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Crystal Palace F.C.

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Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace FC logo.svg
Full nameCrystal Palace Football Club
Nickname(s)The Eagles, The Glaziers
Short nameCPFC
Founded10 September 1905; 113 years ago (1905-09-10)
GroundSelhurst Park
OwnersSteve Parish
Joshua Harris
David S. Blitzer[2]
ChairmanSteve Parish
ManagerRoy Hodgson[3]
LeaguePremier League
2017–18Premier League, 11th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Crystal Palace Football Club is an English professional football club based in Selhurst, South London, that competes in the Premier League, the highest level of English football. They were founded in 1905 at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building and played their home games at the FA Cup Final stadium situated inside the historic Palace grounds. The club were forced to leave the Palace in 1915 due to the outbreak of the First World War, and played at Herne Hill Velodrome and the Nest until 1924, when they moved to their current home at Selhurst Park.

Palace have had several periods competing in the top level of English football. They enjoyed a successful period in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during which the club achieved its highest ever league finish of third place in the top division in 1990–91, and were only denied a place in Europe because of the partial UEFA ban on English clubs at that time following the Heysel Stadium disaster. The club were also one of the original founding members of the Premier League. Palace have reached two FA Cup finals, finishing runners-up to Manchester United on both occasions in 1990 and 2016.

The club's traditional kit colours were originally claret and blue, but in 1973 they decided to change to the red and blue vertical stripes now worn today. Palace have a fierce rivalry with Brighton & Hove Albion,[4] with whom they contest the M23 derby and also share rivalries with fellow South London clubs Millwall and Charlton Athletic.


Front cover of a year book.
The Crystal Palace F.C. Year Book for 1912–13

In 1895, the Football Association had found a new permanent home for the FA Cup Final at the site of the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building. Some years later the owners, who were reliant on tourist activity for their income, sought fresh attractions for the venue, and decided to form their own football team to play at the Palace stadium. There had been an amateur Crystal Palace team as early as 1861, but they had disappeared from historical records around 1876. The owners of the venue wanted a professional club to play there and tap into the vast crowd potential of the area. Although the Football Association disliked the idea of the owners of the Cup Final venue also possessing their own football team and initially rejected their proposal, a separate company was established to form and own the club.

Crystal Palace Football Club, originally nicknamed "The Glaziers", were founded on 10 September 1905 under the guidance of Aston Villa assistant secretary Edmund Goodman.[5] The club applied to enter the Football League alongside another newly formed London club Chelsea. Unfortunately for Palace, it was Chelsea that were accepted and the club found itself in the Southern League Second Division for the 1905–06 season. The club was successful in its inaugural season and were promoted to the First Division, crowned as champions.[5] Palace also played in the mid-week United Counties League, finishing runners-up to Watford, and it was in this competition that the club played their first match, winning 3–0 away to New Brompton.[5][6]

Palace remained in the Southern League up until 1914, their one highlight the 1907 shock First Round victory over Newcastle United in the FA Cup.[7][8] The outbreak of the First World War led to the Admiralty requisitioning the Crystal Palace and its grounds, which meant the club was forced to leave and they moved to the home of West Norwood F.C. at Herne Hill Velodrome.[5] Three years later they moved again to the Nest due to the folding of Croydon Common F.C.. The club joined the Football League Third Division in the 1920–21 season, finishing as champions and gaining promotion to the Second Division. Palace then moved to the purpose-built stadium Selhurst Park in 1924, which is the ground the club still plays at today.[5][9]

The opening fixture at Selhurst Park was against Sheffield Wednesday, Palace losing 0–1 in front of a crowd of 25,000. Finishing in twenty-first position, the club was relegated to the Third Division South. Before the Second World War Palace made good efforts at promotion, never finishing outside the top half of the table and finishing second on three occasions. During the war years, the Football League was suspended, and the club won two Wartime Leagues, the South Regional League and the South 'D' League. After the war, the club were less successful in the league, their highest position being seventh, and conversely on three occasions the club had to apply for re-election. The club remained in Division Three South until 1957–58. A league reorganisation would see clubs in the bottom half of the table merge with those in the bottom half of Division Three North to form a new Fourth Division. Palace finished fourteenth – just below the cut – and found itself in the basement of English football. Their stay proved brief. New chairman Arthur Wait appointed Arthur Rowe as manager, and the 1960–61 season saw Palace gain promotion. Palace also achieved distinction in 1962 when they played the great Real Madrid team of that era in a friendly match. This was the first time that the Spanish giants had played a match in London. Although Rowe then stepped down for health reasons towards the end of 1962, the promotion proved a turning point in the club's history. Dick Graham and then Bert Head guided the club to successive promotions in 1963–64 and 1968–69, taking the club through the Second Division and into the heights of the First Division.[10]

