season? Do Wednesday fans think their team will bounce straight back? Will you be keeping Lee Strafford happy and buying a season ticket? Will the American investment happen?

    Palace won but there are arguably even more questions hanging over them. Will the much-needed takeover happen? Will it happen in time to prevent a fire-sale of your players? Will Paul Hart come back as manager? How do fans feel about being named as creditors on the season tickets they bought for the next campaign? Will you be watching your club in August?

    Something that I have yet to work out. On the train back to London I heard an announcement telling train staff there was a code C in coach K. Any ideas?

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    The Palace fans who went on to the pitch were idiotic and naive. But lets put this into perspective - there were about 30-40 Palace fans who went on and ran straight to the players, going nowhere near the Wednesday fans. No provoking, no goading. It could have been a lot worse. Within seconds there were thousends of Wednesdayites on the pitch all going straight to the Palace end.

    Trouble happened at West Ham vs Millwall but there were no reports of any West Ham fans attacking Millwall players. You never attack players - it's like an unwritten rule.

    The Police should have done more to prevent the few Palace fans who went on the pitch - I totally agree - they are the morons who only come out for the 'big' games. Just like a good 10,000 did for Wednesday yesterday.

    Still, you sell your tickets for £10 and you'll no doubt attract a fair few idiots.

    I honestly hope Wednesday go back up next year as they are a proper football club with mostly decent fans and I hope the next time Palace go to Hillsborough it will go without incident.

  • Comment number 38.

    Good post Paul.

    It's just as well there were the thrills and spills because the actual standard of play was appalling; the ball was in the air most of the time and possession was relinquished far too frequently.

  • Comment number 39.

    Long and short of it is NO fan should be running on the pitch after a game. Celebrate in the stands, in the bars afterwards, but keep off the pitch....is it THAT difficult?

    Whenever a pitch invasion happens, there are some idiots who take things too far. An example was my team, Donny Rovers win against Southend in the play-off semis. The pitch was invaded and it was all good-natured, Rovers' fans even applauded the truly excellent Southend fans. But some idiots had to climb up the goalposts and break them, a point most forget to remember (as to an extent they should as otherwise the fans from both sides behaved very well).

    At Wembley in the final, of course, nobody got onto the pitch. The players could then celebrate/comiserate properly as did the fans.

    So fans everywhere....KEEP OFF THE GRASS!!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    I note that it took until as late as the second sentence of comment to mention that the police were to blame.!!! Nothing to do with the mentality of those present or the inability of the average fan to act decently while in an emotional and most likely drunken state. Lets go for the police. Stands to reason, dinnit?

    Why do you need to work out what 'Code C in coach K' means? It's probably something along the lines of 'high loo-natic count in coach K, prepare for disengagement and shunt to sidings at next stop', but really nothing to do with the general public.

    Good game though.

  • Comment number 41.

    CPFC_ROB wrote:
    "..the way the Wednesday fans reacted to our celebrations on the pitch were shocking...I mean, ATTACKING players!
    Have some respect, it's their job...they don't turn up to your office and start throwing punches..."

    YOUR celebrations on OUR pitch you mean.

    Whilst I don't agree with attacking players in any circumstances, would you turn up at someone's office and start goading them about them losing their job?

    If you start pulling a dog's tail, don't be surprised if it turns round and bites you on the nose.

  • Comment number 42.

    Even though I am a Blades fan I feel I must defend the Wednesday fans to some extent. This was always going to be a volatile situation and there are always going to be a few people that can't control their emotions, or those that use situations like the one at Hillsborough for their own ends. I think if you transferred the match to another stadium and chose two other teams to fight against relegation in the very last game you may end up with the same situation.

    I thought Palace were lucky to get away with it in the end. Their tactics were wrong in the second half. They scored a breakaway goal against the run of play then pulled every single player back in to their own half for the final 20 minutes. They almost got what they deserved.

    As for Wednesday, I just like to see them one division below United. And thankfully next season is one without the nerve shredding Sheffield derby.

  • Comment number 43.

    Joe Lewis @#38 - the standard of play wasn't appalling - it was standard championship football. I'm guessing you're an Arsenal fan and aren't used to watching down at the lower reaches?.

  • Comment number 44.

    #22.wednesdaymorgs

    You mention that Andrew, should have been sent off for his high foot on your goalkeeper.
    It just shows how blinkered supporters can be!

    About two minutes before, one of wednesdays players kicked Derry in the face and did not even get a booking. Also twice more after the Andrews incident free kicks were given against Wednesdays players for high kicking with just free kicks given. why no mentioned of RED cards against those players.

  • Comment number 45.

    we went down because over the season we were not good enough.
    the fans who caused the problem should be given lifetime bans, and I for one will be hoping that the chairman sorts it out.
    no sour grapes but who sent Alan Lee for diving lessons, because it was money well spent??
    blinkered supporters....handball twice, Varney constantly punched in the head and Clarke tripped in the box.Mr Dean lost control early on of the most important game of the season for both sides and he bottled it!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    @buymespresso

    Can your stats guys tell us when was the last time a team was given a points penalty and was NOT relegated?

