Crystal Palace: That Was The Week That Was
Let’s face facts it has been a pretty extraordinary seven days down at the Selhurst circus, even by our high wire standards.
To call Palace a rollercoaster club is a bit like saying Man City are reasonably well off or the Germans are quite successful. And so in the space of a week we have lost our manager, been fined for a breach of rules, Sporting Director has resigned and we are still waiting to appoint a new permanent manager. However, the devil is in the detail and there are plenty of demons buried amongst the ruins of a chaotic week.
Earlier in the week it looked as though a replacement had been found for the recently departed Tony Pulis. Malky Mackay was in pole position, as the bookies had stopped taking bets a sure fire sign that he was on the verge of being appointed. But when there was no official announcement from the club doubts started to creep in that all was not well and sure enough things started to unpick. Mackay’s star has certainly fallen along with that of his former wingman, Iain Moody as details of misconduct allegations from former employer, Cardiff, started to leak out. It was also revealed that the ‘Spygate’ saga is still rumbling on, with Cardiff now intent on launching a legal action against Palace and Moody. Different day, same shit.
All these shenanigans were being played out on social media, twitter was alive with rumours swirling about that there was a hitch. In the good old days, the story would have been reported in the media at the end of each day but now we have access to an endless flow of information with the complexion changing continuously. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is open to debate. Such a continuum feels as though the fans are closer to what is happening even though there are plenty of red herrings and blind alleys to distract us and of course no editorial discretion or judgement.
Meanwhile apparently the Premier League season has started and there is a match to play on Saturday against West Ham. That this game feels like a sideshow to the main event is worrying. The undoubted success of the short-lived Pulis regime was the focus of the players on the job to be done. There was a plan and they stuck to their task, whilst under the current circumstances it would be understandable if the team were a tad unsettled by the recent comings and goings (and the not comings). We used to talk about such matters as being ‘behind the scenes’, but now they are centre stage and impossible to ignore when the flibbertigibbets are in full flow.
It used to be said that a week was a long time in politics, well Palace have certainly managed to redefine such a statement, moving it on to the next level where twenty-four hours seems like a lifetime. No wonder that the majority of our celebrity fans are comedians, you need a robust sense of humour to support this club.
Richard Foster's first book The A-Z of Football Hates is now available. Follow Richard on Twitter, @rcfoster.