Palace stayed in the top flight from 1969 until 1973, but then experienced great disappointment. Under the management of Malcolm Allison the club was relegated in consecutive seasons, finding itself back in Division Three for the 1974–75 season. It was also under Allison that the club became nicknamed "The Eagles" and they enjoyed a run to the semi-final of the 1975-76 FA Cup, beating Leeds and Chelsea along the way. Allison was sacked at the end of the 1975–76 campaign, and it was under Terry Venables' management that Palace were promoted in 1976–77 and again in 1978–79, the latter saw the club crowned as Division Two champions. That team from 1979 was dubbed "The team of the Eighties" and were briefly top of the whole Football League in the early part of the 1979–80 season, before financial difficulties suffered by the club caused the break up of that talented side, and this ultimately led to the club being unable to maintain their position in the top flight. They were relegated from the First Division in 1980–81, coinciding with Ron Noades takeover of the club.

On 4 June 1984, former Manchester United and England player Steve Coppell who had recently retired from the game due to injury was appointed as manager, and it was under his stewardship and rebuilding that the club achieved promotion via the play-offs back to the First Division in 1988–89. Palace followed this up by reaching the 1990 FA Cup Final, drawing 3–3 with Manchester United in the first match but losing the replay 1–0. The club were able to build on this success and the 1990–91 season saw them achieve their highest ever league finish of third place in the top flight. Palace were to be denied a European place at the end of that season because of the partial UEFA ban on English clubs following the Heysel Stadium disaster. The club also returned to Wembley and won the Full Members Cup. Palace beat Everton 4–1 (after extra time) in the final.[5] During the following season star striker Ian Wright left the club to join Arsenal. Palace finished tenth, allowing the club to become a founding member of the FA Premier League in 1992–93.[11]

Photograph of a stand adjacent to a road.
Holmesdale Road stand at Selhurst Park, constructed in 1994–95.

The club sold Mark Bright to Sheffield Wednesday, but failed to rebuild the squad adequately, and Palace struggled for consistency throughout the season. The club found itself relegated with a total of 49 points, which is still a Premier League record for a relegated club. Steve Coppell resigned and Alan Smith, his assistant at the club, took over. His first season saw the club win the First Division title and gain promotion back to the Premier League.[12] Their stay on this occasion proved eventful. On 25 January 1995, Palace played Manchester United at Selhurst Park in which Eric Cantona was sent off. He was taunted by Palace fan Matthew Simmons,[13] and retaliated with a flying kick.[14] Cantona was sentenced to two weeks in jail,[15] reduced to 120 hours community service on appeal. Simmons was immediately banned from Selhurst Park,[16] and found guilty on two charges of threatening Cantona.[17] More was to follow in March, when Chris Armstrong was suspended by the FA for failing a drugs test.[18] On the field, Alan Smith guided the club to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the League Cup, but league form was inconsistent and Palace once again found themselves relegated, finishing fourth from bottom as the Premier League reduced from 22 to 20 clubs.[19]

Smith left the club and Steve Coppell returned as technical director in the summer of 1995, and through a combination of the first-team coaching of Ray Lewington and latterly Dave Bassett's managership Palace reached the play-offs. Palace lost the 1996 play-off final in dramatic fashion, Steve Claridge scoring a last minute goal for Leicester City to win the tie 2–1. The following season saw Coppell take charge as first-team manager when Dave Bassett departed for Nottingham Forest in early 1997[20] The club was successful in the play-offs at the second time of asking when they defeated Sheffield United in the final at Wembley.[21]

This stay in the Premier League was no more successful than the previous two, and in true yo-yo club fashion Palace were relegated back to the First Division for the 1998–99 season. The club competed in European competition during the summer when they played in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Palace then went into administration in 1999, when owner Mark Goldberg was unable to sustain his financial backing of the club.[22] The club emerged from administration under the ownership of Simon Jordan, and Steve Coppell left, replaced by Alan Smith for a second time. Palace were almost relegated in Jordan's first season, in 2000–01. Smith was sacked in April and Steve Kember managed to win the two remaining fixtures that would guarantee survival, Dougie Freedman scoring the winner in a 1–0 victory over Stockport County in the 87th minute on the final day of the season. Steve Bruce was appointed manager for the 2001–02 season.[23] A good start to the season gave Palace hope for a promotion challenge, but Bruce attempted to walk out on the club after just four months at the helm to take charge of Birmingham City.[24][25] After a short spell on 'gardening leave',[26] Bruce was eventually allowed to join Birmingham,[27] succeeded by Trevor Francis, who had ironically been his predecessor at the Midlands club.[28]

Under Francis, Palace finished mid-table for two successive seasons, but he then departed[29] to be replaced by long-serving coach Steve Kember.[30] Kember guided Palace to victories in their opening three games of the 2003–04 First Division campaign, which put the club at the top of the table, but he was sacked in November after a terrible loss of form saw the team slip towards the relegation zone.[31] Iain Dowie was appointed manager and guided the club to the play-offs, securing promotion with a 1–0 victory over West Ham. Again Palace could not maintain their place in the top tier and were relegated on the last day of the season after drawing at local rivals Charlton Athletic.

