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Crystal Palace F.C.

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Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace FC logo.svg
Full name Crystal Palace Football Club
Nickname(s) The Eagles, The Glaziers
Short name CPFC
Founded 10 September 1905; 110 years ago (1905-09-10)
Ground Selhurst Park
Ground Capacity 26,255[1]
Owner Steve Parish
Joshua Harris
David S. Blitzer
Jeremy Hosking
Martin Long
Stephen Browett
Co-chairmen Steve Parish
Stephen Browett
Manager Alan Pardew
League Premier League
2014–15 Premier League, 10th
Website Club home page
Current season

Crystal Palace Football Club is an English professional football club based in South Norwood, London, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level of English football.

The club was founded in 1905 at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building by the owners of the FA Cup Final stadium, who wanted their own team to play at the historic venue.

Palace played their home games at the Cup Final venue until 1915, but then the First World War forced them to move out and play at Herne Hill Velodrome and The Nest. In 1924, they moved to their current home at Selhurst Park.

The club spent their early years in the Southern Football League and were crowned champions of the Second Division in their first ever season. Palace joined the Football League in 1920, becoming the first champions of the newly formed Third Division in 1920–21.

Since 1964, the club has mostly played in the top two leagues of English football. Their best achievement in the top flight came in 1990–91, when they challenged for the League title, eventually finishing in third place, their highest league position to date. Palace were denied entry into European competition the following season. Although UEFA had decided to partially lift the ban on English clubs caused by the Heysel disaster in 1985, there was only two European places available. The runners up that season, which were Liverpool, were allowed back into Europe a year earlier than had been planned, which meant that Palace missed out. In 1992, Palace became founder members of the Premier League. Palace have twice been champions of the second tier and have also been winners of the play offs for a record four times. Palace were FA Cup finalists in 1990, and have also been in the semi finals on two occasions. The club have reached the semi finals of the Football League Cup four times. Palace were winners of the Full Members Cup in 1991. The club qualified for Europe in 1998, playing in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

In 1973, the club changed its original nickname from The Glaziers to The Eagles and introduced the red-and-blue vertical stripes now associated with the club. The club had previously played in claret and blue colours.

Palace have rivalries with Brighton & Hove Albion, with whom they contest the M23 derby, and with fellow South London team Millwall.


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 of the attraction, 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 far back as 1861, which was formed by workers from the exhibition building, 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.

Crystal Palace Football Club, originally nicknamed "The Glaziers", was formed on 10 September 1905 under the guidance of Aston Villa assistant secretary Edmund Goodman.[2] The club applied to enter the Football League alongside Chelsea and Southampton, but was the only unsuccessful team of the three. The club instead found itself in the Southern League Second Division for the 1905–06 season. The club was successful in its inaugural season and was promoted to the First Division, crowned as champions.[2] In their first season Crystal Palace also played in the mid-week United Counties League, finishing runner-up to Watford, and it was in this competition that the club played their first match, winning 3–0 away to New Brompton.[2][3]

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.[4][5] The outbreak of World War I led to the Admiralty requisitioning The Crystal Palace and the club was forced to move to the home of West Norwood F.C. at Herne Hill Velodrome.[2] Three years later the club 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. During this period, Palace also won the London Challenge Cup three times in 1913, 1914, and 1921. Palace moved to the purpose-built stadium Selhurst Park in 1924, the ground the club plays at today.[2][6]

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 World War II Palace made good efforts at promotion, never finishing outside the top half of the table and finishing second on three occasions. They were less successful after the war, 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. With Arthur Rowe appointed manager, 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 to celebrate the opening of the new floodlights at Selhurst Park. 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.[7]

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 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 1979–1980 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 tier. They were relegated from the First Division in 1980–81, coinciding with Ron Noades takeover of the club. Steve Coppell arrived as manager on 4 June 1984, and under his stewardship and rebuilding the club achieved promotion via the play-offs back to the First Division in 1988–89. The club 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 built on the success of the previous season in 1990–91 by achieving its highest league finish of third and returning to Wembley to win the Full Members Cup. The club beat Everton 4–1 (after extra time) in the final.[2] The following season saw star striker Ian Wright leave the club for Arsenal. Palace finished tenth, allowing the club to become a founding member of the FA Premier League in 1992–93.[8]