    ---------

    Bournemouth and Rotherham last season.


  • Comment number 47.

    Well done Palace, Sheff Wed should never have even been in The Championship after they cheated by diving for a penalty at Cardiff
    in the playoffs against Hartlepool United. Cant wait to see the
    at The Vic next season HA HA

  • Comment number 48.

    Wednesday fans complaining that a referee has contributed to their fall into League One?

    Funny how they forget that it was only with the unjust help of a referee that they got into The Championship five years ago. Justice finally done? Probably, and watching their supporters yesterday it's what they deserve.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just Think!
    Hartlepool United v Sheff Wed
    Johnstones Paint Trophy Final at Wembley
    Revenge would be sweet

  • Comment number 50.

    Sorry meant Northern play off At the Vic

  • Comment number 51.

    Kevin - it is slightly frightening how yesterday's result is unearthing so many grudges.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    I remember a couple of seasons ago, we were playing Wednesday and we socred a 93rd minute winner, yet many of their fans tried to climb over the segregation netting to reach us fans who were celebrating, and whilst that was happening, they had kicked off outside.

    They really can't take defeat/relegation gracefully, it was diabolical what happened on the pitch yesterday, and I hope theres something done about it

  • Comment number 54.

    Paul

    For many fans, football is almost as much about grudges and which team you hate as it is about which team you love.

    I'm not an anthropologist or whatever, but it seems to me that it's human nature to be tribal, and to be as illogically and unconditionally opposed to "the other" as it is to love your own (family, team, etc.). Maybe its evolutionary hard wiring - Politics, religion, war, football, it's all the same thing?

    All we have to hope for now is that Man U end up with only the Carling Cup this season and that Paul Scholes gets sent off in their final game...

  • Comment number 55.

    Clarkeonenil: As for Palace, it looks like they start next season strugling and with a potential second points deduction (if not homeless).

    Why will we have another points deduction? The rules state that you can only been penalised with a second points deduction if you START A SECOND SEASON in administration, OR , exit administration without a CVA. As things stand at the moment, neither of those apply. I hope however that the administrator can sort out a deal with CRFC2010 quickly to allow us some chance of keeping the players we have.

  • Comment number 56.

    PALACE FAN BOUGHT IT ON THEMSELVES, DO YOU THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA TO RUN ON TO ANOTHER TEAMS PITCH WHEN YOU HAVE JUST RELEGATED THEM. SILLY PALACE. AND BBC DONT TELL PART OF THE STORY TELL IT ALL CAUSE YOU MAKE IT SOUND LIKE SWFC WERE THE AGGRESSORS!

  • Comment number 57.

    Firstly, well done palace, u done the supporters proud, and I know we did u proud always keeping the faith through thick and thin. It's been a tough season but hopefully now we can look forward.

    Condolances to real Wednesday supporters. It's a big club with a great history and with the great support seen yesterday(the majority anyway) you'll bounce back.

    Now, let's set the record straight as there seems to be some bizarre comments from a few on here: peter - yes we were deducted points for admin but the whole admin saga has been forced by a creditor who forced the issue somewhat unnecasarily but there's no need to go into that, palace fans kno what I mean. Most clubs live in debt to some degree and if a major creditor suddenly demanded all the money now they would struggle - if man utds creditor wanted all the money now, they wouldn't have it. Get your facts straight please.

    As for yesterdays game (mainly to Alfowl & wednesdaymorgs) - firstly, a red for calvin andrew would be harse, it was high but no intent. As for Derry, I hvent seen te 2nd one you refer to but the first was actually a clash of heads, arms were up from both - intreating that u seem to understand fans actions but make comments about innoculous challenges!

    Now on to the fans. I agree that fans didn't need to enter the pitch to celebrate but they went on to the players only, I saw no goading jus wanting to embrace the players.

    What I witnessed from Wednesday fans was bad. We were targeted with missiles at the end, coins, lighters, full cans of drink. Children were crying, elderly cowering and two young girls shaking. That's cowerdly of the worst level.

    Palace fans returned to stands, they wanted to celebrate not fight. Those Wednesday fans wanted to fight. Two men punched a moddle aged women to the floor. Cowards. Then they chased and assaulted Clinton hill and that's not on, had it not of been for brave stewards and nicky carle who wentto help, he would have been seriously hurt. Again, mindless cowards.

    I think the police were lucky, had our fans reacted to this as I thought may happen, the police would have lost control quickly, their numbers were no where near enuf for number of fans, with what was at stake and the tensions, I expected many more. Nothing seemed to be done to stop the missiles being thrown either.

    It's a shame this seems to be the topic. It was a football classic yesterday, do or die winner takes all game (or draw in palaces case), and ot was all I love about football! Great support during the game from both, and great effort and commitment and passion. The outcome was fair in the end looking over the season and good luck for both next year.

  • Comment number 58.

