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Will the Owls or the Eagles come crashing to earth?

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BBC Sport blog editor | 11:22 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

Sunday might prove to be decisive in determining the destination of the Premier League title but for sheer drama the game of the day is unquestionably the relegation shoot-out in the Championship between Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace.

Wednesday occupy the third and final relegation slot in English football's second tier and need to defeat Palace at a sold-out Hillsborough to guarantee their survival.

Relegation would be an unpleasant step in the wrong direction for the Owls and their chairman Lee Strafford, who took over at the club he has supported since childhood on 7 January, 2009, but the club would survive.

For Palace, the future is far less certain - regardless of whether they win, lose or draw.

Crystal Palace players show their frustration after failing to defeat West Brom. It has been a frustrating season for Palace and their supporters

Flamboyant chairman Simon Jordan has faded from view and the play-off push that looked possible under manager Neil Warnock disappeared with the 10-point penalty meted out after the club entered administration in January with debts of more than £30m.

Star man Victor Moses was then sold to Wigan in the transfer window and the funds generated used to paper over the financial cracks, leaving Palace increasingly exposed at a time when finding seven players to fill the bench was proving hard.

Worse still, Warnock departed for Queens Park Rangers at the start of March.

Successor Paul Hart has been unable to pull his team away from the mire in the weeks since, with Monday's match against West Brom typifying the agony and frustration that has been the story of the season for the club's supporters.

A win would have guaranteed safety for the Eagles but, after surviving wave after wave of attacks, they were denied victory deep into injury time when Marek Cech pulled off an improbable goal-line clearance.

Yet it could get a whole lot worse for Palace and their suffering fans.

Not only do they face the prospect of relegation to League One, the money that is currently keeping the club's head above water finally runs out on Monday.

CPFC 2010, a consortium led by local businessman Steve Parish, appears to be Palace's best hope of salvation.

It has been given preferred bidder status by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who has admitted that he will have to start selling off the club's players if there is no new investment by the start of next week.

But the situation is complicated.

Palace do not own Selhurst Park. In fact, it seems, nobody does because the company that owns the ground, like Palace, is in administration.

It has been widely reported that CPFC 2010 will only take over at Palace if it can arrange a deal to buy the ground as well. But - and stay with me here - the publicly owned Lloyds Banking Group, the major creditors on the stadium, may not sell it to CPFC 2010, whose bid is apparently not the biggest anyway. And if the ground is sold to a developer, then who knows what the future holds for the club.

I have been told by one Palace insider that relegation on Sunday is not a factor in whether a takeover materialises.

But if, as has been reported, CPFC 2010 is a reluctant buyer of the club then it hardly stands to reason that its enthusiasm will be enhanced by the prospect of third-tier football.

As for immediate funding to keep the club afloat, It may well be that, on Monday, the Eagles will ask the Football League if they can receive their "solidarity payment" early.

The exact figures of the payments will be discussed at a Football League meeting on Thursday but the amount will certainly be much greater if Palace remain a Championship club - a reported £2.2m against £325,000.

Manager Hart is not immune to the uncertainty engulfing the club. Appointed on a short-term deal at the start of March, the 56-year-old is at his third club this season after spells at Portsmouth and QPR. Whether he is at Palace next season is anyone's guess.

There are no such worries for Wednesday boss Alan Irvine, who will be in charge in August regardless of Sunday's outcome.

Irvine, surprisingly sacked by Preston in late December, was put in charge at Hillsborough in January, and four wins from his first five games suggested the club would climb out of trouble.

The revival was short-lived but Strafford remains convinced he appointed the right man to direct the club's long-term revival on the field.

Off the field, Strafford is committed to the two-fold plan that he announced upon his takeover. He wanted to "fix the Sheffield Wednesday family" after a period when the relationship between the supporters and the previous owners had become fractured as well as unearth much-needed new investment for the club.

In choosing the well-respected Children's Hospital as shirt sponsor as well as reducing ticket prices for Sunday's game, he has at least shown a grasp of how to connect with the local community.

wednesdayfans595.jpg Wednesday will be cheered on by a full house on Sunday

I would be very interested to hear what fans make of Strafford's tenure so far - but I suspect his reputation will be enhanced if he manages to make good on his pledge to bring in new funds to strengthen the playing squad.

American syndicate CLUB 9 SPORTS announced their interest last November. They believe the Owls can become one of England's top 20 clubs and have already made it clear that relegation would not affect their plans to invest. There are also several other potential investors.

The Owls claim they are confident of an injection of cash whether they are a Championship or League One side next season. Furthermore, they are adamant that, despite debts of more than £25m, their finances are under control and there is no possibility that relegation leads to administration.

Wednesday might be in better shape than Palace but there is no question that the prospect of relegation is a stressful issue for both clubs.

Strafford has spiced up the encounter by suggesting that Palace should have been relegated as a consequence of entering administration for a second time.

The gist of his argument is that the strength of Wednesday's playing squad has suffered as a result of belt tightening at the club, yet Palace have escaped with a 10-point penalty after failing to control their finances.

All the ingredients are in place for an afternoon of high drama, tension and excitement in front of more than 37,000 supporters at Hillsborough and countless others watching the match live on BBC television.

Relegation will be a blow to supporters of either side but if Wednesday go down their fans can at least take solace in the knowledge that they will definitely have a club to support next season.

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

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    Great blog - thanks for the details analysis of the great battle that will be played out on Sunday!

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    How can a club go into administration TWICE! Im sorry, but its a disgrace.

    I'm a Leeds fan, but i agree with Straffords comments, Palace should have been handed a much sterner penalty for this, its ridiculous.

    I hope Wednesday win to be honest. Even if they do hate Leeds, i think they are a good club, with good loyal fans, and a Chairman who at least talks a good game. Good luck to them this weekend.

  • Comment number 7.

    From a Wednesday point of view, I feel sorry for the Palace fans that their club has been mismanaged to such an extent and no football fans want to see any club forced out of existance. However the financial troubles of both clubs are brought about mis-management and that fact that Palace have been in administration now TWICE (it was during the first administration period that they lost their ground?) shows that something has to be done.

    Lee Straffords arguements about whether the punishments for entering administration are severe enough (Palace beat us to two players over the summer as they were presumably offering higher wages - turns out they couldn't afford to pay that much) are probably best left until after the weekend. In my opinion those comments are only likely to fire up the opposition even more.

    Hopefully both clubs will be able to put aside the off-field troubles for one afternoon and produce a good game which Wednesday win! Bioth teams have played some good football this term but in Wednesdya scase have lacked cutting edge at the right time. However, knowing our luck, my money is on a Palace victory by a single goal which is probably offside/handball/from an incorrectly awarded free kick or some other such misfortune.

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    There is a difference of opinion in Sheffield on Mr Strafford, many view him as the messiah who cant put a foot wrong in their eyes. Just as many people view him as a spin merchant due to his false promises regarding investment.

    Unlike the last time we went down to league 1 I have no fears as I believe we have the right manager to bring us back up, whatever happens on Sunday one thing is clear we need a complete clear out this summer as the only person worthy of a shirt this season was our goalkeeper Lee Grant (who will no doubt be sold).