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

The club sold Mark Bright to Sheffield Wednesday the following season, but failed to rebuild the squad adequately, and Palace struggled to score throughout the season. The club found itself relegated with a record 49 points. 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 to the Premier League.[9] 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,[10] and retaliated with a flying kick.[11] Cantona was sentenced to two weeks in jail,[12] reduced to 120 hours community service on appeal. Simmons was immediately banned from Selhurst Park,[13] and found guilty on two charges of threatening Cantona.[14] More was to follow in March, when Chris Armstrong was suspended by the FA for failing a drugs test.[15] 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 a concern and Palace once again found itself relegated, finishing fourth from bottom as the Premier League reduced from 22 to 20 clubs.[16]

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[17] The club was successful in the play-offs at the second time of asking when the club defeated Sheffield United in the final at Wembley.[18]

This stay in the Premier League was no more successful than the previous two, and in true yo-yo club fashion the club was relegated back to the First Division for the 1998–99 season. This season also saw the club plunged into administration when owner Mark Goldberg was unable to sustain his financial backing of the club.[19] The club emerged from administration under the ownership of Simon Jordan, and Steve Coppell left the club, replaced by Alan Smith for a second time. The club flirted with relegation in Jordan's first season, 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 in the 87th minute on the final day of the season. Steve Bruce was appointed manager for the 2001–02 season.[20] 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.[21][22] After a short spell on 'gardening leave',[23] Bruce was eventually allowed to join Birmingham City,[24] succeeded by Trevor Francis, who had ironically been his predecessor at Birmingham.[25]

Under Francis, Palace finished mid-table for two successive seasons, and Francis left[26] to be replaced by long-serving coach Steve Kember.[27] Kember guided Palace to victories in their opening three games of the 2003–04 First Division campaign, which put Palace 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.[28] 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 footing 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

Jordan was unable to put the club on a sound financial footing after 2008, and in January 2010 the club was once again placed in administration, this time by a creditor.[29] The Football League's regulations saw the Eagles deducted ten points,[30] 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.[31]

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 a consortium of four that also included Stephen Browett, Jeremy Hosking and Martin Long. Crucially, CPFC 2010 also secured the freehold of the ground, the consortium paying 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 Eagles' new manager.[32] 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.[33] Palace edged 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. Freedman departed to manage Bolton on 23 October 2012,[34]

In November 2012, Ian Holloway became the club's manager. He guided Palace to the Premier League after an 8-year absence by defeating Watford 1–0 in the Championship Play-Off Final at the new Wembley.[35] On 23 October 2013, Holloway left his post as manager on mutual consent terms.[36] This came after only managing one win in the first nine games of the 2013–14 season. Assistant manager Keith Millen was named caretaker manager while Palace searched for a new manager. On 23 November 2013, former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis was confirmed as the new manager of Crystal Palace.[37] On 19 April 2014, Crystal Palace ensured they were mathematically safe from relegation from the Premier League for the first time in five attempts. Pulis resigned on 14 August 2014, just two days before the start of the 2014–2015 season and was replaced by Neil Warnock who returned to the club for a second spell as manager. However, Warnock was sacked by the club at Christmas after a poor run of results. On 2 January 2015, former Palace player Alan Pardew was confirmed as the new manager, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with the club after a compensation package of £3.5 million was agreed with Newcastle United.[38] Two days later, in his first match in charge, Palace won 4–0 away to Conference club Dover Athletic in the third round of the FA Cup.[39] Pardew then guided the club to comfortable mid-table safety and a third consecutive season in the Premier League.

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.[40][41] 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 then in 1938 they abandoned the claret and blue and adopted white shirts and black shorts with matching socks. Although they returned to claret and blue from 1949–54, the 1955 season saw them return to white and black, now using claret and blue as trim.[42]

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.

