Experienced Italian midfielder Attilio Lombardo was one of the most famous names to wear a Palace shirt when he arrived at Selhurst Park early in the season, and his influential form looked to have secured Palace's top flight status as they stood 10th as late as November. Within the first 14 games of the season, they were enjoying reasonable mid-table form, losing and winning five each and drawing four games; all of their wins at the time were away from home. Their 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur cumulated their good form though and from then on, they would struggle. Lombardo's fellow countryman Michele Padovano was also signed, but proved to be a complete flop, as did Swedish forward Tomas Brolin, and Palace were soon deep in relegation trouble.
With a takeover by computer tycoon Mark Goldberg on the horizon, Steve Coppell relinquished his managerial duties to become Director of Football. Lombardo and Brolin became joint player-managers on a short-term contract, but were unable to stave off relegation, which was confirmed on 27 April after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United and they were soon on their way out of the club and Ray Lewington was appointed for the final three league games of the season. It was a season to forget for the club which saw them win just two home league games all season and it took them a staggering eight months to record their first home league win: against Derby County in April.
When the Goldberg takeover was completed, Terry Venables returned to the manager's seat after an eventful 18 years away, with the new chairman boasting that Palace would be a European force by 2003.
Updated to games played on 10 May 1998.
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored 1 Chelsea qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as defending champions and were the League Cup winners. 2 As Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, their Cup Winners' Cup place as FA Cup winners defaulted to Newcastle United, the losing finalists. 3 Despite being relegated, Crystal Palace qualified for the 1998 Intertoto Cup. (C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished: (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.