Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cause for concern

With mounting dissatisfaction all around, there's a growing fear that CPFC is sleepwalking towards a collapse in its fanbase. Dave Burn worries about the direction the club is taking

They say you have to take the rough with the smooth, but I am not sure for how long. I have the great excuse of a young family, not that it is an excuse. I have a season ticket this year, which I have used a few times, but I am not sure about next year.

I recently got a call from Palace asking why I hadn’t renewed. I said I wasn’t happy with what was happening at the club and received a surprised ‘oh really’ response. Before I could say anymore they were gone.

I would love to speak to Peter Taylor, because I really do not understand what he sees that we don’t. Not to have a go at him but to get him to explain what his vision is. Something is clearly not right.

I sense the club is rudderless at the moment and that the relationship with the fans is worryingly poor. Now is the time for collective action, not distance. I am not saying Palace should be in the top six, but we need to be working towards improving the standard of play, having a team that shows some passion, and be in a place where the fans and the club have mutual respect. Palace’s long-term fan base is getting increasingly restless and that is damaging. The attendance against Preston must surely have worried the club, it did me.

The management and the players need to realise that fan demographics are rapidly changing. They ignore these problems at their peril. If the club was a little more honest and realistic, then perhaps the booing would stop. I really do not think that the club is aware of just how peed off the fans are, or realise that the fans are capable of making difficult choices. I appreciate that we whinge a lot more than we used to, but the club needs to understand the context. From Noades to Goldberg, to then being a fag paper away from extinction took a hell of a lot out of us. Sound bites and vision statements are not enough.

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