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Eagles ambition still apparant

January 25 2006

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson

Andrew Johnson, Dean Ashton and Peter Crouch. Who would have thought that AJ would be the only one still playing in the Championship in World Cup year? by Neil McSteen.

Of the trio I thought it would have been our striker who would be first to make an instant return to the top flight.

But thanks to AJ's loyalty, backed up with Simon Jordan issuing a "hands off" warning that wasn't just a come-on signal to push the transfer fee higher, Palace are handily placed for a swift return to the Premiership.

You can bet that if Norwich had been sniffing around the play-offs Ashton wouldn't have been so happy to jump ship in the transfer window.

True, the £7m fee will cushion the blow at Nigel and Delia's place but how much of that money will Worthington actually see?

With £1.5m already on its way to Crewe due to a sell-on clause, it won't be much if the Canaries are facing a second season in the Championship and needing to balance the books.

The sale of Peter Crouch for £7m at the start of the season allowed Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC to go one further and balance their share price.

What would Saints fans give for a chairman like ours? Players don't leave Palace to satisfy shareholders, merely if their ambition doesn't match ours.

Which is something Iain Dowie is putting right.

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