  • Comment number 10.

    I imagine the majority of the world will have their eyes fixed on Liverpool v Chelsea this weekend. It's a shame. The most important match this weekend is Wednesday v Palace and in front of a full Hillsborough with the supporters in full voice, any neutrals who choose the Championship game over the Premier League one will get to witness football at it's best.

  • Comment number 11.

    Palace should call upon Neil Warnock for one final match. To keep Palace up and send Wednesday down - Warnock would be in his element. Are there any staff of the BBC Sport not in Sheffield this weekend - either at Hillsborough or at the Crucible. Wednesday need snookers!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    The ground was seperated from the club by former owner Ron Noades who sold the club but kept the ground. When people say Palace have been in administration twice please remember that the last time was in 2000 so there has been a decade in-between. The points deduction is the penalty for going into administration - not relegation - so Mr Stafford should try reading the rule book.

    The main tradgey of Palace going down is that in order to cut costs they may scrap their academy. Not only is it a good academy regularly producing players for the first team but it is an important route for kids in Croydon into professional football and the club does a lot of work with the community.

  • Comment number 13.

    What is interesting here is that whoever drops, there will be a manager in charge of two relegated clubs in the same season.

    If Wednesday go, Brian Laws, if Palace go, Paul Hart.

    Wonder if this has happened before?

  • Comment number 14.

    C'mon Wednesday, the satisfaction of seeing Simon Jordan taken down a peg would be great! Plus a team with great history, stadium and tradition should not be in League 1, whereas Palace have none of these.

  • Comment number 15.

    Wednesday need snookers!!!

    -------------------------------------

    That's a ridiculous comment Wednesday don't need snookers, they just need all the colours. The crowd here in Sheffield know their football Clive and the applause shows they know this frame is safe.....

  • Comment number 16.

    Kriswith,

    Apologies - I thought the ground was sold to keep it away from the administrators when you went into administration 1st time round.

    Strafford knows what the rule book says. His arguement is that Palace have borrowed money from all sorts of places to keep spending (that may not be 100% true but it's what it looks like from the outside) and that has ended up with them in administration yet still with a chance of staying in the division. Wednesday have not increased their debt over the last few seasons by consistantly having a wage bill in the bottom third of Championship clubs plus selling our best player for the last few seasons (Glenn Whelan, Chris Brunt, Majid Bougherra). IF Wednesdays policy sees them go down while Palaces policy sees them stay up, there is an arguement that a 10-point deduction is not sufficient deterrent to stop owners gambling with the future of football clubs. Put another way, it would have been to our (short-term) advantage to increase our debt to buy more/better players and stay in the division.

  • Comment number 17.

    why should the palace players or fans be punished for the financial mismanagement of the club ?
    Man Utd are over £700 million in debt !! why are they not docked points/relegated/barred from European football ?
    Surely, as with any other business, the people who mis-managed the club should be held to account and barred from any part in football ever again, how has someone like Peter Ridsdale, who ran Leeds Utd into the ground, been allowed to run Cardiff City into the ground ? what did Cardiff City fans/players do wrong ?

  • Comment number 18.

    Re: 17

    I'm not 100% sure but I think Man U is fine at present because their networth exceeds their debtload and, if needed, could pay off the debt with selling the club. Whereas I'm not sure if that's true in Portsmouth's or Crystal Palace's situation. Hence administration.

  • Comment number 19.

    Now then - thanks for the comments.

    capiTeno - Palace fell behind on payments to their creditors, as far as I know United have not. Owing money is one thing, not paying your debt another entirely.

    As for the issue of fans being punished for the failings and misdemeanours of an owner - yes, that is the brutal reality. Strafford himself made it perfectly clear this week that he has the greatest sympathy for Palace fans. But if a club is not punished for living way beyond its means because it will upset the fans, then football would be in a very sorry mess indeed. And by that I mean much worse than it currently is.

  • Comment number 20.

    Regarding the points deduction, I feel that there is again bias in the way clubs are treated. Last season Rotherham and Bournemouth had 17 point deductions due to previous mis management off there pitch and Luton had 20 points. I have no beef with Palace as a club but I do think that the Football League needs to be consistent in its dealings with clubs on this issue.

  • Comment number 21.

    You miss the point. I understand why Palace and Pompey are in administration, what I'm saying is that by deducting points or relegating a team you don't punish the people who've caused the problems. Simon Jordan isn't in administration and is free to own any other football club he wants to, where's his pnishment ?

  • Comment number 22.

    Completely agree with Rich_Owl. Whichever way you cut it Wednesday have tried to do things the right way whereas Palace haven't. In fairness to Palace though that is the way that the vast majority of clubs are now run so it's not out of the ordinary, even if it is against the spirit of the game.

    There's a few things thatI've considered:

    1. If Palace hadn't gone into administration, Wednesday would already be relegated.
    2. If Wednesday had borrowed and overspent in the same manner that the vast majority of other clubs in the league do, we may well not be in the position we're in.
    3. If Palace, post administration #1, had taken the same approach as Wednesday are doing they may not have even been in this division in the first place.

    You see, for everyone with even a passing interest, football is a matter of opinion. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that there should be legal recourse for clubs in the position of Palace/Portsmouth/Chester/Bournemouth/Leeds et al to take action against the executives and directors who got them into so much financial trouble.

    As much as it pains me to say it, Palace don't deserve to go down - I hope they do, because I don't want to see Wednesday down there again, but I don't think the fans deserve that. We haven't been good enough this season on the field, their senior management haven't been good enough off it for years . . . .

  • Comment number 23.

    Bear in mind that unlike most of the other clubs mentioned, Palace didn't go into administration voluntarily as a way of avoiding their debts - we were forced there by a hostile creditor (am I allowed to call them loan sharks?) who I believe we were actually paying on schedule.

    Their loan of £5m was secured against player sales, and because HMRC had issued a winding up order they got worried that they wouldn't be able to recoup their investment so put us into administration in an attempt to force player sales (only Victor Moses was actually sold, for a cut price £2.5m).

    If they hadn't blinked then Palace could well have been in the play-offs rather than facing relegation, and if we'd won, they would have received their money in full in the summer. As it is, they won't receive their money any earlier.

    And to those who have said that Simon Jordan hasn't been punished, he is one of the major creditors (principally because he has personally guaranteed our overdraft), and stands to lose several million pounds

  • Comment number 24.

    re: 13

    Andy I believe the manager at Wednesday's cross city neighbours, Kevin Blackwell, was manager in both Leeds and Luton's relegation seasons in 2007.

  • Comment number 25.

    Paul,

    I like your blogs normally but you need to get your facts straight as do all the others that keep talking garbage.

    Palace did not voluntarily 'ENTER' administration.

    Agilo who were a creditor were woried that they would not get their money back if we were liquidated by HMRC the following day, so they called the Administrators in.

    The defaults were on players wages and a couple of other less important things, but we had not defaulted with Agilo. Iy has also been mentioned that SJ called Agilo's bluff on the issue of them calling in the administrators and lost.

