I speculated in December as to what odds you could get on a Championship club entering administration this season and, less than two months later, it’s all kicked off at Palace after murky creditors Agilo Ltd, a Cayman Islands-registered company, got the administrators involved. The Eagles were, along with Watford, the subject of that post but while Lord Ashcroft came to the rescue of the Hornets before Christmas, there was to be no last minute reprieve here, despite a rumoured last minute intervention by Ron Noades. The former Palace Chairman spoke smarmily on Sky Sports News about the situation yesterday morning, and one wouldn’t be surprised if he were to rear his parasitical head yet again. Whether Palace fans would be open to his return is difficult to assess, but that it should even be an option emphasizes the gravity of the the black hole they are currently engulfed by.
Many fans have harked back to 1999 when the club was placed into administration after the Mark Goldberg
years, comforting themselves with the knowledge that they’ve risen from the ashes before. Will history repeat itself this time around? Palace Fanzine Five Year Plan compares then and now favourably, but from the perspective of neutral onlooker things look ominous. Manager Neil Warnock
hasn’t yet been able to name more than five substitutes in 2010, culminating in leaving just three on the bench in last night’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle. Having such a small squad may have allowed Warnock
to foster an all together now mentality up to this point, but he will have to use every ounce of experience in his possession to steer Palace clear of the bottom three should his cherries be picked.
The Eagles possess an uncompromising Championship spine, but don’t score that many on average. When they do it’s most often Darren Ambrose or Victor Moses on the sheet (their plumpest fruits have, between them, scored 17 of Palace’s 27 goals to date), so it’s likely that these two will be namechecked
freely in the media. Onlooking vultures might also keep an eye on Neil Danns
, who has been quietly reviving his career in South Norwood
, as well as fans’ favourite Julian Speroni
and the promising youngster Nathaniel Clyne
. Should more than two of these players depart, then Palace might have to resort to sub-Warnock
ugly football to stay in the league with Alan Lee’s elbows being called upon more readily than usual. And that’s if an angry
remains loyal and stays the length, too.
For all the wrong reasons, every game from here is ‘huge’ for Palace and in Peterborough
fans could not have hoped for a glummer team to host in their first post-administration game at Selhurst
Park. Like some kind of pre
-Sky throwback, Posh have come up to the Championship with a couple of terraces
and a wave of enthusiasm for lower league pedigree over second tier brawn, but as enigmatic chairman Darragh MacAnthony
confessed a few days ago, this season has been “been nothing short of a disaster”. How attacking both the previous and current management as well as everyone else at the club from “top to bottom” will ease the situation is anyone’s
Reading stories such as that along with the increasing hopelessness of LondonRoad.net
, it is tough to see how a side that has just three wins to their name can emerge from such a rotten fix. The off-field nastiness between the Chairman and Darren Ferguson continues unabated and remains a distraction, and for what is such a long season, it is remarkable how many seem to have accepted that the Posh’s
is already over with 19 games yet to play. Nosediving QPR
follow at home for Peterborough
after Saturday’s trip to Croydon
, so these two games might present a glimmer for blue-tints. Providing, though, that Moses (Victor
as opposed to Owen) is Palace’s only forced absentee, I can’t see past a home win by a two goal margin.