If You're Into Crystal Palace Stories You Need To Buy This Book

Written by Cris Lehmann
One More Point was the fanzine that inspired FYP and now its creator, Cris Lehmann, has written a book about the scrapes and adventures of making and selling a Crystal Palace fanzine in the early 90s. We'll let him explain...

When I finished wrting One More Point in 2003, it was the right time to end it. It had had a great ten year run with 60 issues produced and, as a guy who likes even numbers, it just felt like 60 was a good total to end on and I just needed a break. The plan was always to write a book. There were various things that never got said due to timings with issues, most notably the tumultuous period between Issue 9 (April 1995) and Issue 10 (August 1995). Sometimes great stories got missed.

Plus there was always the stuff that most folks were unaware of - the actual producing of a fanzine and all the side stories and issues that came with the territory. There was no internet to download player pics whenever you wanted one - if you wanted a picture of Dean Gordon or Chris Armstrong, you needed to make sure you had your scissors to hand and cut them out of the Advertiser or whichever paper had a decent (ideally clear) photo. You wanted a logo? You'd better know someone who was good with a felt tip pen...unless you were One More Point with the very unusual way that mag created its first logo (see Chapter 5 for the tale of how Spurs and St Mirren helped a Palace fanzine get its name and logo)!

For various reasons, other than the most rare fanzine of them all - the limited edition, 150 copies of Eagle Aye that I made for Sheffield United away in 2004 - that break from writing about Palace just grew and grew.

That said, by leaving a large gap, the nature of the book has a different complexion than if it had been written in 2005. It's scary to think that people aged 30 won't even remember OMP - that makes me feel really old. That's partly why I make references to the way things have changed. Younger folk I speak to have no experience of the promoted teams coming up and making a run at the title straight away - Chelsea, Forest, Newcastle, Leeds, Blackburn and even Sheffield Wednesday all flourished straight after promotion between 1989-95.

Wolves qualifying for the Europa League last year was decent but was deemed something out of the ordinary - in the early 90s it was pretty much guaranteed one team would be finishing in the Top 3 or 4. Those days are now gone, which is a shame. That said, this book's not about slating modern football, but there to act as a memory jogger for fans aged 40+ and maybe something more educational/historical for younger folks wanting to learn about an era that's not so long ago but nevertheless where standing was still the preferred option for many fans, you could only get scores of other games via the half time scoreboard and you could just about get three pints for under a fiver (well, at an away game up north anyway, you'd need to go back to just before the OMP years for that to apply to SE25).

The book was initially planned back in 2015 to try and be the 'Fever Pitch' of fanzines but I reached a point after those early introductory chapters regarding the fanzine scene (especially Eagle Eye) where once the flow of the story begins with the day OMP started and that 1-0 win on a rainy v Sunderland, I knew this had to be a book that was 99% Palace - the other 1% involves references to Michael Jackson (yes, THAT one) ruining a night out for me, Richie Richardson (the West Indies cricketer) being converted to Palace, and even Pingu makes a brief appearance. I admit, this isn't your usual football fan book!

This isn't just the OMP story but very much the 'Crystal Palace story' for the mid-nineties from on the pitch dramas (of which there were plenty), to off the pitch strife (of which there was plenty) and, of course what was going on in the pages of One More Point with a healthy helping of Eagle Eye, Eastern Eagles and then Palace Echo which took over the gap left by Eagle Eye.

It's also an accurate account of what went in those years. The Cantona kung fu kick has been written about so many times over the years and yet when I researched the newspapers and tape recordings (yes, I still have old school cassettes) I still have from that week and rewatched the match, there are a lot of things that have been glossed over or remembered/ reported incorrectly. What was being printed and written the day after that night was very different to what was being written even just a couple of days later. I was surprised by a couple of things myself about the night and how its easy to form an incorrect version of events.

Yes, this book is biased towards Palace (hey, we are the greatest team the world has ever seen after all) but it tells it like it was back. Palace beat Grimsby 5-0 once and got outsung by 10 Grimsby fans for large parts of the second half. With the stability under Steve Parish in modern times, it's easy to forget that there was a lot of unrest around 1995-96 and people shouting 'Noades Out'. It was a real 50/50 split back amongst supporters back then. There is an amazing exchange with Uncle Ron near the end of the book where he fronted up to supporters who were giving it 'Noades Out' when they had no clue he was in earshot. Most folks won't even know that story - it's a pretty good couple of pages even if I say so myself.

For five years the working title of the book was 'Is That The Programme?' but the intention was to get a 'proper' name once the book neared completion. The thing was, when I spoke to OMP's old sellers or other fanzine editors (including other clubs, not just Palace) they all said my 'draft' title was in fact the perfect title for the book. No matter how many times I bellowed 'One More Point, one paaaahhhhnd your Palace fanzine!' I'd still get 10-20 people every single game asking 'Is That The Programme?' despite being stood barely ten yards from Sideburns in his orange vest and a programme stand in front of him.