A crowd of people and a police van outside a building.
Crystal Palace fans protest – and await anxiously for news – outside the Lloyds HQ in London on 1 June 2010

Following that relegation, Simon Jordan was unable to put the club on a sound financial footing in the next few years, and in January 2010 the club was once again placed in administration, this time by a creditor.[32] The Football League's regulations saw the Eagles deducted ten points,[33] and the administrators was forced to sell key players including Victor Moses and José Fonte. Neil Warnock had also departed as manager in the early part of 2010. He had taken over as manager in 2007, replacing Peter Taylor who had a brief spell as manager. Paul Hart took over as caretaker manager for the final weeks of the season. Survival in the Championship was only secured on the final day of the season after a memorable 2–2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, which was itself relegated as a result.[34]

During the close season CPFC 2010, a consortium consisting of several wealthy fans successfully negotiated the purchase of the club. Led by Steve Parish, the vocal representative for the consortium of four that also included Stephen Browett, Jeremy Hosking and Martin Long. Crucially, the consortium also secured the freehold of the ground, and paid tribute to a fans' campaign which helped pressure Lloyds Bank into selling the ground back to the club. The consortium swiftly installed George Burley as the new Palace manager.[35] However a poor start to the season saw the club hovering around the bottom of the table by December. On 1 January 2011, after a 3–0 defeat to Millwall, Burley was sacked and his assistant Dougie Freedman named caretaker manager. Freedman was appointed manager on a full-time basis on 11 January 2011.[36] Palace moved up the table and by securing a 1–1 draw at Hull City on 30 April, the club was safe from relegation with one game of the season left. After another year and a half as manager, Freedman departed to manage Bolton Wanderers on 23 October 2012.[37]

In November 2012, Ian Holloway became manager.[38] He guided Palace back to the Premier League after an eight-year absence by defeating Watford 1–0 in the Championship Play-off Final at the new Wembley, but resigned in October 2013.[39] Following a brief spell under Tony Pulis,[40] and an unsuccessful second tenure as manager for Neil Warnock, former Palace player Alan Pardew was confirmed as the new manager in January 2015.[41] In his first full season, Pardew led Palace to the 2016 FA Cup Final, their first for 26 years, losing 2–1 after extra time to Manchester United. In December 2016, Pardew was sacked and replaced by Sam Allardyce, who kept the club in the Premier League but resigned unexpectedly at the end of the season.[42] On 26 June 2017, Palace appointed their first permanent foreign manager in former Dutch international Frank de Boer, who was dismissed after only 77 days in charge, after Palace had lost their first four league games at the start of the 2017–18 season.[43] His replacement, Roy Hodgson, was appointed the next day.[44]

Colours and crest[edit]

When Crystal Palace were founded in 1905, they turned to one of the biggest clubs in the country at the time, Aston Villa, to seek advice. Villa helped the club in a number of ways, not least by donating their kit.[45][46] As a result, Palace's colours were originally claret and blue shirts paired with white shorts, socks tending to be claret. They kept to this formula fairly consistently until 1938. The 1937–38 strip saw them try vertical stripes of claret and blue on the jersey rather than the claret body and blue sleeves, but in 1938 they decided to abandon the claret and blue and adopt white shirts and black shorts with matching socks. Although they returned to claret and blue from 1949 to 1954, the 1955 season saw them return to white and black, now using claret and blue as trim.[47]

Mono photograph of the front of the Palace and some of its surrounding grounds.
The Crystal Palace, the façade of which appears on the club crest.

