Sports Letter: The lady doth protest too much

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with incredulity Ms Sue Donato's letter about the "crisis" at Crystal Palace (13 January). The Eagles are a club with a notoriously fickle following who realistically cannot hope to support a premiership side on their attendances. As for her comment about being "long suffering", long suffering is supporting Brighton or Hull City or any one of a dozen clubs struggling to survive in the lower reaches of the Football League.

Clubs such as Palace cannot hope to hang on to genuinely good players although how Jansen can be described as such after only half a season in the top flight is beyond me. pounds 4m for a player who hasn't played international football, and is hardly setting the First Division alight this season, is a vastly inflated figure and Palace were well advised to take the money and run. As they did with Wright, Armstrong and Southgate before him.

It is precisely this sort of uneducated fan that forces clubs such as Palace to get "ideas above their station" and leads them into financial difficulties. Lombardo, Padovano and Brolin spring to mind as signings that cannot be sustained by a small club such as this.