    At #34 - The screen at Hillsborough is about as old as the ark. It barely shows scores and has never shown a video in its life. There is no way that we showed the goals when we beat you last season. If you're going to jump on a bandwagon and insult my club, make sure what you're printing actually has a chance of being true.

  • Comment number 59.

    We might play in cowsheds and get an average of 4,000, but when Sheff Wed
    come up against the likes of Newcastle, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool & Sunderland then your ground becomes Cowshed
    PS: The Rubbish down the road at Darlington have at beautiful Cowshed
    for 25,000 cows. The number of fans you get doesnt make your team any
    better, Scunnie will be playing The Blades next season,

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm in no way trying to condone the actions of certain 'supporters' yesterday but my above comment was trying to explain where any motivation may have come from.

    As for my 'blinkered' view of the game, I'll agree there were several occasions when Wednesday players kicked the chests of Palace players. Whether or not you want to argue that kicking chest height in an attempt to get the ball and going studs up at face level of a 6ft3 individual are two totally different circumstances, this is not an argument I will enter into here. The point I was trying to make is that the same player caused head wounds to two of our players yet wasn't even booked. In my opinion Andrew's challenge on Grant was unforgiveable due to the danger it posed. If I was the referee both Andrew and Derry would have received reds and a number of Wednesday players would have got yellows but perhaps that is looking through my blue and white glasses.

    As for not deserving to be in the championship. I agree that day in Cardiff we where very lucky to get the decisions our way and Hartlepool fully deserved promotion that season. But we've since had four seasons where we showed we deserved to be playing at that level. Arguably this season we did not.

    Finally, where now for Wednesday? As hard as it is to see it, a giant step forward. This will give us the opportunity to rebuild. When we were last promoted from League One our first season saw our top scorer, keeper and player of the season out injured for most of the season. Moreover, our financial situation dictated that we sold our best players. Financially we are in a much better situation now than we were then and potentially with forthcoming investment we could see ourselves in an even stronger position. We have a top manager and a chairman who is passionate about the club albeit still finding his feet. Whether we'll bounce straight back has much to do with the degree of any investment and how any resources are utilised but there's no reason why we can't be challenging with the likes of Southampton next season for an automatic promotion place. Having said that we've been there and done it before and we won't be underestimating the scale of our task. As an owl living in the South West I'm already anticipating the fixtures at Huish Park, Dean Court and St James' Park.

  • Comment number 61.

    I got to watch the match as a neutral, and I must say, thoroughly enjoyed it. OK, it may not have had the most quality, but football at its best is about drama. Compared to the dull game between two of the 'Sky Four' on the other side, there was only going to be one game to watch.

    From a strictly neutral viewpoint, I thought Palace were the better side. The first Wednesday goal could easily have been ruled out (although it was woeful defending) and Palace should have scored a couple more to seal it. That being said, Wednesday certainly played their part, and it was nice to see Hillsborough so full again. The place is immense with a big crowd, yet a bit of a shell when less than half full.

    As for the crowd trouble, I think the Palace fans were naive in the extreme. It isn't overly bright running on to the park when the home side have been relegated, and even less so when you are the team who has relegated them. However, I don't believe it was antagonistic in nature, just pure joy. The Wednesday fans invasion was something much different, and those that attempted to attack Palace players should wind up in court, not to mention a banning order for life. It would have been very easy for the situation to rapidly deteriorate.

    My own club Notts County won the title this year (well, one of my clubs...but we won't dwell on Celtic here!) and in the matches where promotion and then the title itself were sealed, we were asked by the club not to invade the pitch. This was to allow the players to celebrate, something we could participate in from the stands, and we did. This is a first at Notts, as in years gone by the fans have always seemed to end up on the pitch at the end of the year, yet the celebrations seemed no less special.

    I myself fail to see the appeal of running on the pitch at the final whistle, as it just forces the players straight down the tunnel. Surely the best plan is to stay in the stands and allow the players to be part of your celebrations, rather than force them to the dressing rooms?

    As for Palace and Wednesday, I hope Palace secure their future very soon, as I wouldn't like to see any club going under. And Wednesday, I look forward to welcoming the good people of Sheffield to Nottingham in League One next year, and enjoying a beer with them up at Hillsborough.

    Some tasty looking fixtures next year, and Wednesday are perhaps the biggest of the bunch. Pity Derby didn't go down, mind!

    Cheers.

  • Comment number 62.

    For the neutrals, it was an entertaining game - if a little low on genuine quality. I feel sorry for Wednesday fans, but their team probably deserved to get relegated on performances this season.

    However, I personally feel Palace have got away lightly. Their punishment for going into administration was pitiful. If football is going to turn itself around financially, then there need to be much harsher punishments for financial mismanagement. Sheffield Wednesday, like a lot of clubs, have a huge mountain of debt - and have done for years. However, they have fought every year to continue paying the bills and have not gone into administration.

    Palace, on the other hand, finally gave in to administration - but at a time when they thought (perhaps foolishly) that a ten point deduction wouldn't take them down. Although it went down to the wire, they were right.