There were variations on this theme until 1963 when the club adopted the away strip of yellow jersey as the home colours. In 1964 the club adopted an all-white strip modelled on Real Madrid whom the club had played recently in a friendly, before they returned to claret and blue jerseys with white shorts in 1966. The club continued with variations on this theme up until Malcolm Allison's arrival as manager in 1973.[47] Allison overhauled the club's image, adopting red and blue vertical stripes for colours and kit, inspired by FC Barcelona.[45] Palace have played in variations of red and blue ever since, bar the centenary season of 2005 which saw them deploy a version of their 1971–72 claret, blue and white kit.[47]

The club were relatively late in establishing a crest. Although the initials were embroidered onto the shirt from the 1935–36 season, a crest featuring the façade of The Crystal Palace did not appear until 1955. This crest disappeared from the shirt in 1964, and the team's name appeared embroidered on shirts in 1967–72. 1972 saw a round badge adopted with the club's initials and nickname "the Glaziers" before Allison changed this too.[47] The nickname became "the Eagles", inspired by Portuguese club Benfica, and the badge adopted an eagle holding a ball.[47] This emblem remained until 1987 when the club married the eagle with the Crystal Palace façade,[48] and although updated in 1996 and again in 2013, the crest retains these features.[47] Since mid-2010, the club has made use of an American bald eagle, called Kayla, as the club mascot, with the bird flying from one end of the stadium to the other at every home game.[49][50]

Kit manufacturers and sponsors[edit]

From 2018, Crystal Palace's kit will be manufactured by Puma.[51] Previous manufacturers include Umbro (1975–77), Admiral (1977–80, 1987–88, 2003–04), Adidas (1980–83, 1996–99), Hummel (1984–87), Bukta (1988–92), Ribero (1992–94) Nutmeg (1994–96), TFG Sports (1999–2001) Le Coq Sportif (2001–03), Diadora (2004–07), Errea (2007–09), Nike (2009–12), Avec (2012–14), and Macron (2014–18).

The club's shirts are currently sponsored by ManBetX, and have previously been sponsored by Red Rose (1983–84), Top Score (1985–86), AVR (1986–87), Andrew Copeland (1987–88), Fly Virgin (1988–91), Tulip Computers (1991–93), TDK (1993–99), Churchill Insurance (2000–06), GAC Logistics (2006–14), Neteller (2014–15), and (2015–17)

The club signed its first sleeve sponsor with All Football, a Chinese football-based social media application, in 2017[52]


In 1905, the Crystal Palace Company who owned the FA Cup Final venue situated inside the grounds of The Crystal Palace, wanted a professional club to play there and tap into the crowd potential of the area. They formed a new club called Crystal Palace F.C., to play at the stadium.[53] When the First World War broke out the Palace and grounds were seized by the armed forces, and in 1915 the club were forced to move by the Admiralty. They found a temporary base at the Herne Hill Velodrome. Although other clubs had offered the use of their ground to Palace, the club felt it best to remain as close to their natural catchment area as possible.[54] When Croydon Common F.C. were wound up in 1917, the club took over their old stadium located at the Nest,[55] but in 1919 they began the purchase of the land on which they would eventually build Selhurst Park, their current home.[56]

The renowned stadium architect, Archibald Leitch, was employed to draw up plans, and the club constructed and completed the ground in time for the 1924–25 season.[56] It remained relatively unchanged, with only the introduction of floodlights and maintenance and updating until 1969 when the Arthur Wait stand was constructed. The Main Stand became all-seater in 1979 and more work followed in the 1980s when the Whitehorse Lane End was redeveloped to allow for a Sainsbury's supermarket, club offices and a club shop. The Arthur Wait stand became all seater in 1990, and in 1994 the Holmesdale Terrace was redeveloped, replaced with a two tier Stand. Selhurst's attendance record was set in 1979, with an official total of 51,482.[57] After all the redevelopments to the ground and safety requirements due to the Taylor Report, the ground's current capacity is 26,309.[58] Proposals were put forward to move the club back to the Crystal Palace National Stadium in 2010,[59] but after the club gained promotion to the Premier League in 2013 there has been a renewed focus on redeveloping their current home into a 40,000 seater stadium.[58][60] Revised plans for a new 13,500-seater Main Stand (extending overall stadium capacity to 34,000) were approved at a Croydon Council meeting on 19 April 2018.[61]

See caption
A panorama of Selhurst Park from the Upper Holmesdale, showing from left to right the Main Stand, the Whitehorse Lane End and the Arthur Wait Stand

Support base[edit]

The Holmesdale Fanatics passionate home support.

Crystal Palace have a fan base predominantly from the local area which draws on South London, Kent, and Surrey. Their original home, at The Crystal Palace, was on the boundary with Kent, while Selhurst Park was within Surrey's borders until the London Government Act 1963 saw Greater London encompass Croydon. The club's passionate support at home games emanates from the Holmesdale Road Stand, in which the ultras group the Holmesdale Fanatics have been based since 2005.