Finally, I got lucky with the cover picture. I was wondering what I could do for the cover - it's not like old days when I could just glue a joke on the cover - things have moved on in that respect! I didn't know Paul Wright had taken that one (although I remember he took a lot of fan photos back in those days) but was very grateful when that came into my possession The day that was taken was Watford away in 1999 and I was selling the rather blunt 'Goldberg Out' issue....which was just a little bit awkward when I was shouting '£1 your Goldberg Out Edition' just as Mark Goldberg himself walked sheepishly up to the ground with his wife and daughter. (Out of respect I did shut up for a minute given his daughter was there - it was nothing personal but the guy was killing our club)!

It wasn't the last time we met at close quarters either - a week later I was dressed as The Grim Reaper leading 2000 Palace fans in a protest march to hand him a petition of over 5000 fans' signatures demanding he resign as Chairman before Palace were sunk without trace. But you'll have to wait for the second book for that particular story.

Is That The Programme?: Honest Tales From a Crystal Palace Fanzine Editor is available at Amazon in Kindle (£4.99) and papaerback (£9.99) versions now.

 


What If...Palace had won the FA Cup in 2016? We simulated it to see

Written by Matt Buckland

Our simulation king Matt Buckland is back to play out another scenario, this time what if Palace had won the 2016 FA Cup?

Last week we mentioned on the podcast that one of our Patreons, Matt Buckland, had played out the rest of this season on Football Manager 2020 to see what would happen, and these are the results.

He's back this week with another simualted scenario and it's a big one; what if Palace had won the FA Cup final in 2016? A game we were just 11 minutes from winning of course, and there are some great quotes from goalscorer Jason Puncheon here on that.

Anyway, over to Matt...

Winning the FA Cup in 2016 meant that West Ham missed out on the Europa League for 16/17. What a shame. Man Utd still qualified as they finished in 5th.

We entered the Europa League at the Qualifying stage and that's where our experiment starts. It may not have been totally accurate, but it's the easiest way to get the experiment working.

Squad

I kept the squad together from the FA Cup final except Yannick Bolasie’s move to Everton (mainly because I forgot). However, this meant that we used the money to sign Andros, Benteke and Tomkins and kept it as believable as possible.

Here’s the squad list that we started the season with. Julian Speroni is still at the club, but in the U23’s for some reason…

Transfers

IN: Juan Manuel Vargas (LB) - Free
OUT: None

I went month by month and captured the important games. Here’s the fixture list for the first couple of months:

July Key Results

August Key Results

After these victories, we progressed to the group stages of the Europa League. Our group was below:

September Key Results

October Key Results

This also brought up the 10 game mark for the Premier League. The table is as below:

Not looking good…

November Key Result

Note the young German scoring against us...

December Key Result

This win vs Saint Etienne meant we finished 2nd in the group and qualified for the Knockout stages:

Half way stage of the season

20 games into the season proved a mixed bag. Results and table at this stage are below

 

 January Key Results

 

 

End of the January transfer window:

 

February Key Results

 

 

 

March Key Result

April Key Results

May Key Result

 End of Season

Premier League:

FA Cup:

Europa League:

So a mid-table finish, a run to the Europa League knockouts but more importantly, ANOTHER FA CUP WIN! TWO IN A ROW, BABY!

What scenarios do you want to see Matt simulate next?


 

You need to watch this Jason Puncheon interview on Palace and the 2016 FA Cup final

Written by FYP Fanzine

The former Eagles captain opens up about most of his career including that FA Cup final to former Palace TV presenter Alex Howell.

We all love Jason Puncheon. 

For a number of reasons; for crying after that goal against Norwich, for that silly yet lovable celebration, for getting injured while chopping down Kevin de Bruyne, for growing up yards from Selhurst, for just getting what playing for Palace meant. And for that FA Cup fnal goal.

It's been almost a year now since Punch left for Cypriot club Pafos after six years at the club, and three years since he joined us on the FYP Podcast, and we'll be honest, we miss him every day.

But thankfully former Palace TV presenter Alex Howell has brought Punch back into our lives with a fantastic interview as part of his new At Hme series, chatting to footballers from thier homes during the Covdid-19 lockdown.

Punch discussess his entire career with Alex but the bit that will interest Palace fans most is his really very honest admissions around the 2016 FA Cup final, starting with the moment he realise he wasn't going to start, despite having score that goal against Norwich a few weeks prior to secure the club's Premier League survival.

"What made it worse is where I knew Pards as a person, I knew I wasn’t playing from the week before," he said. "Because I know how he is with me. Me and him. He never told me until two days before, but I knew. Because I could just sense just little things. Like I knew him probably as well as he knew me as a person, how he managed, how he was, I could see when I wasn’t going to play when I was going to play. And I knew but you can never admit to yourself that that's going to happen, but I knew.

"So anyway he tells me on the Thursday and I just said "thank you" and walked out of the office. That's it. You've made your decision, there is nothing I am gonna say to you that's gonna change [that decision]. I really don't want to argue, just think that's pointless. I went and sat in Danny [the kitman's] room for about half an hour on my own until training.

