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Crystal Palace FC

Crystal Palace Football Club was formed in 1905, and took its name from the huge glass palace that stood at the top of Sydenham Hill.

The club played its home fixtures at Crystal Palace until the start of the First World War, when it moved to Herne Hill. After the war the club relocated again to The Nest.

Until 1920 Palace played in the Southern League before joining the Football League for the 1921 season, winning the Third Division Championship at the first attempt.

The club moved again in 1924 to its present home at Selhurst Park [map], but it was a disastrous first season there as they were relegated back to Division Three (South). Palace remained here until the Football League restructured its divisions in 1958 and the club became a founder member of the newly formed National League Division Four.

For the next ten years the club gave the fans something to cheer about by winning promotion, culminating in the 1969 promotion to Division One.

In 1973 under the management of Malcolm Allison the team was relegated back to Division Two before slipping into Division Three a year later.

After more failed attempts at promotion, Terry Venables took over the reigns from Allison in 1977 and immediately gained promotion to the second division. Two seasons later Palace were back in the top flight, with a young side that included heroes Kenny Sansom, Billy Gilbert and Vince Hilaire.

However, as seems to be the case with Palace, the club once again floundered in the top division and were relegated in 1981. In the same year the club was bought by Ron Noades.

Under Steve Coppell's management Palace re-established itself as a force to be reckoned with, winning promotion to the first division in 1989.

The 1990 season saw the club's first appearance in the FA Cup Final, drawing 3-3 with Manchester United, before losing 1-0 in the replay.

The following year the team achieved their best ever league position, finishing third and only missing out on a European place because English clubs were banned following the Heysel Stadium disaster. In the same year Palace triumphed at Wembley when they won the Zenith Data Systems Cup, beating Everton 4-1.

After another poor season, Palace was relegated at the end of the 1993 season after losing to Arsenal on the final day. But as usual the club wasn’t down for long, as new manager Alan Smith’s team won promotion at the first time of asking, although they were relegated again in 1995.

In 1996, after Smith was sacked, Dave Bassett took the hot seat and led Palace to the play-off final at Wembley where they lost to a last minute goal from Leicester's Steve Claridge.

A year later it was Palace’s turn to win the play-off final with a last-minute goal, David Hopkin curling in a 20-yarder to defeat Sheffield United to secure a place in the Premiership.

But relegation followed and this in turn led to the darkest times the club had ever known. Mark Goldberg took over the club from Ron Noades, brought back Terry Venables and signed a series of highly paid players, who unfortunately did not achieve on the pitch. The financial strain of this venture brought Crystal Palace to its knees and sent the club into administration resulting in the majority of the top players being sold off.

After a season of despair, the club was finally brought out of administration in July 2000 following the take over by mobile phone tycoon Simon Jordan.

Over the next three years the club had a staggering four managers as the team struggled to hold on to first division status. However, the appointing of current manager Iain Dowie in 2004 brought new life to the team resulting in the dramatic play-off final victory against West Ham United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Unfortunately, Palace only lasted one season in the Premiership and for 2005/06 season are playing in the Coca-Cola Championship.


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