    Personally, I think that the punishment for going into administration should not be a straight, arbitrary points deduction but guaranteed relegation. Why should teams that break the rules and default on paying small local businesses, the St Johns Ambulance etc get an easy ride?

    Palace should have been relegated automatically. The same for other clubs in a similar situation. If you wait til the end of the season to go into administration, then the points deduction you receive should be far more severe - 25 points, perhaps, rather than the standard 10/15.

    This might sound harsh, but it's about time football got its house in order.

  • Comment number 63.

    #57 - And this is where the problem is. Yes I understand that you wanted to celebrate anybody would. At the same time we had just got relegated and were in no mood to celebrate. Unless all sides are prepared to admit to there failings then how is anything going to change. Everybody talking about doing something about it then fine lets do something but all I'm saying is it applies to everybody who went on the pitch. I see very little from Palace fans recognising the part they played. I have made it quite clear what I think of it all and what should happen. All because you stayed up that doesn't give you all any moral high ground in that you were morally right to come out of the stands. How would that work then? Until your fans came onto the pitch there wasn't any sign of trouble. I am not excusing anything that Owls fans did they were totally in the wrong and should be banned and arrested and let the courts decide. Please don't pretend that Palace fans were all innocent though celebrate away but not on the pitch, the idiots knew what they were doing and were equally wrong and so should be treated in the same way.

    Take off the rose tinted glasses and accept your part. There aren't many Owls fans condoning anything that happened what makes you think your idiots are so much better than ours. Idiots are idiots!!!

  • Comment number 64.

    If Crystal Palace are really as skint as everyone seems to think, what happens if they do go bust over the summer ?

  • Comment number 65.

    I am a wednesday fan and I was at the match yesterday. I left as soon as the final whistle blew and i had no idea about any crowd trouble until stumbling across this article. Those people are a disgrace, and they really need to get some perspective.

    To the wednesday fans who attacked Clint Hill and the Palace fans i have this to say: Palace deserved to stay up and We didn't. If you don't believe me then take a look at the league table. Now grow up and act like adults. Well done Palace! We hope to see you in a couple of seasons.

  • Comment number 66.

    While I cannot condone what some mindless Wednesdayites did after the final whistle, you do have to wonder what the police were doing. Palace fans ran past a line of stewards and riot police as if they weren't there! This clearly incited Wednesday supporters. What is the point of having police there if they're just going to stand back and not act until after fighting breaks out? Surely they're there primarily for crowd control? Something they just did not manage on Sunday afternoon.

    Also, nobody has mentioned that Clint Hill was not escorted from the pitch by stewards plural - he was dragged by one steward and a Palace substitute. This was not a man running for his life - he was mouthing off for all he was worth at the Wednesday fans and seemed more than willing to stand his ground. Can't make my mind up if that's brave or stupid.

    I can imagine that SWFC will end up being fined for what happened and that South Yorkshire Police will get away scot free. Nevertheless, whoever was in charge of them on Sunday afternoon should take a long, hard look at themselves.

  • Comment number 67.

    Tom - I think this is where much of the frustration comes from. The winner of the match would stay up pure and simple so results over the course of the season are irrelevant. Based on yesterday's match Wednesday didn't get the decisions they should have done. I've just watched the Football League show and saw Alan Lee elbow James O'Connor in the face in the scuffle at half time going down the tunnel. Another referee with a bit of bottle would have sent Calvin Andrew, Alan Lee and Sean Derry off. Whilst Wednesday players got away with several high foots their nature didn't justify anything more than yellows (in my opinion Andrew's was a lot worse - see above comment why). Palace with eight men would not have got the point they got and to this end Wednesday deserved to stay up, this is what hurts.

  • Comment number 68.

    @44 - Bishboshb

    The circumstances of the incidents you refer to are completely different. Derry (who incidently should also have been sent off - how can you get away with elbowing two seperate players in the face and causing both to require treatment to stop the bleeding, disgraceful) was ducking to head the ball as the owls player (sorry i dont remember who it was) was raising his foot to kick the ball. Accidental. This was also the case for the other two.

    Andrews on the other hand could see he wasnt going to win the ball, went in with his studs showing, six feet off the ground and hit Grant in the face some time after he had already caught the ball. He could easily have lowered his boot and avoided contact (at least with Grant's face). The main difference was that Andrews went in with his studs showing which is a red card wherever contact is made with an oposing player but particularly when contact is made to the face!

    Palace's opening goal was scored whilst O'Connor was off the pitch receiving treatment after being elbowed in the face. Wednesday were denied two very decent penalty shouts, firstly for a push in the box, secondly when clarke was tripped. There was also the decision to allow Clarke's goal to stand. The referee, I thought, had a very poor game and got some pivotal decisions wrong.

    Having said that the game summed up Wednesday's season. Inability to convert pressure and chances to goals and a tendency to leak soft goals at the other end. Our performances have simply not been good enough and the table doesnt lie. Palace deserved to stay up on the performances throughout the season, we deserved to go down.