Variations on this theme lasted until 1963 when the club adopted the away strip of yellow jersey as the home colours. 1964 saw them adopt 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 employed variations upon this theme up until Malcolm Allison's arrival as manager in 1973.[42] Allison overhauled the club's image, adopting red and blue vertical stripes for colours and kit, inspired by Barcelona and Levante.[40] The club 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.[42]

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.[42] The nickname became "The Eagles", inspired by Portuguese club Benfica, and the badge adopted an eagle holding a ball.[42] This emblem remained until 1987 when the club married the eagle with the Crystal Palace façade,[43] and although updated in 1996 and again in 2013 the crest retains these features.[42] 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.[44][45]


Main article: Selhurst Park

In 1905, the owners of the FA Cup Final venue, The Crystal Palace Company wanted a professional club to play there and tap into the crowd potential of the area. A new club, Crystal Palace F.C., was formed to use the ground.[46] When World War I broke out the Palace and grounds were seized by the military, 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.[47] When Croydon Common were wound up in 1917, the club took over their old stadium at The Nest,[48] but in 1919 they began the purchase of the land on which they would build Selhurst Park, their current home.[49]

Archibald Leitch, the renowned stadium architect, was employed to draw up plans, and the club constructed and completed the ground in time for the 1924–25 season.[49] 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.[50] After all the redevelopments to the ground and safety requirements due to the Taylor Report, the ground's current capacity is 26,309.[51] Proposals were put forward to move the club back to the Crystal Palace National Stadium in 2010,[52] 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.[51][53]

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]

Crystal Palace have a fan base drawn predominantly from the local area which draws on South London, Kent and Surrey. The club's original home, 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,[54] 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".[55]

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.[56] The Eastern Eagles, So Glad You're Mine and One More Point were also published by fans in the 1990s.[57] When One More Point ceased publication, Five Year Plan launched in its place,[58] and maintains an online presence.[59] Supporters also congregate on two internet forums, The BBS and which the club use as channels to communicate with fans.[60]

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.[53][61] When the new owners took control of the club 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 fan's idea from an internet forum.[62] 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.[63]

The club also maintains a healthy celebrity support. Kevin Day and Jo Brand host an annual comedy night for Comic Relief and the Palace Academy,[64] and the club also count fellow comedians Eddie Izzard, Harry Enfield, Sean Hughes, Mark Steel, Jim Piddock, Ronnie Corbett and Roy Hudd amongst their fans. Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey developed Palace Ale, a beer on sale in the ground,[65] while actor Bill Nighy is patron of the CPSCC, a Crystal Palace-based charity.[66] Two of the stars of The Inbetweeners, James Buckley and Simon Bird are also Palace fans.[67] Smooth Radio DJ David Kid Jensen is chairman of the Crystal Palace Vice Presidents Club[68] and acted as spokesman for the CPFC 2010 consortium during their takeover bid for the club. Also, the heavy metal journalist Dave Ling is a passionate follower.[69] Actor, writer and producer John Salthouse was on the books of Crystal Palace from 1968 to 1970,[70] and was also a mascot for the club as a child.[71] He incorporated the club into his role as Tony in Abigail's Party he was under the name of John Lewis at Palace.[72] Susanna Reid revealed her love of Palace while taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, visiting Selhurst Park for inspiration.[73] Rebecca Lowe, currently the host of Premier League coverage for NBC Sports, is also a supporter.[74]


Because of their location in the capital, Crystal Palace are involved in a number of local derbies, mostly across South London. Their strongest rivalry in London is with Millwall. They also enjoy a smaller rivalry with former tenants Charlton. 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.[75]


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

Due to the Football League not wishing the owners of the FA Cup Final to also own a team, a separate company was established to found and own the team. 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 he 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. Bourne remained chairman until his death in 1930.[76]

Arthur Wait established a consortium of seven businessmen to purchase the club in 1949, and initially they rotated the chairmanship.[77][78] In 1958 Wait became the Chairman, before being replaced by Raymond Bloye in 1972.[79] 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, leaving administration in June of that year after a takeover by a consortium of four wealthy fans, CPFC 2010.[80]

Crystal Palace F.C. is currently owned by CPFC 2010 Limited, a Private Limited Company registered at Company House. CPFC 2010 was established by a consortium of four businessmen, Steve Parish, Martin Long, Stephen Browett and Jeremy Hosking in 2010, each owning a 25% share of the company.[81][82] 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.[83] CPFC 2010 also purchased the ground from Lloyds Bank after a demonstration by fans put pressure on the bank to agree terms.[84][85]

On 18 December 2015, it was announced that a new deal had been signed with American investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer.[86] The club stated that Steve Parish would continue as chairman alongside Harris and Blitzer and that Browett, Long and Hosking would also retain a substantial investment.[87]

Statistics and records[edit]

Yohan Cabaye, pictured playing for Crystal Palace in September 2015, is the most expensive purchase in the club's history, costing £13 million.

