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September 23 2021 4.18pm

Palace are top of the docs

August 26 2021

Palace shirts in the dressing room at Selhurst Park

Palace shirts in the dressing room at Selhurst Park

Palace might not win the Premier League this season, but they did beat City and Spurs in the documentary department, writes Ben Blake.

The 2020/21 season didnít end the way Crystal Palace supporters wanted. Apart from a few early star-studded performances from Wilfred Zaha and Eberechi Eze, the Eagles finished in 14th place for their second consecutive season.

The lingering and inevitable departure of Roy Hodgson at the end of the season didnít help, either. Yet, the current attitude in the club seems to be nothing short of optimistic and determined Ė at least, thatís what Amazon Primeís latest sports documentary series, When Eagles Dare, portrayed.

The Results Might Not Be There, But the Attitude Is

Palace didn't get off to a good 2021/22 season, losing 3-0 to Chelsea. That said, it's still early days, and the team did keep a clean sheet against Brentford, who surprisingly punished Arsenal on the opening weekend.

Still, sports betting company William Hill, which, according to Bonusfinders article about casino bonuses with low wagers in the UK, offers a 100 per cent deposit match bonus up to £300, has given Crystal Palace odds of 750/1 to win the Premier League this season.

Maybe thatís a fair prediction. However, Crystal Palace fans are no doubt happy to see their club's extraordinary history presented on an international streaming platform.

Making its debut this summer on Amazon Prime, a new generation of football fans have been introduced to the beautiful, albeit unsuccessful in recent years, London club.

When Eagles Dare

In June 2021, Amazon, which has been heavily moving into sports, all while fighting things like climate change, released its documentary series on Crystal Palace, called When Eagles Dare.

However, the series, which includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, is unlike any other football documentary Amazon has produced, including Manchester City's and Tottenham Hotspur's.

When Eagles Dare isnít a one-sided story like Tottenhamís, which ignored Pochettino's viewpoint after he was sacked in 2019. Instead, Crystal Palaceís documentary tells the story of a phoenix rising from the ashes as it looks back on the clubís journey to Premier League promotion in the 2012/2013 season.

That tight-knit team unite that got Palace to that point was reiterated in the documentary by 2021 interviews with legends like Dougie Freedman, Ian Holloway, and Wilfred Zaha, who seemed especially sure that, even today, Crystal Palace is the only club for him.

The series also documents one of the most fascinating stories in sports business: how lifelong supporter Steve Parish saved Palace from extinction by forming a consortium when the club needed a buyer in 2010.

Rather than trying to promote their brand through club-controlled content, which has seemed the case with a few of these football documentaries, When Eagles Dare provides viewers with honest interviews.

Dougie Freedman admitted he should never have left Palace to coach Bolton Wanderers Ė and explores the business of running a club, even during hard times which we didnít see in Cityís 2018 documentary.

For a while, it seemed the club-specific genre of UK football documentaries had run its course. They werenít unique or insightful anymore Ė they were commercial.

But Amazonís new series on Palace does an excellent job of capturing the highs and lows of football and reminding us how, ultimately, the passion for the game starts at the grassroots level.

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