Date:Friday April 3 2009
FACTS AND FIGURES
Nickname: The Eagles
Ground: Selhurst Park - 26,309
Manager: Neil Warnock
League Division One Champions : 1978/79,1993/94
Play off winners: 1988/89,1996/97,2003/04
FA Cup Finalists: 1990
Zenith Data Systems Cup Winners: 1991
Record Attendance: 51,482 v Burnley (2nd Division, 1979)
Record victory: 9-0 v Barrow (4th Division, October 1959)
Record defeat 0 - 9 v Liverpool (1st Division, September 1989 )
Record Buy: Valérien Ismaël - £2.75m - Strasbourg
Record Sale: Andy Johnson - £8.6m+ - Everton
Record Appearances: Jim Cannon - 660
Record Goals: Peter Simpson - 153
In July 2000 Crystal Palace were struggling in the First Division and close to bankruptcy when a Singapore financer, Jerry Lim, bought them and immediately resold them to Simon Jordan. Jordan, a lifelong fan and successful business man set to improving the fortunes of the run down club starting with the dismissal of manager Steve Coppell following a poor pre season which saw Palace losing to a few non league outfits.
His replacement was former boss Alan Smith.
Despite reaching the League Cup semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Liverpool, the league form was poor and with relegation an almost nailed on certainty, Smith was sacked in April 2001 With only two away games remaining, Palace were in 22nd place, Jordan turned to long serving coach Steve Kember who along with Terry Bullivant took control on a caretaker basis. On the final day of the season , Palace had climbed to 20th place and travelled to Stockport needing a win to stay up. With 3minutes remaining the score was 0-0, a scoreline that would doom Palace to relegation, when a controversial Dougie Freedman goal in the dying minutes saved Palace and sent down Huddersfield instead sparking a mass celebration between fans and players.
Having seen his club stay up Jordan wasted little time looking for a new man to lead the club forward and turned to Steve Bruce who was fresh from a 7 week stint in the hot seat at Wigan. The season started well and the talk around the terraces at Selhurst Park was of promotion not relegation. However, after only 4 months at the helm Bruce became the first of several managers to become embroiled in a bitter war of words with Jordan as he left to join Birmingham City, being replaced by former R`s manager Trevor Francis who has been Bruce`s predecessor at Birmingham.
Under Francis, Palace didn`t mount the promotion challenge that had been expected and they finished mid-table in Division One. Another difficult season followed and in March Francis resigned. Once again Steve Kember was called upon to guide the club through the final weeks of the season.
Kember stayed in place for the start of the 2003/04 season and guided Palace to victories in their opening three games putting Palace at the top of the table, bu the early season bubble burst and Palace plummeted down the table and into the relegation zone before the end of November. In came Caretaker player-manager Kit Symons for a month to be replaced by former Palace player Iain Dowie.
Iain Dowie transformed Crystal Palace from relegation candidates at Christmas into play-off contenders in April, and on the final day of the season Palace only needed to draw at Coventry to ensure a play-off place, but they were beaten 2-1 and looked to be heading out of the Play-offs until a 90th-minute equaliser by West Ham against Wigan put Palace back in again.
A penalty shoot out against Sunderland saw Palace into the finals where they came up against West Ham in Cardiff, and a Neil Shipperley strike was enough to send Palace up into the Premiership.
Palace spent most of the season in the Premiership hovering in and around the relegation zone, despite the 21 goals by Andy Johnson which saw him the second highest goalscorer in the division, and the highest English goalscorer that season. Palace went in to the final game of the season at Charlton knowing they needed a win to be certain of securing their Premiership safety, and with 7 minutes remaining held a 2-1 lead. A late Jonathon Fortune goal not only sealed Palace`s fate, but their relegation gave them the unwanted honour of being the only team to have been relegated from the Premier League four times.
The 05/06 saw Palace just miss out on automatic promotion but defeat by Watford in the semis saw them remain in Championship. After the defeat Dowie left the club sparking another controversial spat for Simon Jordan when he remerged as the new manager of rivals Charlton. Former fans favourite Peter Taylor replaced Dowie and made a whole host of changes and again, after only 3 games Palace were sitting at the top of the table, before a terrible run saw them slide right down to 20th spot. Jordan kept faith in his manager and the eagles climbed their way back up the table to a 12th place finish
Just two months into the 07/08 season Jordan`s confidence in Taylor was wearing thin as a bad start to the season left them in the depths of the league table. His failure to turn it around saw him leave Selhurst Park and former Sheffield Utd boss, Neil Warnock, come in. Warnock made an instant impact, lifting the club out of the relegation places and into the play offs. It took extra time to separate Palace and Bristol City, before a late goal saw the west country team progress to a Wembley final.
Warnocks first full term in charge started badly and despite a very bad away record they sit just below us in the league table altho 5 points behind.
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Date:Friday April 3 2009
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