Jim Cannon holds the record for Crystal Palace appearances, having played 660 first-team matches between 1973 and 1988.[88] He also holds the record for most League appearances, making 571.[89] 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.[90] 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.[88] He died in 1974. Aki Riihilahti holds the club record for most international caps, with 36 appearances for Finland while at Palace.[89][91][92]

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

Crystal Palace hold a number of records and achievements. They are one of a small group of clubs to have won a Football League Division at the first time of asking, winning the Third Division in 1920–21. Their average league attendance of 19,092 achieved 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.[93] The club's widest victory margin in the league was their 9–0 win against Barrow in Division Four in 1959, while their heaviest defeat in the league was by the same scoreline, 9–0, against Liverpool in 1989 in Division One.[94]

Palace's record home attendance is 51,482 for a Division Two match against Burnley, achieved on 11 May 1979.[94] With the introduction of regulations enforcing all-seater stadiums, it is unlikely that this record will be beaten in the foreseeable future. The highest transfer fee received for a Palace player is £15 million, from Manchester United for Wilfried Zaha in January 2013, while the highest transfer fee paid by the club to date was for Yohan Cabaye from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2015, thought to be around £13 million. The club's highest league finish was third in the Football League First Division which is now the Premier League achieved in 1990–91, under the management of Steve Coppell. The club were runners-up in the FA Cup in 1990 and have also reached the semi-final twice. In 1991 they won the Full Members Cup, and they have reached the semi-finals of the Football League Cup four times, most recently in 2012.

Palace remain the only team ever to be relegated from the Premier League even though they finished 4th from bottom. In the 1994/1995 season, the Premier League was reduced from 22 teams down to the current standard of 20. Palace also hold the record for relegations from the Premier League with a total of 4, (1992/93, 1994/95, 1997/98, 2004/05), they also hold the record for most Play Off wins resulting in promotion to the Premier League amassing 4 Play Off victories, they also hold the record (in any division) for winning promotion at 4 different locations, (Selhurst Park 1989, Old Wembley 1997, Millennium Stadium 2004 and New Wembley 2013).

Shirt sponsors[edit]

Year Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor[42]
1975–77 England Umbro None
1977–80 England Admiral Sportswear
1980–83 Germany Adidas
1983–84 England Red Rose
1984–85 Denmark Hummel None
1985–86 Top Score
1986–87 AVR
1987–88 England Admiral Sportswear England Andrew Copeland
1988–91 England Bukta England Fly Virgin
1991–92 Netherlands Tulip Computers
1992–93 England Ribero
1993–94 Japan TDK
1994–96 England Nutmeg
1996–99 Germany Adidas
1999–2000 South Africa TFG Sports Various sponsors[A]
2000–01 England Churchill Insurance
2001–03 France Le Coq Sportif
2003–04 England Admiral Sportswear
2004–06 Italy Diadora
2006–07 Kuwait GAC Logistics
2007–09 Italy Erreà
2009–12 United States Nike
2012–14 United States Avec[B]
2014–15 Italy Macron Canada Neteller
2015–Present Gibraltar


First-team squad[edit]

As of 26 January 2016.[95]

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 Jamaica DF Adrian Mariappa
4 Norway DF Brede Hangeland
5 Republic of Ireland DF Paddy McCarthy
6 England DF Scott Dann (third captain)
7 France MF Yohan Cabaye
9 England FW Fraizer Campbell
10 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Yannick Bolasie
11 England MF Wilfried Zaha
12 England GK Alex McCarthy
13 Wales GK Wayne Hennessey
14 South Korea MF Lee Chung-yong
15 Australia MF Mile Jedinak (captain)
16 England FW Dwight Gayle
No. Position Player
18 Scotland MF James McArthur
19 England DF Zeki Fryers
21 England FW Connor Wickham
22 England MF Jordon Mutch
23 Senegal DF Pape Souaré
25 Togo FW Emmanuel Adebayor
26 Mali MF Bakary Sako
27 Republic of Ireland DF Damien Delaney (vice captain)
28 Wales MF Joe Ledley
29 Morocco FW Marouane Chamakh
32 Ghana FW Kwesi Appiah
34 England DF Martin Kelly
42 England MF Jason Puncheon
Scotland GK Chris Kettings

