Sports letter: No sense in sales policy at Palace

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The Independent Online
Sir: After Michael Owen, Matt Jansen is the most exciting young forward in the country. Don't just take that from Crystal Palace fans like me: ask Peter Taylor, manager of the England Under-21 team, or Four Four Two magazine, which recently voted him the best striker outside the Premiership.

Jansen had the chance last season to join Manchester United but chose instead to come to Palace, despite the fact that relegation from the Premiership looked likely. He recently signed a new long-term contract, says he enjoys working under Terry Venables and has apparently moved into a new home near the club's training ground. So why on earth are Palace contemplating selling him to Newcastle United?

We Palace supporters are a long-suffering lot, but the sale of Jansen, particularly at a giveaway fee of pounds 4m, would be the final straw. Since last summer we have witnessed the sale of a succession of good players - Marc Edworthy, Dean Gordon, Neil Shipperley and Bruce Dyer to name just four - to be replaced by vastly inferior signings. Venables might complain with some justification about a lack of transfer funds, but the fact is that he has still had plenty of money to spend.

The problem is that money has been spent on players like Lee Bradbury (pounds 1.5m) and David Amsalem (pounds 850,000) who are simply not up to the task.