    I hope Irvine is given the time he needs to build a team that will get us back up and then compete at the top of the Championship. I fear that if results don't go our way early on in League One he may come under pressure.

    Can I also say that I am absolutely disgusted with the behaviour of a minority of so called Wednesday fans who invaded the pitch yesterday and tarnished the good name of our club. I hope they are identified and banned for life and hopefully locked up.

    I really hope that Palace get the investment they need to continue, it would be a massive shame for all involved with the club if they were to be liquidated. Good luck guys and hopefully we'll be playing you again in The Championship in a couple of seasons!

    Up the Owls.

  • Comment number 69.

    Too many people are discussing the numerous incidents that involved someone being kicked or elbowed in the head as though they absolutely know for certain the motivation of the various individuals concerned.

    How do you know one was with intent but another not?

  • Comment number 70.

    Pertaining to Wednesday being reduced to ten men twice because of bloody foreheads, wouldn't it make sense to have a rule whereby the opposing team also has a player (nominally the one who has caused the other player said bloodied forehead) removed from the game for the duration of the treatment to the injured player. It seems unfair that one team gain an advantage from injuring a member of the opposition - intentionally or not. After the Sheffield derby I'm sure there are some United fans that would agree!

  • Comment number 71.

    Or alternatively, allow a 'blood substitute' to take the place of the injured player while they are off the pitch receiving treatment. I believe they do this in one or both codes of rugby. Either way no team gains an unfair advantage.

  • Comment number 72.

    I am a wednesday fan living in chicago and went to hell and back following yesterdays game on line. All wednesday fans will admit that this has been coming for a long time, though it still makes us sick to our stomachs. What makes it worse for me is that the BBC for some strange reason became interested in showing the game live. How did the BBC cameras finish up at Hillsborough? Maybe they had a few spare ones for the snooker at the Crucible and wanted to try them out. Would the game have been televised live if Wednesday were playing a none LONDON club? Somehow i dont think so. I wanted us to beat Palace and really upset the BBC. We even have a guy [Paul Fletcher] reporting on the game and then heading back south of the Watford Gap! Maybe i,ve become paranoid over the years because of the BBC's bias, but onne thing is for sure, we will be back and we will be stronger for it. We have a great manager in place, and without question the best supporters in the country.
    On a final note, the [so called] Wednesday fans who caused problems at the game love all the publicity they get. I think they should be banned for life after attacking innocent palace fans. Somehow i dont think these tough guys would have attacked a rival group of fans who would have fought back and sent our fans running to there mums! Its easy to hide in a crowd..
    We will be back!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm a neutral who enjoyed a great occasion until the final whistle went.

    No excuse for palace fans going on the pitch...

    No excuse for inadequate stewarding/policing at Hillsborough of all places!

    Inexcusable reaction by Wednesday fans who humiliated their great club by attacking opposition players.

    On a lighter note...bloody hilarious that Clarke disclocated his toe by kicking an advertising hoarding as part of his goal celebration..what a prat!

  • Comment number 74.

    Boydy - I agree with your former point, said that at the time. Hardly fair that a team cain gain an advantage from foul play.

    Paul - Whether or not elbows/feet to the head were intentional or not I don't believe the laws of the game discriminate based on this factor. Whether or not the players had motive it is the act itself which carries the punishment therefore any talk of intention is besides the point. What was evident was that in the cases of Darren Potter and James O'Connor, Wednesday had two players with blood pouring from their heads. Both injuries were caused by the same Palace player who escaped punishment on both occasions despite the good positioning of the referee. James O'Connor's reaction at half time only goes to show his anger towards Derry's challenge and again such scenes could have been avoided if Mike Dean had made the right call in the first place.

  • Comment number 75.

    chicagoowl - I think you've gone a little bit early here with a few assumptions.

    The BBC has a contract with the Football League to show weekly highlights and broadcast a certain number of live games. Would you not have picked the match at Hillsborough on Sunday?

    Yes, I live in London, but I am not from the south. I think if you look at all the Football League blogs I have written then you will see that I do not focus on London or southern clubs. Far from it.

    And as for the suggestion that you wanted to beat Palace to upset the BBC - I would have thought that staying up would have been a greater incentive?

  • Comment number 76.

    Guys and Gals................IT'S A GAME for crying out loud!!!! I understand that emotions run high etc. but put it into perspective. IT IS ONLY A GAME! Rugby (both codes) play a far more physical game than football and how often do you see these kinds of incidents. Hardly ever and if they happen they are dealt with very rapidly normally by the supporters of their own sides. Just have the humilty in victory and the graciousness in defeat to walk over to the oppo's and say "well done mate next time we will try a bit harder". And then go and join them for a civilised beer.

  • Comment number 77.