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
20 Wales MF Jonny Williams (at Milton Keynes Dons until 23 April 2016)[96]
41 England MF Jake Gray (at Hartlepool United until the end of the 2015–16 season)
No. Position Player
45 England DF Ryan Inniss (at Port Vale until the end of the 2015–16 season)[97]
England MF Connor Dymond (at Newport County until 13 February 2016)

Development squad[edit]

Crystal Palace Reserves joined the London League in the year 1906–07. Crystal Palace has gained a reputation for their academy which produced players such as Wilfried Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne, Victor Moses, Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson, Clinton Morrison, Gareth Southgate etc.[98][99]

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

No. Position Player
37 England MF Sullay Kaikai
38 England MF Hiram Boateng
43 England FW Keshi Anderson
44 England DF Luke Croll
46 England FW Reise Allassani
49 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Jason Lokilo
England GK David Gregory
Greece GK Kleton Perntreou
Australia GK Oliver Pain
England DF Christian Scales
England DF Jason Akioutu
England DF Callum Sturgess
England DF Ben Wynter
England DF Matthew George
No. Position Player
England DF Jerome Binnom-Williams
England DF Oliver O'Dwyer
Scotland MF Will Hoare
Norway MF Andreas Breimyr
England MF Spencer Forte
England MF Michael Phillips
England MF Luke Dreher
Republic of Ireland MF Kian Flanagan
England MF Andre Coker
England MF Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong
England MF Randell Williams
Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Aaron Bissaka
England FW Victor Fundi
England FW Corie Andrews

Notable former players[edit]

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.[100]

Player of the Year[edit]

Year Winner
1972 Scotland John McCormick
1973 Scotland Tony Taylor
1974 England Peter Taylor
1975 England Derek Jeffries
1976 England Peter Taylor
1977 England Kenny Sansom
1978 Scotland Jim Cannon
1979 England Kenny Sansom
1980 England Paul Hinshelwood
Year Winner
1981 England Paul Hinshelwood
1982 England Paul Barron
1983 Republic of Ireland Jerry Murphy
1984 England Billy Gilbert
1985 Scotland Jim Cannon
1986 Scotland George Wood
1987 Scotland Jim Cannon
1988 England Geoff Thomas
1989 England Ian Wright
Year Winner
1990 England Mark Bright
1991 England Geoff Thomas
1992 Republic of Ireland Eddie McGoldrick
1993 England Andy Thorn
1994 Wales Chris Coleman
1995 England Richard Shaw
1996 England Andy Roberts
1997 Scotland David Hopkin
1998 England Marc Edworthy
Year Winner
1999 England Hayden Mullins
2000 England Andy Linighan
2001 China Fan Zhiyi
2002 Scotland Dougie Freedman
2003 England Hayden Mullins
2004 England Andrew Johnson
2005 England Andrew Johnson
2006 Barbados Emmerson Boyce
2007 Guyana Leon Cort
Year Winner
2008 Argentina Julián Speroni
2009 Argentina Julián Speroni
2010 Argentina Julián Speroni
2011 England Nathaniel Clyne
2012 Norway Jonathan Parr
2013 Australia Mile Jedinak
2014 Argentina Julián Speroni
2015 England Scott Dann

Club staff[edit]

Position Name
Co-Chairman Steve Parish
Co-Chairman Stephen Browett
Chief Executive Phil Alexander
Manager Alan Pardew
Assistant Manager Keith Millen
First Team Coach John Salako
Goalkeeping Coach Andy Woodman
Fitness Coach Scott Guyett