The fans have established at least two other supporters groups. The Palace Independent Supporters' Association was set up to raise supporter concerns with the club,[62] while the Crystal Palace Supporters' Trust was originally established to enable fans to purchase the club during the administration of 2000. The Trust remained in existence, and now lists one of its aims as building "a new state-of-the-art training ground to lease to the Club".[63]

A number of fanzines have been produced by the fans over the years. Eagle Eye launched in 1987 and ran until 1994, with a number of contributors launching the replacement Palace Echo in 1995, running until 2007.[64] The Eastern Eagles, So Glad You're Mine and One More Point were also published by fans in the 1990s.[65] When One More Point ceased publication, Five Year Plan launched in its place,[66] and maintains an online presence.[67] Supporters also congregate on two internet forums, The BBS and which the club use as channels to communicate with fans.[68]

Photo of 7 cheerleaders performing on a football pitch in front of a packed stand with many on the lower tier waving red and blue flags.
Crystal Palace fans express support for the club during the administration of 2010.

Being a London club means they compete against a number of other local clubs for the attention of supporters but the club does have a recognisably large catchment area of 900,000.[60][69] When the new owners took control in 2010, they sought the fans' input into future decisions. They consulted on a new badge design, and when their chosen designs were rejected the club instead opted for a design based on a fans' idea from an internet forum.[70] The club are also strengthening their ties with the local community, and through the Crystal Palace F.C. Foundation they work with local London boroughs of Croydon, Bromley and Sutton to provide sports and educational programmes. Through this work the club hope to develop their supporter base and geographical base. The Foundation's work was recognised by the Football League in August 2009 with their Silver Standard Community Scheme Award.[71]

The club also maintains a sizeable celebrity support. The Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman has been an avid supporter of the club all his life. Kevin Day and Jo Brand host an annual comedy night for Comic Relief and the Palace Academy,[72] and the club also count fellow comedians Eddie Izzard, Harry Enfield, Mark Steel, Jim Piddock, and Roy Hudd amongst their fans. Film director Paul Greengrass is a self-confessed fan, as well as former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The actor Neil Morrissey developed Palace Ale, a beer on sale in the ground,[73] while actor Bill Nighy is patron of the CPSCC, a Crystal Palace-based charity.[74] Two of the stars of The Inbetweeners, James Buckley and Simon Bird are also Palace fans.[75] Radio DJ David Jensen is chairman of the Crystal Palace Vice presidents Club[76] and acted as spokesman for the CPFC 2010 consortium during their takeover bid for the club. Actor, writer and producer John Salthouse was on the books of Palace as a player from 1968 to 1970 under the name of John Lewis,[77] and was also a mascot for the club as a child.[78] He incorporated the club into his role as Tony in Abigail's Party.[79] Susanna Reid revealed her love of Palace while taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, visiting Selhurst Park for inspiration.[80] Rebecca Lowe, currently the host of Premier League coverage for NBC Sports, is also a supporter.[81]


Due to their location in the capital, Crystal Palace are involved in a number of local derbies, mostly across South London. They enjoy rivalries with both Millwall and former tenants Charlton Athletic. They have a fierce rivalry with Brighton & Hove Albion which did not develop until Palace's relegation to the Third Division in 1974, reaching its height when the two teams were drawn together in the first round of the 1976–77 FA Cup. The game went to two replays, but the controversy was based on referee Ron Challis ordering a successful Brighton penalty be retaken because of Palace player encroachment. The retake was saved, Palace won the game 1–0 and a fierce rivalry was born.[82]


Low resolution monochrome photo of two men.
First chairman Sydney Bourne with Edmund Goodman, 1906.

Due to the Football Association not wishing the owners of the FA Cup Final venue to also possess their own football team, a separate company was established to form and own the club. The first chairman, Sydney Bourne, was found by club secretary Edmund Goodman after he had examined records of FA Cup Final ticket purchasers. Goodman noted his name as one that had bought a number of tickets every year, and so met with Bourne and found him very agreeable to the idea of the new club. Bourne was invited onto the board of directors and elected chairman at the club's first ever meeting. He remained chairman until his death in 1930.[83]

Local businessman Arthur Wait established a consortium of seven other businessmen to purchase the club in 1949, and they initially rotated the chairmanship.[84][85] In 1958 Wait became the chairman, before being replaced by Raymond Bloye in 1972.[86] Bloye's ownership lasted until 26 January 1981, when property developer Ron Noades and his small consortium took control of the club. Noades eventually sold the club to Mark Goldberg on 5 June 1998, becoming the second longest serving chairman behind Sydney Bourne. Goldberg's tenure of the club was not a success and the club entered administration in March 1999. Although the fans established a group, the Crystal Palace Supporters' Trust in a bid to gain control of the club, millionaire Simon Jordan negotiated a deal with creditors and the administrator, and a new company, CPFC 2000 took control. This company entered administration in January 2010, and it was not until June of that year that a takeover was completed by a consortium of four wealthy fans known as CPFC 2010.[87]