    Sell By Dave (#62) - as has been mentioned earlier in these comments, Palace were forced into administration by an outside company (Agilo). It was NOT the decision of Simon Jordan, the board, or indeed anyone at CPFC.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    chicagoowl:

    I'm sorry you're talking rubbish. The game was going to be televised because it was a do or die match... nothing to do with the fact that one of the teams is a London club. And the excitement of the match itself vindicated the BBC's decision. As regards to there being a 'london' bias at the BBC I seriously think you're mistaken. We have lots of people commenting on the BBC's Liverpool and MAN U bias all the time.. surely they can't have bias towards every region?? As a Palace fan, I can tell you.. we hardly ever feature in the press or on the BBC... it's depressing. In fact, the coverage this season has largely been due to our administration. NO WAY is there a London bias.

  • Comment number 80.

    The consensus seems to be that we lacked sharpness in front of goal, not that we were completely bereft of talent within the squad. Of the games I've seen this season, we created plenty, executed very little. Therefore it surprises me that so many fans want a wholesale clear-out of the playing staff.

    I will trust Alan Irvine's decisions over the summer as he seems a very astute and intelligent manager, but I can't help but feel as we're dropping down a division there is an inevitable drop in quality, and a good few of the squad of 2009/10 would do a job in League One. However, this would probably mean another overhaul once back in the Championship if we want to keep moving forward.

    If we can get some money for Marcus Tudgay then let him leave - from what I've heard he hasn't been the same player since the failed bid from Burnley, and he certainly isn't going to want to stay now. We could also lose some younger players with derisory bids from Championships clubs, but with the fall in revenue we may not be in a position to say no.

    My problem with recruiting an entire squad over the summer would be that as there is no money for transfers (let's not take the potential investment as a done deal), what calibre of player are we really going to be able to attract?

  • Comment number 81.

    Hi Paul,

    Don't let the reprobates take the shine off what was one of the best games of the season.

    It was a fantastic game for the neutral [which people seem to be missing]. It had everything - blood. Thunder. Passion. One team standing and one team falling.

    I support neither sides and had the urge to give them a standing ovation at full-time [in front of the tv].

    Fair enough the hoolies soured the aftermath with their foolish behaviour - but the guilty parties will be dealt with accordingly.

    Both sides will bounce back but not as fast as the fans will like. However, time does heal wounds.

    And if it looks Red Riding has given the local authorities a bad name, and running pitch battles are going to be a problem, they can deal with them like the Romanians:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2006/feb/08/theknowledge.sport

    Regards,
    TDT

    http://www.thedirtytackle.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 82.

    The last time I saw that many fans on the pitch at Hillsborough on the tv was April 15th 1989 , enough said. Really bought back a few memories.

    As a Luton Town supporter back from today's play off game against York there were even more disturbing scenes at the end of the match which we deservedly lost , home fans charging the away fans & players and police. Totally unacceptable. The last 2 days have not been very clever.

  • Comment number 83.

    Amidst all the emotions at the end of the 'relegation playoff final' this Owls fan couldn't help but notice that there were some, who, in their moment of joy at avoiding relegation, took a moment or two to console and lift to their feet the defeated Owls players laying prostrate on the pitch below us. Witnessing the compassion shown by those few Palace players who remained at the Kop end of the pitch whilst their team mates sprinted to the opposite end to celebrate with their fans, was an unexpected spine tingling moment which interrupted briefly the overriding raw feelings of hurt and disappointment .

    I salute them for their compassion, but not for consigning us to Division 1!!

  • Comment number 84.

    #82 saw that on the news, it seems every end of season pitch invasion is an excuse to run and taunt the away fans.

    How many of those fans will be at the first game of next season?

  • Comment number 85.

    @82

    The Palace fan ran on first. They taunted the Wednesday fan and they got a reaction. Silly really a few away fan against all of Hillsborough. Palace fan should know better.

  • Comment number 86.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the game, even as a Wednesday supporter, and whilst disappointed at the outcome it has to be said this had been coming, and now needs to be seen as a wonderful oppurtunity to rebuild. We have a great chairman, manager, fan base and ground - the playing staff now needs to follow suit.

    With regard to the match yesterday, i thought the coverage was a real disappointment. Mark Brights commentary was the least neutral i have heard, the director appeared inept at the best of times and in a match of such importance this shouldn't have happened; i have always been an advocate of live games on terrestrial television but after yesterday really appreciate the dish on the side of my house....

    Well done Palace, hope Paul hart is given a chance and the club fortunes turn around, to be bitter to you after a season of failure would be stupid on our part - the idiots from both clubs who ran onto the pitch from both clubs don't have a football heart, nor the grey matter in the head so many real fans do

  • Comment number 87.

    my comment above was meant for 84!

  • Comment number 88.

    Paul fletcher, there is and always will be bias from the BBC. Yes of course i wanted wednesday to stay up but i also wanted to send a message out to ther BEEB that maybe they should try and stop the blatant bias that they have shown for years. Wednesday are a MASSIVE club and deserve far more coverage than they have got from the BBC over the years. Palace are a tiny club, poorly supported, and belong in the lower divisions!