    Ultimately, our biggest creditor is Simon Jordan as he is owed about £20M of the £25M debt. He basically ran out of money as he suffered alot with the financial crisis. Dubai's issues were apparently what killed him.

    SJ has made many mistakes, but he has invested alot of money in CPFC. We have an academy which was funded by him. It's why he was so upset with the JOhnny Bostock situation just like every other CPFC fan and why he said he wanted out. He failed to sell the club since mainly because we don't own the ground and because SJ and Ron Noades hated each other. His biggest mistakes were pulling the wool over everyone's eyes regarding the fact that he had got a third party to buy Selhurst Park. The buyer then went into administration hence the complicated issues with reuniting the ground with the clu - which is what CPFC2010 consortium are trying to do.

    Ultimately, Mark Goldenberg killed our club and prior to him, Ron Noades because he was a tight git and he failed to capitalise on our performances during his tenure.

    Can you all please stop bashing CPFC and saying we should go down because of administration. Our situation is different to all of the others, and to the last time when we went into administration - Note we beat Stockport County to stay up that season.

    The debt we have is mainly with our now former owner.

    Otherwise, I hope we stay up and that our club survives..

  • Comment number 26.

    I am sick and tired of reading comments about the "financial mismanagement" at Palace from people who simply do not know the facts.
    Whilst a case can be made for financial mismangement on the part of Jordan (amongst a number of questionable financial arrangements it seems he gambled that he could persuade a creditor, who were in administration themselves, to wait a bit longer for their money), Palace as a football club on the field have not benefited from any "financial mismanagement".
    Palace do not carry comparatively high amounts of debt, they have not spent massively on the transfer market not do they have a comparatively high wage bill. Selhurst Park has had little or no investment for years.
    In fact the only area where Palace seem to spend more than others is in their Academy and to be penalised for investing in that just doesn't seem right.
    I'm not going to defend Jordan and his methods of dealing with Palace's creditors but I will suggest that all Championship clubs carry debt, in some cases a significant amount of debt, and it is the management of that debt that keeps the majority of clubs alive.

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh, and SWFC are lucky that they have a patient bank in charge such as The Co-operative bank. They are one of the few that didn't suffer so badly in the current financial mess. Also, they probably do have bigger attendances today than Palace. They also still own their ground as far as I know.

    SWFC are very lucky that they have patient bankers compared to us who had a loan shark. WE all know about loan sharks now don't we?

  • Comment number 28.

    Thank you #25 CARL and #23 MrStatto for explaining the administration FACTS in detail.

  • Comment number 29.

    Palace (Leeds/Luton etc) fans and players have done nothing wrong
    Owners/management (for whatever reason) have
    Who should be punished ?

  • Comment number 30.

    CARL - I'm sorry that you feel that way. I rather thought that I hadn't suggested that Palace had voluntarily entered administration - and I'm pretty sure I did not say they should be relegated.

    I heard from a good source that Jordan was shocked when Palace were put into administration and he spent a period of time trying to find out whether club would be docked 10 points.

    Do you accept that there were financial issues at Palace, otherwise Agilo would not have been able to force the issue?

    I certainly agree with the Palace fans who suggest it would be a real shame if they lost their academy. Plenty of young players have stood up over the last couple of seasons and it has proved to be a valuable resource for the club.

  • Comment number 31.

    With all due respect to the Palace fans who claim that their finances were under control and that the 'bad guys' Agilo pulled the plug unnecessarily, why were HMRC issuing a winding up order?

  • Comment number 32.

    Paul,

    "Do you accept that there were financial issues at Palace, otherwise Agilo would not have been able to force the issue?"

    Of course there have (are) financial "issues" at Palace - we wouldn't be in Admin if there were not!! BUT any good accountant would find financial "issues" at virtually any football club today. Even ManU have big enough financial "issues" to concern enough fans that yellow and green seem to be the team colours.
    It is how the Chairman/board manage those financial "issues" that matters.
    Palace are currently being penalised because our Chairman could not sucessfully manage the creditors NOT because he "cheated" to gain an advantage by (comparatively) overspending on the transfer market or salaries.

  • Comment number 33.

    Paul, I only addressed the article to you but it was in fact aimed at everyone.

    The reason I addressed it to you though was because you have commented on it in your article.

    I have read so many people say Palace should be punished/relegated because they entered administration. They didn't.

    We did have financial issues, yes, because SJ ran out of money and he made some errors in his time.

    My issues are 1) not that we had debts - we did - but so do most other clubs for various reasons and 2) the comparisons between us and other clubs in administration. What has happened at Portsmouth is far different for example and massively inexcusable as is what is being rumoured about Hull City. Both clubs gambled in the Prem and lost.

    Palace's problem is the fact that since relegation, for many reasons, many of our fans have disserted the club until the day we entered administration. Many of these reasons I understand, but we ultimately were not getting a big enough turn-over and our rent repayments which were £1.2M a year for S.Park are what crippled us hence why we have lost so many players over the last couple of years and not signed anyone else.

    So, we have been unfortunate and our fans have been a bit disloyal at times - something which has been debated on our own boards on 606 and elsewhere.

    Apologies again Paul for only adressing you, but your article is not innocent.

  • Comment number 34.

    Oh Simon Jordan and Neil Warnock -along with everyone else at CPFC were shocked about going into administration. It was actually what made NW leave in the end. He had the wind knocked out of him as did SJ when Bostock was sold for peanuts.

    We were trying to service our debts.

    Did you know that Jose Fonte didn't want to go to Southampton but was 'told' to go because we needed the money.

  • Comment number 35.

    Without doubt, the financial problems at Palace have been a long standing issue, but a lot of it seems to have come down to bad timing.

    Before Administration, Palace were set to sell Victor Moses for a fee of around £5 million pounds, but after the Loan Shark...sorry Hedge Fund decided they would get Palace put into administration, the fee for VM was halved. How is that right?

    Post 12 by kriswith makes a more alarming point - Palace look like they may have to close their Academy. This is the pride of the club, and many of the 'bigger clubs' in the country should be ashamed by comparison for the way they run theirs, by picking up young players for the best part of sweet FA from the 'smaller clubs'. John Bostock is a prime example. The club (if it doesn't go under) will suffer and have to feed off the scraps of free transfers to even get a squad together. What motivation is there for any non-Premier League club to run an Academy to the lengths palace have, when it's just a (free) feeding ground for the bigger clubs who spend their money on crazy wages and overrated players.

    Level the playing field - introduce wage caps. Palace and Pompey aren't the only teams with financial issues, and they won't be the last ones to go into administration. Others will follow, and some fans who have posted messages here will be in the position of Palace fans.

    The game this weekend has become about Big Bad Palace against 'family friendly' Sheffield Wednesday. It should be about football, about win, lose or draw, not about money. There is a real possibility that Palace may not exist next season, so Wednesday will always have that to fall back on if they do finish in the bottom 3. I'm sure not even their fans would want to know they only stayed up on a technicality.

    Of course, most people will watch Liverpool v Chelsea this Sunday...but then, does anybody know that life even exists outside the Premier League?

