The Eagles / The Glaziers
020 8768 6000
Ground Address: Selhurst Park Stadium, Whitehorse Lane, LONDON, SE25 6PU.
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Crystal Palace Football Club was formed on 10 September 1905 by the builders of The Crystal Palace and initially played its home games at the cup final ground at The Crystal Palace. The club joined the Southern League Second Division in 1905-06 and in its inaugural season was promoted to the First Division, crowned as champions. It also joined the United Counties League, finishing runners-up to Watford. Henry Colclough became the club's first England representative when he played against Wales in Cardiff on 16 March 1914.
The outbreak of World War I led to the Admiralty requisitioning the Crystal Palace and the club was forced to move to the home of West Norwood FC, Herne Hill. Three years later the club moved again to The Nest due to the folding of Croydon Common FC. The club joined the Football League Third Division in its 1920-21 season, finishing as champions and gaining promotion to Football League Second Division. Palace moved to the purpose-built stadium Selhurst Park in 1924, the ground the club play at today. The opening fixture at Selhurst Park was against Sheffield Wednesday and, in front of a crowd of 25,000, Palace lost 0-1. Palace finished 21st that season and was relegated to the Third Division South where it would stay until 1957-58 when it finished in the bottom half of the table and then joined the newly formed Fourth Division. This was alongside the other 11 bottom half clubs of Third Division South and 12 bottom half clubs of Third Division North. In 1960-61 Palace was promoted out of the lowest tier of English League Football and this proved a turning point in the club's history as promotions followed in 1963-64 and 1968-69, taking it back to Division 2 and then Division 1.
Despite surviving in the top flight from 1969 until 1972, the club once again experienced great disappointments when it was relegated in consecutive seasons, leaving it playing in the third tier for the 1974-75 season. This proved short-lived as it was promoted in 1976-77 and 1978-79 back up to Division 1. The 1980s began with relegation from Division 1 in the first season under new owner Ron Noades and this is where the club stayed until it achieved promotion via the play-offs in 1988-89. It also reached the 1990 FA Cup Final only to lose in a replay against Manchester United. The club built on the success of the previous season in 1990-91 by achieving its highest league finish of third and returning to Wembley to win the Zenith Data Systems Cup. It beat Everton 4-1 in the final, its only cup win to date. The following season started promisingly with Palace lying in third place, with two games in hand on the clubs above them. However, following a programme on Channel Four called "Great Britain United", the then Chairman Ron Noades made disparaging comments about the work ethic of the club's black players, although he denies this and insists that his comments were taken out of context. The fall-out soon saw Ian Wright, the clubs talismanic striker, leaving to join Arsenal and the season fizzled out into an anti-climax with Palace finishing 10th. However this allowed it to become a founding member of the first season of the FA Premier League in 1992-93.
The damage from the previous season had been done as with few replacements coming into the squad, Palace went from being a mid-table team to one battling against relegation. Despite an opening day six-goal thriller against Blackburn Rovers which ended in a 3-3 draw, The players who had served the club so well wanted to move on, such as 1989-90 club player of the year Mark Bright. The club's battled through the season and despite having a purple patch in December, looked to have done enough as a 3-1 victory over Ipswich Town left Palace comfortably on 49 points and the only club that could catch them was Oldham Athletic, who had three games remaining and were 9 points adrift. Oldham Athletic then beat Liverpool and Aston Villa to set up a final day showdown with Southampton while Palace went to Highbury to face Arsenal. Former player Ian Wright scored the opening goal in a 3-0 win while Oldham beat Southampton to condemn The Eagles to relegation. It immediately returned to the FA Premier League in the following season after the resignation of manager Steve Coppell. Alan Smith, Coppell's assistant at the club, took over but he was unable to keep the club up and it was relegated once again. In an interesting turn of events, Steve Coppell returned as manager following the sacking of Alan Smith. Yet Coppell was unable to take the club back to the FA Premier League at the first time of asking, losing in extra time to Leicester City the play-off final. The following season Coppell was successful in taking the club back to the Premier League. However, in true yo-yo club fashion the club was relegated back to the First Division for the 1998-99 season. This began worrying times for the club as it was plunged into administration when owner Mark Goldberg was unable to sustain his financial backing of the club.
The next owner was entrepreneur Simon Jordan, who had made his money as an owner of Pocket Phone Shop. The club spent much of its time in the Football League Championship over the next 10 years with a brief spell in the FA Premier League, but the club went straight back down on the last day of the season. Jordan was unable to put the club on a sound financial footing after 2008, transfer embargos were put on and off the club a few times.
The 2009–10 season started in dramatic fashion, as the previous one had. Funds were sparse around Selhurst Park, and, with the club failing to pay bonuses to its former players that had departed the club at the end of the previous season, as well as £250k owed to Bristol City for the transfer of Australian international Nick Carle twelve months before, The Football League placed a transfer embargo on the Eagles in early August, which was lifted near the end of that month. However, it was only another three weeks before another embargo was placed upon the club for more unpaid transfer fees, this time a payment to Ipswich Town for Alan Lee. The financial problems came to a head at the end of January when the club was placed into administration by creditor Agilo Finance, and Brendan Guilfoyle took over the running of the club. Victor Moses departed for Wigan Athletic for £2½m days later, and Neil Warnock left one month later to take over at Queens Park Rangers. Paul Hart was brought in to keep the Eagles up, with Dougie Freedman and John Pemberton both returning to the club they played for as assistant and coach respectively. Following the end of the season, Freedman took over as caretaker after Hart's contract expired. In the close season, the administration dragged on, coming to a head a month after the end of the season when the parties involved were set a deadline to complete deals. The club's future had appeared bleak for a period, before it was announced that agreements had been reached, allowing the CPFC 2010 consortium to takeover the club.
On the pitch, the season was as stressful. Starting with a Freddie Sears goal being disallowed through mysterious circumstances at Bristol City, things were always tough in the league. After another poor start, the Eagles appeared to be building towards a run for the play-offs, when the ten-point deduction for going into administration turned the season into a battle against relegation. Survival was finally achieved on the final day, with a memorable 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, who went down to League 1 instead of Palace. Meanwhile Palace also built up a decent run in the FA Cup. Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers were beaten in a Fourth Round replay at Selhurst Park, as Danny Butterfield scored a 'perfect hat-trick' of a goal scored with each foot and his head. It was the fastest hat trick in Palace's history and the second fastest in the history of the FA Cup. In the Fifth Round, giants Aston Villa were the visitors, and after a stunning free kick by Darren Ambrose, Palace were on the verge of a shock. However, a controversial corner was awarded to the Villains with three minutes to go and Stiliyan Petrov scored to ensure a replay, in which Villa knocked Palace out after a 3-1 scoreline.
For his role in the club's survival, Julián Speroni was awarded the club's "Player of the Year" award once again, making the Argentine goalkeeper the first man to win the award in three consecutive seasons.
During the close season the CPFC 2010 consortium completed their takeover of the club and swiftly installed George Burley as the Eagles' new manager. The new boss swiftly moved to make his first signing was David Wright who had played under Burley at Ipswich Town. Also joining the Eagles were ex Southend FC defender Adam Barrett and ex St Mirren FC midfielder Andy Dorman. The manager continues to look to expand his squad whilst negotiated with those out of contract and free to leave, such as Clint Hill and Danny Butterfield. Already gone are Shaun Derry to Queens Park Rangers and Johannes Ertl to Sheffield United.