    I did find a strange paul that we have a guy travelling all the way from london to report on the game!Hope you enjoyed your visit to Sheffield and wont need directions the next time you visit.

  • Comment number 89.

    We can probably argue decisions till the cows come home, but I've learnt to accept that get some and you don't! I think as every palace fan will agree, on most occasions we don't get them - take the goal that never was at Bristol city, only two people saw that wernt a goal!

    Derrys first collision was a clash of heads and no contact was made with elbow, slow mo clearly shows that! I hvent relooked at the other one yet so can't comment! As for Andrews, that wernt a red card offence, it was too high and clumsy but accidently, if u etch it again you'll see he lost footing on weight bearing leg so no chance to pull away, Ive ever sen him make a malicious challenge in his career either!

    Now I'm not saying it was a foul as it wasn't but wednesdays first could of been stopped, as 8/10 times it would of so it didn't all go against you!

    It was a great game, palace maybe had more luck but we deserved it!

    No excuse for fans, like I said palace didn't need to go on the pitch but it's a world apart from what the Wednesday fans did - throwing objects indisciminately at fans in the stand, including women and children is pathetic. I don't condone vilence at football at all, but like it or not every club has their own 'firm' and generally vilence is kept away from grounds between those people who choose to participate - I don't agree with it but at least it is kept to those who choose to participate rather than targeting innonce people. Some of those kids will probably never want to go again goin by the fear on their faces.

    I can't elieve someone has focused on the fact they saw Clinton hill mouthing off indicating that he was in someway igoading fans - I saw him take a swing at at one fan too when he ran at Clint hill- but I think any person that gets attacked and hit (I saw him take a few to the back of the head) an chased by about 100 thugs woul be swinging at them and shouting, it's called self defence and probably fear too! I hope they get identified and banned but I doubt they will, it wasn't high enough profile for the FA to take seriously. I hope Wednesday aren't fined as long as they do all they can to help identify and ban them then I don't think the club and real fans should be punished. Security services should
    be fined if anyone because I don't think they ever really had control.

  • Comment number 90.

    ChicagoOwl

    What breathtaking arrogance. So Wednesday 'belong' in the upper echelons of the football pyramid because they are a 'massive' club? And because Palace have fewer fans they should be in the lower leagues?

    And here was I thinking that league tables didn't lie, and you always get what you deserve in the end. Or should we just promote all the 'big' clubs and forget about the idea of competition. While we're at it, we can relegate Wigan, Bolton et al because they don't always get 20,000 fans through the gate, eh?

    I really hate this attitude of some fans who assume they have a divine right to play at the highest level because they have lots of fans, or because they have won trophies in the past. So what?

    Your team simply weren't good enough to stay up. Whether you have 1,000 fans, 10,000 fans or 100,000 fans is irrelevant.

    See you in LG1 next year at our 'small' Meadow Lane, with a mere 20,000 capacity.

  • Comment number 91.

    Just watched the BBC coverage again.

    Why on earth did they have Mark Bright as co-commentator rather than a neutral?

    He'd already made his feelings known previously in the week when saying that he wanted Palace to beat West Brom.

    His commentary during the match was typically biased, with the likes of ".... why are we so deep, we keep surrendering the ball to them and we are back defending again......" towards the end of the game.

    I've rarely heard such bias on the BBC, but there again it was a London club.

  • Comment number 92.

    Thisboy.

    Palace are a very small club and you must admit they dont have the fan base to survive at the top. Wednesday have a huge global following and have phenomenal support. Leeds united only have one club in there city, yet the Sheffield clubs [who have two teams] still get massive support. If we only had one team such as Leeds-Newcastle-Sunderland etc we would fill a 60.000 stadium every week. I know it hurts but wednesday are a top six club and palace are a 1st division team at best!

  • Comment number 93.

  • Comment number 94.

    ChicagoOwl

    Nice to see you missed my point there, so I better spell it out in black and white.

    Football is decided on the pitch, not by the number of fans you have. Sheffield Wednesday deserve to be relegated because they were the third worst team in the Championship.

    Your talk of being a 'top 6' club is therefore ridiculous, even hypothetically. Teams become 'top 6' clubs by finishing in the top 6! You've finished 42nd in the football pyramid, and haven't been a top 6 club since 1991-92, where you finished 3rd in the old First Division!

  • Comment number 95.

    Was up with 'the band' on Sunday during the match - they made a magnificant contritution to the atmosphere. Although they were feeling all the raw emotion they kept on going. I know all Wednesday fans will keep on going - Division one is tough and hard to climb out of - but your team is your team - right! and as you say: 'Wednesday 'till I die.
    Thanks for making us welcome on Sunday guys.

  • Comment number 96.

    Wow!!! There's so much bitterness against Sheffield Wednesday. Why's this? What an earth have we done?

    We were relegated because we didn't play well enough.
    Palace were deducted 10 points because they overspent on players and couldn't pay their creditors. If they had have lost on Sunday they would have deserved to go down.

    What do the teams in League One want? The sixth best supported team in the championship (average home gates of 24,000) or a team with 14,000?