  • Comment number 36.

    CARL and other Palace fans - do you miss Jordan? As a football fan I miss his presence and charisma. I always thought that to be wrong-footed by his sharp Cockney geezer image would be to fail to appreciate a sharp and agile mind. He clearly understands the value of a good quote but I always thought that he talked a lot of sense.

  • Comment number 37.

    # 31 Rich_owl

    I don't think you find any Palace fan who in all honesty will claim that our finances were under control.
    However I do think you will find all Palace fans will question the misunderstanding that everyone seems to have jumped to, that we somehow benefitted from the fact that our finances were not under control.


  • Comment number 38.

    With regard to Strafford's comments you do have to question how valid his concerns are. Simon Jordan is by far the biggest creditor at the club, and it strikes me that I can't recall hearing about Palace being pressed by HMRC, like so many other clubs have been this season.

  • Comment number 39.

    Oh, whilst it may change after the elections, and if we fold anyway, Croydon COuncil have stated that they will block any redvelopment of S Park unless it is for a sports ground- It's got preserved status for now.

    As regards CPFC2010 consortium, they are very big Palace supporters. They don't want to run the club but they don't want it to fold. I think they are waiting to see what league we are in before they put in a valued-offer for the ground hence the £3m so far.

    The one thing I am disappointed with is if Lloyds are now holing out for £6M, why on earth was the ground valued at £12M and £20M by Noades and the other company? I wish I had a spare £6M now. Do you know the EuroMillions numbers for this weekend?

  • Comment number 40.

    Hi guys. Let me prefix this by saying that i'm a southampton fan so i understand how frustrating this situation is and sympathise. However what I want to know is how the club were able to amass such debts ? Surely if SJ had to finance the club to the tune of £20 million then there were serious issues to be adressed, simply put, if you're leaking money you either need to increase revenue or decrease expenditure rather then simply sure up the ship with more cash. Now don't take this the wrong way but this could be a good thing for Palace. SJ wont see you go to the wall but a real clear out may start here. Maybe things will start from scratch with Palace rebuilding a new side on the cheap in the league below and renting selhurst park from whoever purchases it. With some luck the local council will step in to help maintain the stadium as a focal point of the community. Anyway good luck guys !

  • Comment number 41.

    Finally Paul, maybe the reasons for debt in football should be written about. It would be a long never-ending debate. Good one though. And the new parachute payment plan will only worsen the situation. Money needs to be distributed in the game more evenly.

  • Comment number 42.

    Paul Fletcher,

    Yes there were financial issues at Palace but none of which amounted to cheating. We hadn't made a 'paid for' signing for over a year before administration, had sold or released a squads worth of players and had given debuts to more academy players than any team in the top four divisions in that time (Bostock, Djilali, Comley, Moses, Scannell, Clyne, Hills, Cadogan, N'Diaye, Ashley Robinson, Zaha, Kudjodji)

    A hostile creditor took action to guarantee getting their money back even though they were being paid regularly and on time. The irony being that if the club folds next week, they won't get all their money back.

    Jordan made some atrocious financial decisions in his time at Palace (the loan with Agilo, getting Paul kelmsly to move our ground into the hands of PWC who then went bust and putting millions into the pyramid scheme that masqueraded as a pool for clubs to pump money into - that only Jordan did before it went under) but none of them come close to the financial doping of Leeds and Portsmouth. Our record signing is still Valerian Ismael for £2.5m in 1998 for God's sake.

    Can you please stop perpetuating the myth that Palace overspent to get where we are now. The money dried up; it's a completely different thing.

  • Comment number 43.

    Do I miss Simon Jordan? Mostly yes, but due to his errors in running the club, partly no. He did talk alot of sense. He did speak his mind, and that did get on peoples nerves, but...

    he was right about agents. At the time of him saying what he said the agents weren't regulated as much. They since have been. ANd the figures quoted at Portsmouth for agents fees for sometimes next to no work are testament to why fans including Jordan despise them.

    He was right to retaliate against STeve Bruce when Bruce walked out. Even Bruce regrets that moment - he said he knew it was a special team and would have liked to have seen what happened if he'd stayed.

    He was right to go for Dowie after Dowie lied about leaving the club to move North, closer to his family, by all of about 15-20 miles max - to Charlton.

    What he said about Gold and Sullivan was because Gold is also a big character and ultimately they clashed.

    And the theatre on the last day when we were relegated from the Prem on the last day at CHarlton was because he was sticking up for his club and employees/manager and most importantly - his brother.

    He made some mistakes. The biggest was calling Agilo's bluff. He was in charge when we had our academy though.

    Again, I will re-state that SJordan is our biggest creditor and he is owed the most money. Agilo are loan sharks who are the most impatient creditors going. Have you ever seen Mean Machine?



  • Comment number 44.

    dominic,

    SJ did try bringing our costs down, mainly because he wanted out as he was gutted by the Bostock saga. He put alot of money into Palace and came unstuck when he suffered greatly in the current climate - particulary after the Dubai situation. That was his nail in his coffin financially.

    I will sya again, if we maintained a 15-16000 attendance over the last season or so, we may have been a bit better off, but we have rarely had over 15000 this season. I haven't been because I am unemployed and broke. I am now in CHina trying to find work with my Chinese wife. I do wish I could have gone more. I do wish I had £6M for Selhurst Park. They can pay me £50k a year. I would be happy. Palace would have a home and be safe as they would have bricks and mortar to service their debt which is what they didn't have which is why we were put into Admin by Agilo when they were scared by HMRC's efforts.

  • Comment number 45.

    Most Wednesday fans consider Lee Stratford as the mesiah, my own opinion is he is a charlatan, he doesn't control Wednesday, the board essentially is still Dave Allen and the old foggies as they are still the main shareholders. Results on the pitch have borne this out, this is one of the worst Wednesday teams in recent memory, they have gone backwards, the table doesn't lie.

    Lee Stratford keeps on promising new investment, must have done on 4 seperate occasions in last 15 months, nothing has materialised. Americans must be daft to invest in English football, especially when Wednesday are £25m in debt, maybe they will use it and sell it on, who knows.

    Now the task in hand against Palace, Lee Stratford should be careful what he says about Palce getting away with it, if Wednesday got relegated, we may go into administration, as unfair as it is that Palace have been in administration twice, Wednesday should get their own house in order first before having a go at others.

    The match on Sunday is important, lose and Alan Irvine may even leave, League One is not a walkover as Leeds have found out, Wednesday have had enough chances to go through the doors of safety in the last 10 games and bottled it every time, this is the last chance, the gut feeling is they will do it at the last chance saloon just like the Hollywood film, but it wouldn't surprise anyone if they cocked it up spectacularly.

    C'mon Wednesday!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    TheTomTyke,

    We were small compared to the issues facing Chester City, CArdiff City and particularly Portsmouth FC all at the same time. HMRC were on a roll and a mission trying to get their money back from all. The only thing that stopped HMRC succeeding is HMRC are not regarded as a key creditor (there's another term for it).

