The Premiership awaits – but so does obscurity - by David Callam
29th January 2010
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SADNESS and frustration will greet this week’s news that Crystal Palace Football Club is once again in administration.

The club’s position in the Championship will not be helped by the loss of ten points that comes automatically with the news. Those who follow the club may need to ready themselves for third division football next season.

Dreams of a triumphant return to the Premiership are never far from the mind of the devoted fan, but that will depend entirely on who buys the club.

Some years ago there was a suggestion that Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, was interested. Many Eagles’ fans were uncomfortable with the idea, given Colonel Gadaffi’s unsavoury reputation.

But he did have plenty of money to lavish on the club and someone with similarly deep pockets is needed now. Crystal Palace requires a substantial injection of capital – primarily to bring the team up to the kind of strength where it would pose a real threat to Premiership sides.

But it also needs a lot of cash spent on Selhurst Park, or better still, a new stadium somewhere else in the borough. It would be helpful if a new site were better served by public transport to move large numbers of home and away supporters in and out of the stadium quickly and cost-effectively.

I am not a regular attendee at football matches, but I have been a guest at Selhurst Park on a few occasions. Initially I was taken aback by the basic nature of facilities.

I was also underwhelmed by the lacklustre performance of the team. I would have been peeved if I’d been required to pay for the dubious pleasure of watching such mediocre demonstrations of football skills.

With a super-rich owner there are no limits to the club’s future success. It could easily become another Arsenal or Chelsea; a worldwide brand with its own purpose-built stadium and a regular place in European competitions.

But these are tough times, when those with money are keeping a tight grip on it. Without a sugar-daddy, the club is condemned to the status of an also-ran; possibly a struggling semi-pro outfit in one of the lower divisions.

I wish Crystal Palace the best of luck – but I’m not holding my breath.



David Callam is a freelance journalist and the former business editor of The Croydon Advertiser. For more examples of his work and to see what he could do for your business please visit





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