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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Crystal Malaise

As Crystal Palace enter administration the lads discuss the club's predicament, finance in football, and whether points deductions are the fairest treatment.

I think the first thing I'd have to say is I hate to see administration happen for the fans of a club.

Having experienced it with my own club, it's a horribly uncertain time and certainly puts things into perspective.

I've met some really sound Palace fans over the years too, so I certainly hope they pull through.

Turls: Agreed. I've always said that I'd never wish administration on any club - even Manchester United - because, as you said, it does create an uncertain time and there are always fears that the club could slowly slide out of existence.

Nobes: Having said that though, it is only fair to clubs who run themselves properly that, if a side is irresponsible, then they are punished for it on the pitch by virtue of a points deduction.

Lakes: I think you're right, in a business which is all about money it seems only fair that teams get hit where it hurts - in the moneybag knackers.

Turls: I think it appears to be the only legitimate punishment for a club. Can you think of another way to punish financial mismanagement?

No, and it also seems that the authorities are now, rightly, getting tougher on sides about when the points deductions are implemented.

They're trying to make sure it does have the maximum effect on a team's chances to win promotion or avoid relegation.

Before, teams were getting around it and exploiting the loopholes - Stockport cleverly did so last season after securing safety, although they're now suffering the consequences this season.

Turls: It's a tough situation for the Football League because they have to punish the club for letting the situation get that bad but at the same time, a ten point deduction means that it puts the club in even more trouble.

Boss Neil Warnock is unhappy with Palace's entry into adminstration

Nobes: Yes, for Palace it's thrown them from a play-off campaign into a relegation battle - the ultimate punishment, and hopefully another warning to clubs to get their house in order or the same will happen to them.

Lakes: There will be some who say of course that the players don't deserve this. That is alright to an extent - but let's not forget they're all overpaid anyway.

Turls: Speaking of players, the administration decision couldn't have come at a worse time for Palace because Victor Moses, the man who seems destined to go on a do great things looked like he was going to make a big money move during this window.

Nobes: Yes, Forest and West Brom apparently rumoured to be interested in him. I guess they might have to let him go for less now?

Turls: A shedload of clubs appeared to be interested and they seemed like they were going to cash in for over £5m.

When you consider though that when Wimbledon went into financial meltdown, the administrators came in and looked to offload players, including Nigel Reo-Coker, who went for £500,000.

It would appear that they will be looking to sell him to the first person who tables a decent offer. Could be Barcelona but it could be West Brom as well.

Palace should be ok to avoid the drop, although it depends what happens from now until February 1

Lakes: It's all made Warnock moan again, which always makes me laugh.

I think Palace will do alright though because, as much as I hate him, I know he's good at motivating players and getting them to dig in.

Palace's star asset Victor Moses is expected to bring in some much needed revenue

Nobes: That's true, if anyone can help create a siege mentality and get his players to battle through this, then Warnock is the guy.

Lakes: I reckon they'll be pushing for upper mid-table, which will be a bitter pill for their fans to swallow as they'll know that might have been enough to secure a play-off spot come the end of the season.

I remember that season Palace were 22nd at Christmas and ended up in the play-offs though, so anything can still happen.

I think the biggest worry is you know that Palace won't be the last and another club will have the same happen to them just around the corner.

You do wonder whether it will actually take a club going to the wall to get football clubs to wake up.

It's happened in Non League more recently, but not since the early 90s in the Football League around the time of the last recession.

It may not be too far away.

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