Football: Palace fans to stage protest

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The Independent Online
CRYSTAL PALACE supporters are planning a mass protest to call for the resignation of the chairman, Mark Goldberg, at Sunday's televised First Division game against Barnsley.

The fans will hold aloft 5,000 cards with the message "Goldberg out" to register their displeasure with the way the chairman has sold a string of leading players, including Attilio Lombardo, Matt Jansen, Neil Shipperley, Bruce Dyer and Marc Edworthy.

Goldberg bought the club for pounds 23m and promised European football within five years, but Palace have won only one game since November. Defeat on Sunday will drag them into the relegation zone.

The co-ordinator of the protest said: "Palace fans are a very mild-mannered bunch but it's got to the stage where enough is enough. There is a general despair amongst the fans, and I have had a lot of people contacting me to offer to help distribute the cards.

"It will be a completely peaceful protest and we don't want to unsettle the players, who are not to blame. The cards will be raised before the game, at half-time, and at full-time."

The latest player to pass through the Selhurst Park exit is Lee Bradbury, who is poised to join Birmingham City for pounds 1m. The striker moved to Palace for pounds 1.5m just four months ago but Goldberg is willing to let him leave for much less.

Bradbury has played 14 times since moving south, scoring four times, but his pounds 6,000-per-week wages are proving a drain on the club's resources. Goldberg has held talks with Birmingham this week and a knock-down fee could be agreed soon.

Hartlepool United have named the Wolves youth-team coach, Chris Turner, as their new manager. The 40-year-old former Sunderland and Manchester United goalkeeper has taken over at the Nationwide League's 90th-placed club and succeeds Mick Tait, who left the Third Division club by mutual consent last month. Brian Honour, who had been caretaker manager, will stay on as assistant manager.

The Barnsley defender Scott Jones was yesterday rewarded with a new three- and-a-half year contract, just 12 months after coming close to turning his back on the Tykes.

Jones had been left out of the first-team by the then manager, Danny Wilson, and was on the verge of signing for Third Division Mansfield Town. However, the 23-year-old decided against a move to Field Mill, opting instead to stay and fight for his place and sign a short-term deal.

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