Back in the Day: June 1st - Crystal Palace FC is Saved from Extinction

Back in the Day

Tuesday 1st June 1976

Malcolm Allison had departed as manager, and the Club opted to promote Terry Venables from coach to Manager. It was a gamble, but one that would pay off.

Tuesday 1st June 1982

Steve Kember is sacked as Crystal Palace manager – learning of his sacking while on holiday – and on the very same day, Alan Mullery resigned from Charlton after less than a year in charge. Ron Noades was about to make a decision that would anger 98% of the Crystal Palace support base.

Tuesday 1st June 2010

After protests at Selhurst Park the previous day, Palace fans met at London Bridge Station where they would march to Lloyds Headquarters where the protest would continue – in hope that the actions would help push through a deal.

A CPFC2010, the only consortium interested in taking over the Club, released a statement outlining the issues that the deal was facing:

We are trying to acquire both Crystal Palace Football Club and Selhurst Park. Everyone would agree Selhurst Park is pivotal to the long-term future of the Club and CPFC2010 have always made it clear they will not proceed without securing it. We reached what we thought was an agreement with Bank of Scotland, who are the major creditor of Selhurst Park Ltd. Subsequent to this agreement we have been sent a contract that does not reflect this agreement and is unworkable. There is an anti-embarrassment clause that allows the bank to see further return if we realise greater value from the ground in the future. It seems that the bank want to make an unlimited return in the future even if that value is created on the back of the success of the football club or money we have invested in new infrastructure. We believe that the maximum they should make is the difference between what we pay for the land as a football ground and what a property developer will pay now as a development opportunity plus interest. Bank of Scotland is currently government owned. As such we would urge the new Prime Minister (David Cameron) to intervene personally to resolve the situation or see a Club supported by many thousands, and with a 100-year history, consigned to the scrapheap.

Brendan Guilfoyle, the Administrator, also released a statement that hammered home what would happen if the Club was not purchased by the 3 pm deadline:

I’ve already made the calls [to other clubs]. What I’ll actually do after the deadline is start selling players. The enquiries are out, offers have been received. There are a number of players who have value but once they’re sold and it no-one else come in then I’ll have to resign, walk away and then the liquidation process will re-start. I am now genuinely concerned because I can’t let the thing drift on into June. The staff at Palace have not been paid since the end of April. I can deal with that by selling the Club’s star players but what CPFC2010 have said is if you start selling players we’ll no longer be interested. If I start selling players – and I will because I have to – I’m not confident CPFC2010 will still be around. In those circumstances, I haven’t got anyone to buy the Club because they have, for a long time, been the only show in town.

The fat lady had not yet sung, but she was certainly squeezing into her dress.

Now follows some extracts from James Howland’s book, The Palace Addiction (which you can purchase here – and I highly recommend that you do).

We arrived at Lloyd’s headquarters on Gresham St at around 11:30 and began to sing. Bemused bankers came to their windows to take photos. I don’t think they were used to having an angry mob of football supporters turn up at their place of work. There was a bright yellow Lamborghini parked outside that was draped in red and blue as we made our point.

People began to discuss the prospect of a Phoenix Club, such as AFC Wimbledon, if the worst case happened at 3 o’clock. Soon, the ferocious Palace chants turned into more light-hearted ones such as ‘What a bunch of bankers!

News of our plight was spreading around the world. I received a text from a friend in Afghanistan with the army, who had spotted me on the BBC’s world news service.

1:30, no news, 2 o’clock, no news, 2:30, no news. Dad and I were speaking every half hour or so. He might have been at work but he wasn’t doing much work that day. An accusation that could probably be levelled at most Palace fans on Tuesday 1st June 2010 [I spent my entire day sending emails to MPs as I couldn’t get out of the office – so, you’re probably right James].

Eventually, the singing started up again. It was more aggressive this time. Partly because we were closer to the deadline and partly because some people had been to the pub for the early afternoon. Loud chants of ‘We Love You’ and ‘You are my Palace’ were sung outside the foyer of the bank’s headquarters. At three o’clock, someone came out and told us that they were close to an agreement…. Eventually, around half past three, a message was got to us that it was official. A deal had been reached to purchase the ground; therefore the Club. We’d been saved!

PwC statement:

"The joint administrators for Selhurst Park, home of Crystal Palace FC, are delighted to confirm that following detailed discussions over several weeks, they have agreed in principle to sell the ground to CPFC 2010 at an agreed and undisclosed price.

"Discussions to finalise these details are now taking place."

"Throughout what has been a very complex administration, we had remained hopeful that we could conclude a deal with a purchaser whose vision for the ground matched that of the community, the football club and its supporters,” said Barry Gilbertson, a PWC Partner.

"We are delighted to confirm that after an in-depth negotiation process, we have agreed in principle the sale of the stadium to CPFC 2010, the consortium which is negotiating the purchase of Crystal Palace Football Club which entered into administration in January (2010).

"That we have been able to reach an agreement in principle in what has been a relatively short space of time is testament to the ongoing support we have received from Lloyds Banking Group and other key stakeholders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the contribution they have made in securing this successful outcome.

"The CPFC 2010 bid is dependent on the purchase of the club, however, it is understood that under the Football League framework any official sale will not take place until after the end of the season and an exit via a CVA was secured by Crystal Palace FC’s administrators, The P&A Partnership. Realistically, it is likely to be some weeks before this process is concluded."

June 1st, 2010 is a day that no Crystal Palace fan will ever forget. Our lives stopped. Whether outside Lloyds, sat in an office or on a sunbed abroad – everyone was united in trying to do their bit to keep the Club afloat, and we succeeded.

What Happened Yesterday?

May 31st



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