CPFC 2010 was established by a consortium of four businessmen, Steve Parish, Martin Long, Stephen Browett and Jeremy Hosking in 2010, with each owning a 25% share of the company.[88][89] The four successfully negotiated a take-over with the administrator Brendan Guilfoyle and a company voluntary arrangement was formally accepted by company creditors on 20 August 2010.[90] CPFC 2010 also purchased the ground from Lloyds Bank after a demonstration by fans put pressure on the bank to agree terms.[91][92]

On 18 December 2015, it was announced that a new deal had been signed with American investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer.[93] The club stated that Steve Parish would continue as chairman alongside Harris and Blitzer as general partners in a new structure, and that Browett, Long and Hosking would also retain a substantial investment.[94]

Later company accounts showed that the ownership figures were: Steve Parish 18%, Steve Browett 5%, Jeremy Hosking 5% and Martin Long 2.5% with the remainder being owned by Palace Holdco LP (a limited partnership registered in Delaware) 67.5% and Palace Parallel LLC (a company also registered in Delaware) 1.5%. Both Palace Holdco and Palace Parallel have 180 preference shares each. As the Delaware companies do not have to reveal their owners the exact ownership of the club is therefore unknown but Steve Parish confirmed that each of Harris and Blitzer had an 18% share to match his own.

Statistics and records[edit]

Jim Cannon holds the record for Crystal Palace appearances, having played 660 first-team matches between 1973 and 1988.[95] He also holds the record for most League appearances, making 571.[96] Cannon joined the club as a trainee, and of his appearances only four of them were made as a substitute. His first appearance was made aged 19, scoring in a home win against Chelsea on 31 March 1973. Cannon's last game was on 7 May 1988, a home win against Manchester City.[97] Peter Simpson holds the record for the most goals scored in a season, 54 in the 1930–31 season in Division Three (South). Simpson, who signed for the club from Kettering Town, is also the top scorer over a career – 165 between 1929 and 1935.[95] Wayne Hennessey holds the club record for most international caps.[96][98][99][100]

Chart showing Crystal Palace's table positions since joining the Football League.

Palace were inaugural champions of the newly formed Third Division in 1920–21, which was also their first ever season in the Football League and so became one of only a small group of clubs to have achieved the feat of winning a Football League Division at the first time of asking. Their average league attendance of 19,092 in the 1960–61 season and the attendance of 37,774 for the Good Friday game at Selhurst Park between Palace and Millwall the same season are Fourth Division attendance records.[101] Palace's record home attendance is 51,482 for a Division Two match against Burnley on 11 May 1979.[102] With the introduction of regulations enforcing all-seater stadiums, it is unlikely that this record will be beaten in the foreseeable future. The club's widest victory margin in the league was their 9–0 win against Barrow in the Fourth Division in 1959, while their heaviest defeat in the league was by the same scoreline, 9–0, against Liverpool in 1989 in Division One.[102]

The highest transfer fee received for a Palace player is £25 million, from Everton for Yannick Bolasie in August 2016, while the highest transfer fee paid by the club to date was for Christian Benteke from Liverpool also in August 2016, for £32 million.

The club's highest ever league finish so far is third place in the Football League First Division, which is now called the Premier League, achieved in the 1990–91 season. Palace hold the record for the most points for a relegated Premier League club, with 49 points (although that was in a 42-game season in 1992–93).[103] They are also the only club ever to be relegated from the Premier League even though they finished fourth from bottom, as it had been decided that at the end of the 1994–95 season, the bottom four clubs would be relegated in order to accommodate the league being reduced in size from 22 to 20 clubs for the 1995–96 season; Palace's points total that season of 45 is also the second-highest points total in Premier League history for a relegated club.[103] Palace hold the record for the most Play-off final wins (4) resulting in promotion to the top flight. Each of these play-off final victories occurred at a different location: Selhurst Park in 1989 (the first leg of the two-legged final was played at Ewood Park in Blackburn), old Wembley Stadium in 1997, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2004, and new Wembley in 2013.