    I should state that this is in the event of administration. So it's a case of pay-up or liquidation. As the most high-profile creditor, SJ paid them and was trying to come to a re-arrangement with Agilo hence the players being used as collateral against the debt with them. Agilo agreed temporarily. Then they called in the Admin the day before the court hearing with HMRC. We didn't have their money I hear.

    The problem was that all these teams mentioned were in dire straits more so than some and so HMRC wanted their money.

  • Comment number 47.

    #37 CT_Palace

    It could be argued that you spent cash on new players over the summer, and held on to players on higher than you could afford wages rather than trying to sell them (even for less than they were probably worth). Both of these actions would benefit you on the pitch and take money away from the taxman. Likewise you signed darren Ambrose in the summer and his wages could have gone to the taxman. And it was taxmans actions to recover thier money that made Agilo blink? I'm pretty sure that clubs would have been willing to take Stern John, Scannel, Danns and possibly Speroni off your hands last summer?

    Personally I wish Palace all the luck in the world (after Sunday, of course) - I've always had a soft spot for then since the FA Cup finals with Bright and Wright. But I think to suggest that Palace are a victim of circumstance is pushing it. Their financial plight is the result of poor decisions by the club management (selling Selhurst, borowing from Agilo being two contributing factors).

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm sick and tired of hearing how we've "cheated" and "overspent" and "deserve further punishment" from some fans.

    In the five years since we were relegated from the Premier League, player sales have totalled £11m more than player purchases. That isn't overspending.

    And to the comparisons with Luton, this administration was under completely new management to the last one, and so has little connection. In fact it is a brand new business, CPFC 2000 Ltd. If the Football League tried to take retrospective action to ensure we are relegated, I'm pretty sure they'd be in breach of their own regulations and the law. So please, such talk ends here.

    Let's go and send Wednesday down on Sunday. Until now I was saying that I'd be humble in victory if we do pull it off. Not now.

  • Comment number 49.

    The level of sanctimony from both Strafford and a number of Wednesday is quite frankly ridiculous. Yes, Palace fully deserved the ten point deduction. Despite the fact that we did not voluntarily go into administration, a fact to which both Strafford and the majority of Wednesday fans seem oblivious, Simon Jordan clearly mismanaged our finances. However, the agreed sanction in place for going into administration is 10 points as everybody knows and agreed to at the beginning of the season. For Strafford, whose team have accrued 12 points less than us this season, to suddenly come out and decide he wants a change of rules because it suits at this point in the season is clearly ludicrous.

    Moreover as a club Palace have been in administration twice in the last decade and a bit, but under two separate legal entities and two separate sets of owners. The only constant between the two periods of administration is a thoroughly unlucky and long suffering set of fans. So frankly, yes, automatic relegation for having gone into administration twice would be punishing solely them, not Mark Goldberg nor Simon Jordan.

    Also, for a Leeds fan (comment number 6) to get on his high horse when they royally shafted their creditors and were given a 15 point deduction for exiting administration without a CVA is particularly galling.

    All that aside, I wish it wasn't coming down to either us or Wednesday as I think Wednesday are a terrific club with passionate support. If we stay up at their expense I wish them all best next season; if they come away with the win they need then equally fair play - we deserved the 10 point deduction and haven't gained enough points since.

  • Comment number 50.

    #49 eagle Andy,

    I agree that Straffords comments are ill advised, but there is little pactical difference between voluntarily going into administration and being forced in because a creditors forces it die to a winding up order being issued by HMRC. Straffords point is that we could have not paid our taxes so as to buy a couple of players in the summer or keep our best ones and not had to sell them off but we didn't. Palace did, eventhough the ended up with them in a situation where they were forced into admiinistration. However, those players may, even with a 10 point penalty be enough to keep palace in the division.

    We deserve to go down. The table doesn't lie. We have a lot of League 1 standard players because we pay League 1 standard wages. Palace pay better wages than us yet can't afford to. The board have continued taking that risk this season. Straffords question is whether they should be allowed to.

  • Comment number 51.

    #50 Rich_Owl

    I fully accept that in practical terms there is little difference between voluntary administration and being forced by a hostile creditor, but I think the latter and the manner in which it happened to us points more to financial incompetence than wilfully attempting to gain an unfair advantage. I don't disagree that we've spent beyond our means - that's patently obvious when you look at the fact we had to take a loan from Agilo in the first place, but if you look at who we've signed in the last 18 months it hasn't been a case of not paying debts in order to gain an advantage on the pitch.

    As I mentioned in my first post, all clubs in the Football League have agreed to the current sanctions and until such a time as it is decided by the League to impose automatic relegation on teams going into administration, which if we're honest with the number of clubs entering admin would result in absolute chaos, I think Strafford would be best served keeping quiet.

    You may well deserve to go down, and certainly you already would be had it not been for the points deduction, but I guess we'll know better on Sunday night. As I said earlier I have a lot of respect for your club, and would have preferred Watford to be the ones to drop, but whether we win or lose I just hope we still have a club next season!

  • Comment number 52.

    OK, plenty of healthy debate, largely it seems about the rights and wrongs of Palace's current situation - why they are in administration, whose fault it is and what sort of punishment they should be given.

    I would be very pleased if you would consider these two questions:

    1 - who will go down on Sunday?

    2 - will someone, CPFC 2010 or otherwise, step in and ensure that there is a club called Crystal Palace next season?

  • Comment number 53.

    27. CARL - Lucky that they didn't have a loan shark? I don't think it's lucky that they chose to borrow money from a 'patient bank', it's good business surely?

    Other than that I agree with a lot of what you've said...

  • Comment number 54.

    52 Paul:

    1) Who knows - if Palace play with the spirit they showed on Monday against West Brom then we should at least secure the draw. If we play the way we did against QPR a couple of weeks ago then I'm not optimistic. Let's wait and see which Palace team turn up!

    2) Let's hope so. The administrator has now called a creditors meeting, which hopefully means he's got some proposals to put to them (I believe these will be online tomorrow). The big question is whether CPFC2010 can secure the ground

  • Comment number 55.

    We have to accept that we are one of the 3 worst teams in the Championship. The league table doesn't lie and neither do our results. Quite frankly we have been appalling this season, a season that has been characterised by lack of effort, lack of commitment, determination and care. Our squad with the exception of Grant have shown little appetite for a fight, offered some woefully unacceptable performances with the minimum of skill or technique. Were it not for Palace's 10 point deduction we would rightly be down. Maybe Lee Strafford could honestly accept this instead of misrepresenting the facts concerning Palace's current plight.

    However, we are not responsible for Palace going into administration, nor are we responsible for their 10 point deduction, nor the fact they blew their golden chance of survival at home to West Brom. So we have a lifeline, a precious opportunity to preserve our Championship status. If ever our team needed a reason to be fully motivated by sheer guts and effort this is it. We can either take this chance by turning up on Sunday prepared to give everything or as in far too many crucial "must win" games this season, fail to perform. We expect to win and cannot entertain any other result. If we can't win, then we don't deserve our place in the Championship. Irvine deserves a true performance, he should demand nothing less. They owe it to him and especially to us, their long suffering but incredibly loyal, passionate fans! Up the Owls!

