The Wonder of Warnock
He’s quite possibly the archetypal Championship manager, so it would be remiss of us not to have a word on Neil Warnock. Rumoured for some time, Warnock’s departure from Selhurst Park has taken several weeks and multiple bouts of in-house wranglings at both Palace and QPR to come to pass. In that time, both teams’ form has suffered and they share in common the prospect of a relegation scrap from now until May.
Yet, while it’s likely that Warnock will get the best from a talented squad at Loftus Road, it doesn’t look as though it will get better any time soon down in South Norwood. Palace will receive compensation of around £500,000, which is put into perspective when you consider this sum is less than what they paid Ipswich for Alan Lee a couple of seasons ago. This will go towards paying off an ‘unforeseen’ debt relating to their Selhurst Park tenancy. The money saved on Warnock’s wages, the third-highest of the league’s managers at £15,000 a week, is piddling in relation to the effects his departure will have. It also seems as though Palace will need to go further and loan-to-sell a player or two: to start, Neil Danns might be on his way to Swansea as a replacement for the desperately unfortunate Ferrie Bodde.
Controversy’s unlikely twin Paul Hart has been strongly linked to the Eagles vacancy on Palace messageboard BBS. With stints at Portsmouth and QPR under his belt, Hart might be better placed to handle the pressure than most, but it remains to be seen whether he is well qualified to lead a club out of such a predicament. Palace fans consoled themselves when they went into administration, citing Warnock as the man they’d most likely want in a relegation dog-fight; I’m not sure that the same could be said of Hart.