First-team squad[edit]

As of 1 February 2019[104][105]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Argentina GK Julián Speroni
2 England DF Joel Ward
3 Netherlands DF Patrick van Aanholt
4 Serbia MF Luka Milivojević (Captain)
5 England DF James Tomkins
6 England DF Scott Dann
7 Germany MF Max Meyer
8 Senegal MF Cheikhou Kouyaté
10 England FW Andros Townsend
11 Ivory Coast FW Wilfried Zaha
12 France DF Mamadou Sakho
13 Wales GK Wayne Hennessey
14 Ghana FW Jordan Ayew (on loan from Swansea City)
15 Ghana DF Jeffrey Schlupp
No. Position Player
17 Belgium FW Christian Benteke
18 Scotland MF James McArthur
21 England FW Connor Wickham
22 Brazil GK Lucas Perri (on loan from São Paulo)
23 Belgium FW Michy Batshuayi (on loan from Chelsea)
26 Mali MF Bakary Sako
27 Senegal DF Pape Souaré
29 England DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka
31 Spain GK Vicente Guaita
33 England DF Ryan Inniss
34 England DF Martin Kelly
35 England DF Sam Woods
44 Netherlands MF Jaïro Riedewald

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
9 Norway FW Alexander Sørloth (at Gent until the end of the 2018–19 season)
28 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Jason Lokilo (at Lorient until the end of the 2018–19 season)
33 Poland DF Jarosław Jach (at Sheriff Tiraspol)
36 England GK Dion-Curtis Henry (at Maidstone United until the end of the 2018–19 season)
37 England FW James Daly (at Kingstonian until the end of the 2018–19 season)
No. Position Player
39 England MF Nya Kirby (at Blackpool until the end of the 2018–19 season)
42 England MF Jason Puncheon (at Huddersfield Town until the end of the 2018–19 season)
England DF Tyler Brown (at Kingstonian until the end of the 2018–19 season)
England MF Joseph Hungbo (at Margate until the end of the 2018–19 season)
Northern Ireland GK Oliver Webber (at Greenwich Borough until the end of the 2018–19 season)

U23 Squad[edit]

As of 25 July 2018[106]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
41 England GK Joe Tupper
England DF Lewis Bryon
38 England DF Tyrick Mitchell
England DF Oliver O'Dwyer
Croatia DF Nikola Tavares
No. Position Player
England MF Luke Dreher
Republic of Ireland MF Kian Flanagan
30 England MF Giovanni McGregor
32 England FW Levi Lumeka

Notable former players[edit]

Players with over 100 appearances for Crystal Palace can be found here
All past (and present) players who are the subjects of Wikipedia articles can be found here

Crystal Palace "Centenary XI"[edit]

To celebrate Crystal Palace's centenary in 2005, the club asked Palace fans to vote for a "Centenary XI" from a shortlist of ten players per position, provided by the club.[107]

Club staff[edit]

Position Name
Chairman Steve Parish
Chief Executive Phil Alexander
Manager Roy Hodgson
Assistant Manager Ray Lewington
First Team Coach Dave Reddington
Goalkeeping Coach Dean Kiely
Fitness Coach Scott Guyett
Sporting Director Dougie Freedman


As of match played 21 April 2019. Not including caretaker managers. All competitive matches are counted.
Monochrome photograph.
Longest serving manager Edmund Goodman
Name From To G W D L %W
Jack Robson July 1905 30 April 1907 77 35 18 24 045.45
Edmund Goodman 1 May 1907 24 November 1925 613 242 166 205 039.48
Alex Maley 24 November 1925 12 October 1927 83 36 16 31 043.37
Fred Mavin 21 November 1927 18 October 1930 132 63 33 36 047.73
Jack Tresadern 27 October 1930 June 1935 213 98 44 71 046.01
Tom Bromilow July 1935
1 January 1937
July 1936
July 1939
162 71 40 51 043.83
R. S. Moyes July 1936 8 December 1936 23 6 6 11 026.09
George Irwin July 1939 July 1947 45 15 11 19 033.33
Jack Butler July 1947 June 1949 88 23 24 41 026.14
Ronnie Rooke June 1949 29 November 1950 62 19 15 28 030.65
Fred Dawes/Charlie Slade 29 November 1950 11 October 1951 40 8 10 22 020.00
Laurie Scott 11 October 1951 October 1954 145 43 41 61 029.66
Cyril Spiers October 1954 June 1958 181 52 53 76 028.73
George Smith July 1958 12 April 1960 100 42 27 31 042.00
Arthur Rowe 15 April 1960 30 November 1962 132 52 32 48 039.39
Dick Graham 30 November 1962 3 January 1966 150 68 41 41 045.33
Bert Head 18 April 1966 30 March 1973 328 101 96 131 030.79
Malcolm Allison 30 March 1973
1 December 1980
May 1976
26 January 1981
155 53 48 54 034.19
Terry Venables 1 June 1976
9 June 1998
14 October 1980
15 January 1999
220 80 76 64 036.36
Dario Gradi 26 January 1981 10 November 1981 30 7 3 20 023.33
Steve Kember 10 November 1981
18 April 2003
June 1982
3 November 2003
53 15 14 24 028.30
Alan Mullery July 1982 June 1984 98 31 27 40 031.63
Steve Coppell July 1984
July 1995
28 February 1997
15 January 1999
21 May 1993
8 February 1996
13 March 1998
1 August 2000
565 221 146 198 039.12
Alan Smith 3 June 1993
1 August 2000
15 May 1995
29 April 2001
163 62 43 58 038.04
Dave Bassett 8 February 1996 27 February 1997 60 29 15 16 048.33
Attilio Lombardo[A] 13 March 1998 29 April 1998 7 2 0 5 028.57
Steve Bruce 30 May 2001 31 October 2001 18 11 2 5 061.11
Trevor Francis 30 November 2001 18 April 2003 78 28 22 28 035.90
Iain Dowie 22 December 2003 22 May 2006 123 50 29 44 040.65
Peter Taylor 13 June 2006 8 October 2007 60 21 16 23 035.00
Neil Warnock 11 October 2007
27 August 2014
2 March 2010
27 December 2014
146 50 45 51 034.25
Paul Hart 2 March 2010 3 May 2010 14 3 6 5 021.43
George Burley 17 June 2010 1 January 2011 25 7 5 13 028.00
Dougie Freedman 11 January 2011 23 October 2012 90 32 27 31 035.56
Ian Holloway 3 November 2012 23 October 2013 46 14 14 18 030.43
Tony Pulis 23 November 2013 14 August 2014 28 12 5 11 042.86
Alan Pardew 2 January 2015 22 December 2016 87 35 13 39 040.23
Sam Allardyce 23 December 2016 23 May 2017 24 9 3 12 037.50
Frank de Boer 26 June 2017 11 September 2017 5 1 0 4 020.00
Roy Hodgson 12 September 2017 Incumbent 79 29 17 33 036.71