  • Comment number 56.

    Well done EAGLEANDY! I cannot believe a lot of what has been written on here. Sheffield Wednesday fans seem to be ignoring the fact that their club have the third worst points tally i.e. deserve to go down (at the moment) and are instead trying to pass the buck, as it were, to suggest that Palace should be relegated because of money problems. Insane. Take responsibility - your team are obviously the third WORST team in the divison!!

    We have been docked the points, as per the rules than every team has signed up to and now we all have this scenario of the last day drama, so leave us alone.

    The Wednesday Chairman piping up with some quite irrelevant rubbish about us entering administration twice, is quite laughable. If that's his input to the big game then he might be best served in politics, as that past venture into administration was ten years ago and under a former owner.

    As for the game, I have absolutely no idea. I'd like to say CP are better away from home etc, which we are, but that will surely mean nothing, as will the fact that it will be a full house. It will probably be a nervy 2-2 draw, SADLY relegating Sheff Wed. I say sadly, as SW are a massive club and should be on the cusp of the Premiership, maybe, but i guess bad management has done that to you. That rings a bell.

    Oh, and some other numpty wrote about SW with the history, big club thing and great stadium, etc. Thanks for your input, if it was up to you every team who had a cup final defeat to their name in the last twenty years would be in the Premiership!

  • Comment number 57.

    Re: 52

    I think the game will end in a draw sending Wednesday down.

    A shame as I would like to visit Selhurst Park in League One next season.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm sorry but in the last 5 years, we have made a £10m profit in terms of transfers.

    The only reason we went in this time was the same as last time. Goldberg didn't buy the ground. So we went under because our revenue wasn't high enough because of the ridiculous rent we paid on it and Jordan didn't have the personal money to pay for it, not because we spent big on players.

    So we are completely different to Leeds, Portsmouth etc, especially as when the administrator came in NO-ONE was made redundant because the club was well run.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think that what Strafford has said is absolutely ridiculous. Wednesday have debts of around £25m, Palace of around £32, so the deficits are very similar. Strafford insinuates that Palace are 'taking the easy option' by going into administration, but he really should know that Palace were forced into administration by the Agilo hedge-fund, against the club's will. From this perspective, it is clear that Wednesday have been just as 'mis-managed' as Palace, and when it is taken into account that most of the £32m Palace owe was loaned to the club by Simon Jordan, the owner prior to administration, it becomes clear that the Wednesday debt owed to sources outside of the club ownership is significantly higher. It just so happens that Wednesday's creditors are more patient than Palace's. If both clubs had owed money to Agilo, Wednesday would have been in administration long before us.#

    As for Sunday, Palace have been the far superior team this year, having strictly speaking earned 11 points more than the Owls (plus a point at Bristol City which we were cheated out of by one of the worst referee mistakes in recent years). When all of this is considered, it becomes clear that the team that most deserves to stay up is Palace.

  • Comment number 60.

    Interesting blog again. It shows the financial mis-management is rife in all levels of football as we keep hearing. So maybe for once it would be nice to focus on a club which is managed properly, has no debt and despite every pundit tipping them for relegation, is within one good result of making the play-offs. I am talking about Blackpool. Yes I maybe biased being a fan, but it is about time they got some recognition for the fantastic season theyve had.

  • Comment number 61.

    re :56

    Chris Webb: Get a grip mate. The vast majority of Owls accept we are where we are because we have been, quite frankly, terrible for most of the season.

    I have been saying for the past few weeks, and have even been on the Palace Boards saying it, that I wanted another team to get sucked into the relegation battle simply because I didn't want our club to stay up at the expense of another set of fans who should be watching their team comfertably mid table. We have been given a chance to stay up that I don't think we deserve. As harsh as it is on the Palace fans I hope we take it. That said, I think it'll be a draw on Sunday.

    I have a lot of time for Lee Strafford, but in this instance I wish he'd kept his mouth shut.

  • Comment number 62.

    Paul - who will go down? difficult one to call. A full Hillsborough certainly gives Wednesday the advantage but then minus the point deduction, Palace are twelve points better off than Wednesday. Palace are the better team and the lack of character amongst the Wednesday team would point to Palace getting the point they need.

  • Comment number 63.

    There are other clubs and bigger clubs than Crystal Palace who are further in debt, Manchester United, Liverpool and Rangers are just to name a few, 3 of the biggest clubs in Great Britain.
    I think this Strafford bloke should have kept quiet, is it the faault of the fans? or the players? or the management who take charge of the team every weekend?
    NO!
    It's the fault of their board of directors and their chairman, if you cannot run a business then why are they still working at Crystal Palace, they should be out of a job because they simply cannot do theirs properly.
    Managers get sacked all the time because cannot perform to the level that is expected of them, the board of directors haven't run the club well enough so they should sack the board.

    I do hope that Crystal Palace can win the game on Sunday, their fans don't deserve it, their players don't deserve to be in the predicament they find themselves in, they need one final push and taking the positive result on Monday in to the game this Sunday would be a good start.

  • Comment number 64.

    Wednesday have £25m of debt themselves! What a total hypocrite. We didn't want to go into administration, we were forced to, and there's the difference.

    Strafford is a joke, and I bet he has given the Palace players that final bit of inspiration to help us stay up this year. Thanks mate!

    http://www.detailsofmylife.net

  • Comment number 65.

    Our debt is managed, we didn't need to sell players to pay off creditors, this is because we have lived within our means, however, this is represented in the league table.

    We apparently have the third lowest wage budget in the league and we are third from bottom. That coupled with a distinct lack of effort most of the season doesn't help.

  • Comment number 66.

    Potters Power i'm pretty sure the Chairman and Board of Directors is who Strafford was aiming his comments at.

    His quote of "I feel sorry for the Palace fans" might have suggested he wasn't blaming them.

  • Comment number 67.

    How many currently promoted or play-off clubs have been into administration?

    Championship = Leicester, Swansea
    League One = Leeds, Huddersfield, Millwall, Swindon (twice), Southampton
    League Two = Notts County, Bournemouth (twice), Aldershot, Rotherham, Bury, Port Vale, Chesterfield, Northampton,

    So, out of the 25 clubs that are or could be promoted this season 15 have been in administration and cleared their debts. They are the ones that can now afford to pay their players.

    Wednesday are one of the lowest payers in the division. I don't think Palace are. This is the injustice in the current system.

    Administration means you can aim for promotion a few years later.

  • Comment number 68.

    After reading Wednesdays owner no class Strafford's comments in the press I hope Palace make him eat his words on his own ground.
    Wednesday should have been relegated last saturday if not for the ten point deduction.
    Palace have the third best away record behind Newcastle and WBA .Wed are poor at home in fact their position in the table shows that they are not good enough for the Championship and Palace are in a false position.Palace play their game and they will come away with all three points not just the one that they need.
    Palace can do their talking on the pitch and leave that wednesday owner to complain some more to the media.

  • Comment number 69.

    The comments made by the SWFC chairman are ill-advised and could well backfire.

