Saturday, August 21, 2010

Edgar has Landed!

Oh, what a time to be a Crystal Palace fan!

Just weeks, literally, after the Championship club were on the brink of going out of business, and on the very day it is announced they are 'officially' out of administration, the new owners and management team have pulled the most almighty, humongous rabbit out a seemingly invisible hat!

Days ago fellow championship rivals Cardiff were celebrating their very own coup in the form of Craig Bellamy, without a doubt a terrific footballer, but with a temperament that saw him more or less 'forced' out of the bright lights of Manchester, as he chose the somewhat less salubrious surroundings and the somewhat dimmer lights of his home town, as he joined Cardiff City F.C on loan.

Why Cardiff? Well Bellamy is a Welshman, he comes from Cardiff, has a home in the vicinity, his family are still based in Wales and he wants to play first-team football. He can have ALL that at Cardiff for the same money, instead of collecting splinters while sitting on the bench at City, playing second fiddle to fellow strikers: Tevez, Robinho, Adebayor, Jo, Santa Cruz and Balotelli.

I myself was scratching my head at the beginning of the week as I wondered how on earth a club struggling financially, not dissimilar to the plight that Palace found themselves in, could afford to bring on board such a player and offer him first team football for a 'mere' £45,000 per week (and that is only half of his contracted weekly wage), while those good 'samaritans' at Eastlands, the blue side of Greater Manchester have agreed with the 'Bluebirds' to subsidize the outstanding balance of Bellamy's wages, the further £45,000 per week - sheer unadulterated madness!

In my humble opinion this year is promotion to the Premier League or bust for Cardiff City.........the scenario of putting all your eggs in one basket and 'hoping' for the most fruitful outcome. A BIG gamble that can only end one of two ways - glorious success over 46 league games resulting in Premier League football next season, or au revoir to English club football, the League of Wales awaits you!

Now the cynics out there may well point the finger at Palace and justifiably so. I wholly and naturally expect plenty of vigorous finger wagging in the direction of London SE25 over the forthcoming days and possibly weeks, and I fully understand and accept any sort of denigration and vilification regarding the events today.

How much you may well ask are this recently rescued club going to pay a 37 year-old former Dutch international who hasn't kicked a ball in anger for two years, to pull on Palace's red n' blue shirt?
Well you can be sure the new owners (CPFC2010) will have done their maths and that if this arrangement was a non-viable monetary option, the plug would have been pulled immediately. These guys have just saved the club, in no way will they put their money and the clubs security in jeopardy, less than 24 hours after exiting administration.

But in Edgar Davids (pictured right) you have a man and a football player that once graced the game across Europe, from the days of his Ajax debut back in 1992, followed by a glorious career at the likes of footballing giants AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, and Inter Milan, as well as a spell at Tottenham, winning numerous club trophies throughout his illustrious playing career, not to mention his 74 international caps for the Netherlands.

Now he is a Crystal Palace player on a 'pay-as-you-play deal', who will provide as much off the pitch as on it!
Crystal Palace have a football academy second only to Arsenal's, and the youngsters at Palace in the shape of Zaha, Cadogan, Clyne, Djilali, Scannell, Holland and Pinney to name but a few can surely only benefit from the arrival of a genuine 'footballing icon' at their Club, whether it be on the training ground, in the dressing room, in the form of advice or even as a shoulder to cry on!

The obvious income Davids will bring to the Club will more than likely come in the form of an initial (and hopefully a prolonged) increase in crowd attendances at Selhurst Park, from shirt sales and possibly even designer glasses. Any income by whatever means can only be of benefit to the Club.

The Club itself will undoubtably receive additional media exposure, possibly resulting in an increase in the number of live TV games shown, and therefore the increased revenue that is generated as a result.

On the otherhand maybe Davids will become an overbearing unwanted media distraction at the club, ruffle a few feathers and put a few noses out of joint amongst the more experienced, senior players already at the club. Maybe Davids will pick up a serious injury, be unable to sustain the level of fitness required, along with the hunger or desire and passion required on match day. A cold, wet Tuesday night fixture away at Deepdale, the Keepmoat or Turf Moor hardly rivals the Stadio Olimpico di Torino or the L'Estadi Camp Nou.

But football fans, even if Davids move to South London doesn't work our for whatever reason, remember he is on a 'pay-as-you-play' deal, an absolutely crucial condition of his contract, bearing in mind the current economic climate.
I believe every single football club in the country would like to have had the 'opportunity' of working with a player of his calibre, whether your club be Birmingham, Blackburn, Barnsley, Brighton or Bury!

Edgar Davids will be at Selhurst Park at tomorrow's game against Ipswich Town to be introduced to the crowd.

'Edgar the Eagle' a Crystal Palace player, 20th August 2010 - What a story, what a coup, what football dreams are made of............. bring it on!