As of matches played 13 February 2016. Not including caretaker managers. All competitive matches are counted.
Monochrome photograph.
Longest serving manager Edmund Goodman
Name From To G W D L  %W
John 'Jack' Robson July 1905 30 April 1907 77 35 18 24 45.45
Edmund Goodman 1 May 1907 24 November 1925 613 242 166 205 39.48
Alex Maley 24 November 1925 12 October 1927 83 36 16 31 43.37
Fred Mavin 21 November 1927 18 October 1930 132 63 33 36 47.73
Jack Tresadern 27 October 1930 June 1935 213 98 44 71 46.01
Tom Bromilow July 1935
1 January 1937
July 1936
July 1939
162 71 40 51 43.83
R. S. Moyes July 1936 8 December 1936 23 6 6 11 26.09
George Irwin July 1939 July 1947 45 15 11 19 33.33
Jack Butler July 1947 June 1949 88 23 24 41 26.14
Ronnie Rooke June 1949 29 November 1950 62 19 15 28 30.65
Fred Dawes/Charlie Slade 29 November 1950 11 October 1951 40 8 10 22 20.00
Laurie Scott 11 October 1951 October 1954 145 43 41 61 29.66
Cyril Spiers October 1954 June 1958 181 52 53 76 28.73
George Smith July 1958 12 April 1960 100 42 27 31 42.00
Arthur Rowe 15 April 1960 30 November 1962 132 52 32 48 39.39
Dick Graham 30 November 1962 3 January 1966 150 68 41 41 45.33
Bert Head 18 April 1966 30 March 1973 328 101 96 131 30.79
Malcolm Allison 30 March 1973
1 December 1980
May 1976
26 January 1981
155 53 48 54 34.19
Terry Venables 1 June 1976
9 June 1998
14 October 1980
15 January 1999
220 80 76 64 36.36
Dario Gradi 26 January 1981 10 November 1981 30 7 3 20 23.33
Steve Kember 10 November 1981
18 April 2003
June 1982
3 November 2003
53 15 14 24 28.30
Alan Mullery July 1982 June 1984 98 31 27 40 31.63
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 39.12
Alan Smith 3 June 1993
1 August 2000
15 May 1995
29 April 2001
163 62 43 58 38.04
Dave Bassett 8 February 1996 27 February 1997 60 29 15 16 48.33
Attilio Lombardo[C] 13 March 1998 29 April 1998 7 2 0 5 28.57
Steve Bruce 30 May 2001 31 October 2001 18 11 2 5 61.11
Trevor Francis 30 November 2001 18 April 2003 78 28 22 28 35.90
Iain Dowie 22 December 2003 22 May 2006 123 50 29 44 40.65
Peter Taylor 13 June 2006 8 October 2007 60 21 16 23 35.00
Neil Warnock 11 October 2007
27 August 2014
2 March 2010
27 December 2014
146 50 45 51 34.25
Paul Hart 2 March 2010 3 May 2010 14 3 6 5 21.43
George Burley 17 June 2010 1 January 2011 25 7 5 13 28.00
Dougie Freedman 11 January 2011 23 October 2012 90 32 27 31 35.56
Ian Holloway 3 November 2012 23 October 2013 46 14 14 18 30.43
Tony Pulis 23 November 2013 14 August 2014 28 12 5 11 42.86
Alan Pardew 2 January 2015 Present 52 25 6 21 48.08


Crystal Palace's honours and achievements include the following:



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, the ground of Crystal Palace in a 1–1 draw against Birmingham City on 6 February 1999.[101] 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.[72] 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.[102] 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.[103] 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.[104][105]

Crystal Palace Ladies[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Crystal Palace L.F.C..

Crystal Palace Ladies is the women's football club affiliated to Crystal Palace, founded in 1992. They are managed by Ian Jackson. Crystal Palace LFC compete in the Women's South East Combination League, in the third tier of English women's football.[106] They play their home games at the Hayes Lane, Bromley, London.[106]

Their kits are sponsored by the insurance broker Lark (Group) Limited.


  1. ^ There was no permanent sponsor due to the club being in administration
  2. ^ Avec, a subsidiary of Nike, will be main kit manufacturer but training wear will continue to be provided by Nike.
  3. ^ Player-Manager
  4. ^ For all three occasions the club were not promoted as only the champions of the two Division Three championships were promoted.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ 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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  • King, Ian (2012). Crystal Palace: The Complete Record 1905–2011. Derby Books Publishing Company Limited. ISBN 978-1-78091-221-9. 
  • Matthews, Tony (editor). We All Follow The Palace. Juma, 1998. ISBN 1-872204-55-4

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]