    Being a Palace fan, I do have a soft-spot for Wednesday. I remember a game back in 1991-92 when Wednesday came down to Selhurst needing a draw to qualify for Europe and after goals from Mark Bright and Paul Williams, that happened. There was a conga line around London Bridge station and I have always found Wednesday fans to be good humoured, good banter and genuinely knowledgeable about the game. Proper fans of a club with history.

    Now, the facts remain that Wednesday MUST win. We do not have to. We can draw and stay up. We wont be playing for one, be sure about it. The main reason for this is:

    If Sheffield Wednesday go down, then there will still be a club next season. You will survive and be a big fish in a smaller pond and will probably bounce straight back up. Peterborough and Plymouth are, to be fair, not in the best state and will find it harder to bounce back immediately next season.

    If we go down, there may be no Crystal Palace next season. In fact, there may not be a Crystal Palace much beyond the final whistle on Sunday. The administrator has chimed, time and again, that there is NO provision after May 2nd.

    I repeat, no provision.

    As a season ticket holder, today I recieved a letter from the administrator, stating that basically, as we have bought season tickets for next season, if there is no club, we wont be getting anything back. (Read into this what you will, that is how I understand it as now fans are creditors)

    Paul - you asked who I think will go down and I have to say that it will be Wednesday. The stakes for Palace are far higher. Players will be sold for pennies, starting at the end of the season. We have no more money.

    No club should face what we are about to. Palace fans, will, remember that this is the third time that we, as supporters, have endured financial hardship and the question of survival. In 1981, Ron Noades bailed us out. In 2000, it was Simon Jordan. Now, we are relying on one consortium trying to buy the club and the ground, as without it there will be no deal.

    Even if we win, the battle has not even begun. While we will get more money from the League, that might keep us going for a bit longer - the future is not only bleak, but the end is well and truly nigh if the bid falls through.

    The end may come as there may well be a club with virtually no players when the takeover goes through. Our players are not on huge wages (now) and in fairness, we did not go mad in the summer. We have not spent more than a million pounds on a player since Nick Carle back in 2007.

    I know that come the end of the game on Sunday, whatever the result, our battle for survival is not over. The fight continues.

    If Wednesday were put in administration, there would not be many Palace fans who would be smiling. Football is a part of all our communities. I do not seek pity for Palace fans - we are proud fans of a club we love.

    If one club goes to the wall, it is too many. Kings Lynn, Excelsior Mouscron (Belgium), Chester City, Newport County, Maidstone United, Aldershot have all suffered and some have recovered, other people have lost something important in thier lives.

    20 years ago, we were in a Cup Final and had the most successful period of our history.

    Tragic, does not even begin to cover it.

  • Comment number 70.

    Without being rude to Mr Strafford.....before he makes comments like that in the press....He should get his facts straight. Crystal Palace Football Club went into administration because a creditor wanted to have his money. Therefore we did not CHOOSE to go into administrator, it was forced upon our players and chairman. Simon Jordan lost a lot of money out of the football club and his property business....but at least he made common sense when he spoke, and found out the facts before he talks to the papers.

  • Comment number 71.

    Crystal Palace fans are getting their knickers in a twist. This is all according to the Yorkshire Post what Stafford has apparently said. This Leeds paper constantly gets it all wrong and make up news as it sees fit, can't believe no other Wednesday fan as picked up on this.

    Back to the main topic is the game. I hope for a good match, and may the best team stay up.

    I would rather it have been QPR or Watford, as I do feel a little sorry for Palace and their fans.


    UTO

  • Comment number 72.

    turns out palace did not chose administration incase anyone missed that

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    if Agilo hadnt put us (palace) in Admin they would have their money by now from the transfer of moses and the income from the cup. Money wouldnt have been thrown at wages as the one thing Jordan did well was make sure he didn't give high wages by giving into demands of agents, the only exception to this is probably Shefki Kuqi.

  • Comment number 75.

    Palace fans in general,

    Straffords comments were poorly timed - I agree they'll only serve to fire up Palace and will probably work against us in that respect.

    Palace fans don't deserve to be in this position. However most of you agree that the points penalty for breaking the rules is warranted. I also don't think Strafford said that palace are taking the 'easy way out'. In fact several times this season some Wednesday 'fans' have said we should 'just' go into administration to clear our debt but Strafford consistantly tells them how disasterous that could be, citing Palace as an example of how much damage administration can do to a club. From that respect some of the criticisms being laid at him are unfair.

    Having said that, he feels we have done a better job at cutting our costs than Palace and have stayed within the rules, yet we are likely to go down and Palace are likely to stay up. One way we have been more successful in cutting costs is that our wage bill is smaller than Palaces, for example. Whether that is fair is then open to debate.

    So, Palace fans as an example, say you stay up this season (congratulations). Next year you have to cut costs and sell your two best players. You struggle as you have no money for new players and have sold your best ones to balance the books, and going into the last round of fixtures you are a point behind, say, Cardiff City who have finally been forced into administration by virtue of having signed three 'Premier League' players over the last two seasons (e.g Stern John, John Oster, Claude Davis) in a gamble to reach the playoffs which failed. Would you ever wonder whether the rules were really doing their job?

  • Comment number 76.

    Paul,
    In answer to your questions:
    1- palace will stay up. Having followed the owls for 30 years, the most likely scenario is that we play well, leading 1-0 or 2-1 going into the last couple of minutes, then conceding a goal which was handball or a yard offside or some such to relegate us. If not then we'll play like idiots and lose 3 soft goals in the first half and completely capitulate.
    2- I hope Palace does survive up to and beyond next season and the fact that Simon Jordan is their main creditor helps then in that respect. For all of his percieved faults I can't see him letting the club fold completely and as such iI would expect that he would consider selling the club and gicing the new owners time to repay his money, rather than demanding it all back as part of the deal?

  • Comment number 77.

    Owls fans (like me) might also spare a thought also for Pal Hart = a really nice guy who played for us in his late middle age - and one who worked his socks off at Pompey and Palace.
    Two poisoned chalices in on season would break most managers but I wish him well wherever he ends up next season.

  • Comment number 78.

    It's only take 77 posts on this blog and a few hundred on 606, but I have finally read some good posts from SWFC fans.

    Please understand that Palace fans have issue with the admin fact as we did not enter it, a hostile creditor did. Your chairman is one such example. And apart from Jordan, our creditors are not owed a large amount.

    Good luck on Sunday. I hope for a Palace win. Whether it will be enough or not we will find out soon after I guess.

  • Comment number 79.

    It is all a sorry tale, a good friend of mine is a Palace fan and we both are upset that either club should be in this position. I would just like to point out a fallacy in the thinking that fans should not suffer because of financial mismanagement.

    In my mind clubs that have suffered from this in general performed well above their capabilities, living on borrowed time and money. Portsmouth is the biggest example, having won the FA Cup on the grounds of massive debts, but the same can be said for Palace and Stockport and Luton etc. etc. Even Wednesday did. Fans enjoy the heady days of victory after victory, hence they benefited from the mismanagement. Not only that, it is often the unreasonable demands of the fans that force clubs down the wrong route, look at our friendly Bramall Lane neighbours.

