I blogged about the football club I support a while ago and how Crystal Palace has been in administration for a number of months. Despite the Administrator stating a massive interest from parties looking to buy the club, none have come to fruition other than a group of wealthy fans willing to purchase the club as “reluctant buyers”.
The acquisition has moved along and an offer has been made to the creditors, but the future looks bleak. Simon Jordan, the previous owner, and largest creditor by far is unhappy and could delay the club’s sale, forcing players to be sold and even forcing the club into liquidation… i.e. death. Many people believe that the downfall of the club is due to Mr Jordan and the naive mistakes he made. He certainly wasted a huge amount of money and has failed to advance the club other than build a top rated youth academy.
The next few weeks will see if southeast London will lose its professional football club after 103 years. It’s a sad very time. With this in mind, I have been thinking about the death of club I have followed since I was a small child – could I actually support another team?
I enjoy watching football and the rumours and politics behind it, but I know that I could not follow another team. Even if I found a club with similar roots, history, outlook and “feel”, I am sure that it could never feel like a part of me.
My life with Crystal Palace is complex and irrational, built on personal (and family) history with hopes, dreams, disappointments and even the odd achievement. All of this makes it worthwhile and you can’t fabricate history or loyalty.
The football business is flawed and needs to be transformed. I hope that it doesn’t take several large clubs going bust before clubs and the Government get involved to transform the sector. German clubs are not in huge amounts of debt and yet are still successful.
So it could mean that my only football outlet would be the England team* and that’s too depressing to contemplate. There has never been a club versus country conflict for me. England consists of overpaid, spoiled, immature “lads” who play bland football with the result in mind and never the performance. This fails to represent the football I want to see; I want my own team of overpaid, spoiled, immature “lads”, thank you very much.
So the future of the Eagles looks bad, but you could never say that being a Palace fan has ever been dull. The picture at the bottom of this entry is 5 linked photos I took one warm night at a play-off semi final.
* Staring longingly at pictures of Fernando Torres probably doesn’t count as a football outlet.