In popular culture[edit]

In the 1999 Michael Winterbottom film Wonderland the scenes of the character Dan and his son at a football match were filmed at Selhurst Park, in Palace's 1–1 draw against Birmingham City on 6 February 1999.[109] In the Mike Leigh play Abigail's Party, the character Tony mentions that he used to play professionally for Crystal Palace but it "didn't work out", something actor John Salthouse brought to the character in rehearsals based on his own life.[79] Salthouse also incorporated the club into the children's television series he wrote, Hero to Zero, in which the father of the main character once played for Palace reserves.[110] In the first series of Only Fools and Horses a Crystal Palace scarf could be seen on the coat rack, placed there by producer Ray Butt, even though Rodney's middle name was Charlton, as Del revealed on Rodney's wedding day: their mother was a fan of "Athletic" not "Heston".[111] Headmaster Keith Blackwell, who played Crystal Palace mascot "Pete the Eagle" in the late nineties, fronted a series of Coca-Cola advertisements in 1996. Blackwell spoke about his role and the embarrassment it brought to his family, and clips of him in costume were used in the campaign.[112][113]

The 2008 episode of The IT Crowd, "Are We Not Men?", used Selhurst Park to film the crowd scenes.

After the band The Dave Clark Five performed "Glad All Over" at the stadium in 1968, the song became synonymous with the team, and the fans sing it at every match.[114]

Crystal Palace Ladies[edit]

Crystal Palace Ladies is the women's football club affiliated to Crystal Palace, founded in 1992. They are managed by Dean Davenport. Crystal Palace Ladies FA Women's Premier League South, in the third tier of English women's football.[115] They play their home games at the Hayes Lane, Bromley, London.[115]


  1. ^ Player-Manager
  2. ^ This was an association football cup competition held from 1985 to 1992. It was also known under its sponsored names of the Simod Cup from 1987 to 1989 and the Zenith Data Systems Cup from 1989 to 1992. The competition was created after the Heysel Stadium disaster, when English clubs were banned from European competition, as an additional competition for clubs in the top two divisions
  3. ^ This was a football tournament organised by the London FA. The London Challenge Cup was first contested in 1908, and other than during the World Wars, was contested every season until 1974, when the tournament was disbanded.


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Further reading[edit]

  • The Crystal Palace Story by Roy Peskett, published by Roy Peskett Publishing Ltd (1969).
  • 100 Years of Crystal Palace Football Club by Rev. Nigel Sands, published by The History Press Ltd, (2005), ISBN 978-0-7524-3608-1.
  • Crystal Palace Football Club by Rev. Nigel Sands, published by NPI Media Group, (1999), ISBN 978-0-7524-1544-4.
  • Classic Matches: Crystal Palace FC by Rev. Nigel Sands, published by The History Press Ltd, (2002), ISBN 978-0-7524-2733-1.
  • Crystal Palace Miscellany by Neil McSteen, published by Legends Publishing, (2009), ISBN 978-1-905411-55-9.

External links[edit]