    You ask what we think of Strafford, and as someone pointed out, it is a mixed bag, in my mind the bloke is trying his hardest, he is definitely a lot more accessible than Allen ever was. I give him lots of credit for trying and so far he has not disappointed yet.

  • Comment number 80.


    Sorry to intrude folks, but the BIG game is Grimsby v Barnet this weekend ...

  • Comment number 81.

    I've read some but not all of the comments so forgive me if I'm repeating anything. I can understand Palace fans are upset with the situation they are in and hate the fact that board room mismanagment can do so much damage to a football club... but in fairness a club like Wednesday that have survived on a tiny budget for years so they can keep up their debt repayments has a right to be miffed when a club like Palace gamble on having a wage budget they clearly couldn't afford to pay (alongside paying their debt which has to be any businesses prioroty).

    I'm not sugesting they had a huge wage bill or spent silly money on players, thats irrelivent, but they did have a budget that was way beyond their means (which is the important thing to remember here).

    They've been in the news several times this season before the admin for paying staff late etc and obviously they were behind on their tax bill. So it was no surprise they were put into admin' especially as they had loans from what their fans describe as loan sharks!!!

    Basically living beyond your means is a gamble, the aim to get promoted or finish in the play offs and get enough prize money to pay back what you owe, IMHO this is cheating, it's OK if you get loans to do this and keep up with the payments as you're only gambling your own money and suffer the consiquences if you fail (as Wednesday did) but, if you do this by not paying money you owe then you're gambling with other peoples money and that IS cheating.

    Nobody can tell me Palace couldn't have tried to survive (as Wednesday are doing) on a smaller squad/wage bill and kept up with their re-payments.

  • Comment number 82.

    Having read through a large amount of what's been written I'm even more convinced that football in general is in trouble. The number of clubs who suffer financial troubles because they had a season or two in the Premiership really does question whether the benefit that league has bought to our game. Beyond that clubs like Cardiff are suffering financial troubles in trying to get into the "promised land". It's clearly had a knock on effect as more clubs than just Palace are suffering throughout the leagues. Even mighty Liverpool are up for sale because their owners just can't afford them anymore. How much longer can this go on? It isn't just Palace or Pompey fans who are feeling hard done by. Clubs who try to live within their means or manage their debts cannot compete in the short run with those who gamble and then go into administration when the gamble doesn't pay off. Is that a fair and level playing field?

  • Comment number 83.

    So many great club with amazing history are suffering relegation and going bankrupt or did in the past.

    Nottingham forest, Leeds United, Charlton, Norwich, Crystal, Wednesday, and I can go on and on.

    In the other hand a club with nothing to be proud of almost no past achievements like Chelsea are dominating because they have money !!

    I really liked EPL in the 90s more and specifically those days when Cantona was with United and Ian Write with Arsenal, good old days.

    I hope some intelligent and wealthy businessmen buy those legendary clubs and build strong squads , maybe one day that top ten of the EPL will be like this:
    (1) Man utd
    (2) Liverpool
    (3) Leeds Utd
    (4) Nottingham Forest
    (5) Newcastle Utd
    (6) S.Wednesday
    (7) C.Palace
    (8) Norwich city
    (9) Arsenal
    (10)Tottenham spurs.

  • Comment number 84.

    Wednesday is still carrying a huge amount of debt.

  • Comment number 85.

    Its clear that Palace haven't taken "the easy way out" by going into Administration. But it also seems clear that it was precipitated by the HMRC because Palace were not paying players their wages. Logic would dictate that if Palace had a lower wage bill this would not have happened. Wednesday do have a lower wage bill.

    This is frustrating for Wednesday fans, who have had to watch the results of this lower wage bill, week in week out this season (and to be fair, for the last 10 years), when it is patently obvious that the Palace team, and many others are better quality.

    Obviously Palace did not deliberately spend more on wages than they could afford, but that appears to be what has happened. I can therefore understand Mr Strafford's comments. If Palace survive and Wednesday don't, it would seem like the rules favour teams who mismanage their finances. However, if Palace go down, and they go pop, they will have done so because of the 10 points deduction and a whole different light is thrown onto the situation. At least it is now what happens on the field which will decide their respective fates.

  • Comment number 86.

    An excellent analysis of the issues involved. As a Palace supporter, I can understand Wednesday's frustration over losing out on players to a club which really didn't have the money. However, automatic relegation is not the answer. The ten point reduction took a club that was on the cusp of the playoff places and sank it into the relegation battle.

    I wasn't aware that Lloyds was involved in the sale of Selhurst Park. It was my understanding that Price Waterhouse Coopers was the administrator. It makes no sense for any prospective buyer of CPFC to not acquire the ground as well. Either the consortium acquires both or neither. We can't continue being leaseholders in our own ground. All that will happen that the financial merry-go-round would continue and Palace would end up facing administration a third time. At that point, being an American, it would mean three strikes and your out. Palace would be rightly liquidated for repeated financial failures. I would point out to PWC or Lloyds that insisting on the absolute top money could result in the liquidation of the club and no one to use the ground. Given Croyden Council's insistence that Selhurst Park remain a football ground, it would behoove all involved to insure that whoever buys one buys the other.

    About the match. It will be a nailbiter but Palace should come through with a late winner. Seffield Wednesday 0-1 Crystal Palace. Then, bring on the machinations that are sure to follow in the close season.

  • Comment number 87.

    In the other hand a club with nothing to be proud of almost no past achievements like Chelsea are dominating because they have money !!

    --------------------

    So why are you getting all misty eyed over Crystal Palace? They have never won a top level trophy in their history. Chelsea were a pretty attractive side in the 1950's and 60's...

    Also Chelsea suffered from huge financial problems in the 1980's as well up until the mid 90's. I'm sure some of the teams you listed would not turn down the type of investment both Harding and Abramovich offered.

  • Comment number 88.

    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 89.

    The simple fact of the matter is, if Wednesday go down, We're 30 mill in the red and in League 1.

    Palace are in the Championship, with their debts wiped.
    That's basically blatant mismanagement without punishment but with reward.

    If you go and spend all your money, but don't have enough to pay your rent, you get kick out of your house.
    Why shouldn't that happen to Palace.
    They should have been relegated when they went into Administration, instead of potentially today.

  • Comment number 90.

    Sad fact is that the Football League take an interest in clubs' finances only when they have reached breaking point. It's an easy way out for them to just dock points from financially stricken clubs and make it somebody else's problem. Until they take responsibility for their member clubs before things get out of hand, points deductions are the only way financial mismanagement can be punished.
    As horrible as it is to see relegation issues decided by review boards and Football League hierarchy, if a points deduction has no impact on a club's season in terms of denying them promotion/play-off spots or relegating them then the punishment is of no consequence.
    As a Bournemouth fan we have sufferred more than most in recent years, but when you look at the books you can see why we had to be punished. But surely the league have to eventually take more responsibility as there is nothing in place that could stop us from doing it all again at some point in the future.

 

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