    So at least one big crowd for every club in the division.

    We will always be a big club - that's about support and history. We are just not successful.

    I know we all like to see a big person (or club) fail - it's in the English genes, but, honestly, there's a lot of small-minded nonsense in these comments.

  • Comment number 97.

    A pity that Hillsborough, of all places, was the scene of pitch invasions. Presumably those who were on the pitch were too young to remember what happened there & why the fences were put up in the first place. The FA also have a poor record of dealing with these things. When Leeds were bout to be effectively relegated by drawing at home to Ipswich a couple of years ago, Leeds fans mounted several pitch invasions & attacked at least one Ipswich player - during, not after the game. The FA did...nothing.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm sick & tired of reading how Palace deserved to stay up because of their points deduction! NO THEY DON'T they've got a much stronger team than Wednesday, only problem is IT'S A TEAM THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE, BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT. Not the fans fault I know but the fact is the people running the club basically cheated, and as far as I'm concerned they deserved to go down and yesterday was a massive injustice.

    I don't condone the behaviour of the fans that threw punches but the Palace fans should never have gone on the pitch in such circumstances, what the hell did they expect, especially as their fans were goading ours for most of the game. As for Clint Hill he wasn't blamless either, my mate saw him hit a young lad totally unprovoked. However I realy do hope Wednesday can track down all the 'fans' that were involved and ban them.

    I'll leave you with this, I copied it from another blog, it was written by a Palace fan,

    In 2005 Palace were relegated from the Premiership rather than reducing costs, Jordan & Dowie kept the bulk of the squad together & brought back Clinton Morrison. That season ended in play off failure,the dismissal of Dowie & a couple of high profile departures.These departures I suspect are where the notional £10 million profit comes from,however the fees received by Palace would have been less ! Several contracts would have been paid up plus sell on fees & repayments to finance companies(there were rumours then that Jordan had borrowed against sell on values).
    Rather than reduce the squad for the last year of parachute payments,the new manager Peter Taylor was allowed to bring in new players such as Shefki Kuqi,James Scowcroft & Carl Fletcher.All on Premiership wages which were unsustainable in the Championship.
    Jordon appeared to have reunited the club with Selhurst but actually paid an administration fee to a company to buy it & increase the clubs rent from 350,000 pa to 1.2 million pa.One of Jordon`s advisors should have pointed out the folly with that deal.
    Peter Taylor was sacked therefore another contract to pay up & was replaced by Neil Warnock. Warnock did a fabulous job in 07-08 & to assist with the play off charge was allowed to bring three Premiership players in on loan.Palace made the play offs with a 5-0 win over Burnley the programme that day lists a Palace squad of 35 players compared to Burnleys 25, the average wage at Palace would have been much higher.
    On Boxing day 08 Palace for a few hours moved into the play off zone but their form collapsed in the second half of the season.This was influenced by the knowledge that a lot of players contracts were due to finish & not be renewed.Palace again brought in three players on loan in the latter stages.Consequently no fewer than seventeen players were released last summer to reduce the wage bill, with only two arrivals Darren Ambrose & the loan signing of Freddie Sears.
    Since the administrator has come in a number of figures have come into the public domain.The clubs current wage bill is 800,000 per month (despite the huge reduction in the squad),Palace this year according to a quote from Ron Noades will lose just over 2 million (excluding non paid rent).The wage bill last season was 97% turnover which is a ridiculously high amount.
    Last Friday the administrator put out a number of documents online, if any Palace fan or football fan wants to see how badly the club has been mismanaged they can find the link on Palace`s official site.The figures make gruesome reading, so ultimately yes we have cheated & therefore the penalty sadly is fair.

  • Comment number 99.

    Firstly a great blog. A very balanced article and an excellent read.
    As for the game itself I hate to say it but Wednesday went down because they simply weren't good enough. Very simple scenario - not enough goals at one end and too many conceeded at the other. We didn't have a single player get into double figures in the score chats - enough said.
    As for the aftermath fans of either club should never have gone onto the pitch, regardless of the circumstances. No excuses - zero tolerance
    How can South Yorkshire police in full riot gear coupled with stewards standing shoulder to shoulder allow Palace fans onto the pitch in the first instance?
    In such a high profile match, with the exception of the two home sections closest to the west stand, why were the police / steward presence minimal?
    Normally at the end of the last home game of every season there are several announcements made prior to the end of the game advising fans that they must not enter the playing area. Again in such a high profile game why didn't this happen on Sunday? Indeed why wasn't there a note to this effect in the match programme?
    Should the players of both teams take more reponsibility? Some of the antics on and off the pitch (in the tunnel at half time for example)can not be excused, regardless of the ultimate prize that was at stake.
    Never mind - at least we can look to the likes of Leicester and Norwich for inspiration next season and hopefully bounce back at the first attempt



  • Comment number 100.

    Will the nations media apologise to West Ham now? Since pitch invasions and crowd trouble has now occured dozens of times since that Carling Cup game.

 

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