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August 14 2022 10.01pm

Simon's last straw

July 16 2008

Simon Jordan

Simon Jordan

Is it really the end of a difficult relationship between Crystal Palace and chairman Simon Jordan? Jamesey comments.

There's nothing new about Simon Jordan making it known that with the right buyer and price, Crystal Palace Football Club was for sale.

Like many other supporters, in the summer of 2004, I was stunned to hear that after all the slog and the effort of the previous four years and after winning the play-offs in Cardiff, Simon announced that the club was for sale.

It seemed an extraordinary moment to consider selling up and in this column I urged Simon to get real and enjoy a season in the Premiership. Surely that had been his ambition and, having achieved that goal, he might as well stay and enjoy the party?

Of course, he did just that but we don't really know whether that was because there were no potential buyers or whether he changed his mind.

Looking at the Simon Years in perspective, it is not difficult to see how disillusionment set in.

In 2000, the young self-made millionaire sold his mobile phone business and bought our club, fulfilling a boyhood dream.

He was certainly our hero to begin with, and was credited with saving the club from administration and possible closure.

The departure of Selhurst hero Steve Coppell and the unlikely appointment of Alan Smith were the first in many wobbles in the supporters' relationship with Simon over the years.

And, of course, Simon soon discovered that, unlike any old mobile phone tycoon, he was glamorous and famous. He made the sports headlines, wrote newspaper columns, was on TV and was definitely a "somebody".

But obviously as the years went by, Simon found that being a football club chairman had its down side too and his maverick personality led to continual clashes with authorities, the fans and his own managers, who came and departed with great rapidity.

As mentioned above, perhaps the dream started to go a little stale after four years and I am sure that if the right buyer had subsequently materialised Simon would have sold up before now.

Anyhow the dream is certainly stale, if not diseased, after eight years, and Simon has made it obvious that the Bostock tribunal affair has been the last straw and he wants to sell.

He has said he is committed to find a "responsible buyer" and that is reasonably good news for supporters.

How our mortgaged stadium will fit into the equation is anybody's guess but let's all hope that if there are any takers out there they won't be like some of the unwelcome characters who have bought up some Premiership clubs.

It would be extremely unlikely that a scruffy, second-tier south London club would be of interest to that brigade. We hope...

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