"Me and Danny were close and me and Damo were close and Damo came in an and said "You alright?" I said "it is what it is, I can't change nothing, but at the end of the day I said I've got obviously players to worry about. Yannick and Wilf at the time they really looked up to me, they were like my little brothers. And I just sat there and thought 'do you know what even if I was in the team if there are two boys that are going to be so pivotal to this game to us it's going to be them two, if they see me sulking or down that will affect them' so I had to be strong for the group even though inside you're burning."

 

Of course Punch saw Yannick and Wilf as younger brothers, that only makes us love him more. And of course, he then came off the bench with 20 minutes to go and didn't take long to score just Palace's fourth ever FA Cup final goal, with a superb volley at the back post on 78 minutes.

The celebration that followed showed the sort of togetherness that squad had, says Punch.

He said: "People don't really notice it. Obviously Wayne didn't but how many people actually ran to that corner was brilliant and you've got to think there was Baky [Sako] on the sideline, there was Adebayor on the sideline on the bench, they all ran down. And to see that and when you look at some of those pictures, don't get me wrong there were some things that were bad but this was something that made people realise how together we were at the time and for me it's priceless having that in football.

Famously, he appeared to shout something towards Alan Pardew on the touchline as he celebrated his goal and he revealed what he was saying at that exact moment.

"I was upset with Pards, he knows that, we spoke about it," said Punch. "I was upset with him but when I look back at it, it was a good move as a manager. Because he knows my character, he knows me well I know him well. Some players he might drop and they'll might sulk, he'll put them on and then they might bring that sulkiness onto the pitch.

"He knew I was a fighter, so he knew he could drop me and I would be like ‘alright I'll show you’. And he could take that burden of 'right, you know what, Punch has proved me wrong'. That’s how my character is, it was never give up and fight. So it was a good move, it is just a shame we didn’t win."

Of course, it wasn't to be (again) and Manchester United went on to win in extra time having equalised Puncheon's opener just three minutes later when Wayne Rooney was allowed to waltz through the Palace defence and set up Juan Mata.

Puncheon still regrest not chopping Rooney down at the start of his run but also had some harsh words for referee Mark Clattenburg who had a shocker of a final, and later admitted as much.

Punch added: "You look back at it and there's so many things. You look back at it and think, and I know it sounds crazy but 'flip me, I should have kicked Rooney up in the air' but I didn't. And there's other players along the way that could have kicked him up in the air. It was weird for our team character, when we went ahead we'd hold onto leads...that that happened in a final.

"I do think the ref killed us. Clattenburg ridiculous, for me a disgrace personally. If you look back at things, to see the boys later and say "I'm sorry I got that wrong" we should have had a red card or a goal in the first minute. First 5/10 minutes. Could have been a completely different game. Rooney should have seen red, was on a yellow card from 65 minutes made how many tackles? Just kept on leaving, leaving and leaving.

"But that's football for you, you can't change it, you can only look back on it and I'm hoping that in my lifetime I get to see Crystal Palace win the FA Cup. That's one thing I'd love for sure."

Watch the full interview with Punch below...

Alex has also interviewed Jeff Schlupp, Jonny Williams and more. Check out his Youtube channel here.


 

What If...Covid-19 hadn't happened? We simulated the rest of the season

Written by FYP Fanzine

If Covid-19 hadn't happened we'd all have just watched the Premier League season end and be basking, hopefully, in the glory of another comfortale mid-table finish.

The players would now be on their holidays and we'd be counting down the days until the transfer window opened, pre-season started and everything started all over again for 2020/21.

But as it is we are now looking forward to the 2019/20 season being played out in a mad few weeks in June and July but what would have happened if the season ahd just played out as normal?

Would Palace have ended mid-table? Would they have hit the 50-point mark? Would Jordan Ayew have finished top scorer? Well, with the help of one of our Patreons, Matt Buckland, who simulated the rest of the season on Football Manager 2020, we found out.

First up, let's see how the final nine games played out....

Those results in full...

Here's how the final table looked...

So a final finish of 12th and 48 points, one fewer than last season and just missing out on that elusive 50-point mark, which would have been a Premier League record for Palace. Ho hum.

What happened elsewhere in the table? Here are some key points...

Aston Villa, Watford and Norwich were relegated
Liverpool won the league with 101 points losing 3 games overall
Man City, Chelsea & Leicester qualified for the Champions League and Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal qualified for the Europa League
Eddie Howe was sacked on 25th March and replaced by Bielsa
Nigel Pearson was sacked in May but not replaced. Caretaker until the end of the season, presumably Hayden Mullins.
West Brom (1st), Fulham (2nd) and Cardiff (Playoffs) promoted from Championship

Stats for Palace:

Goals scored - 34. 2nd lowest in the league
Goals conceded - 45. 7th lowest in the league
Top scorer: Ayew - 11
Top assists: Ayew - 4

Stats for the Premier League:

Top scorer: Vardy - 22. Aguero & Salah in 2nd place with 20 each.
Top assists: De Bruyne - 18. Alexander-Arnold in 2nd place with 12.
Top clean sheets: Alisson & Pope - 15

Pre-season 20/21

We also rolled the game on into pre-season for 2020/21 which in real life no-one knows when will happen.

In typical Palace fashion there were just two transfers, one in and one out. Ademola Lookman joining from RB Leipzip for £17.5m and Jordan Ayew leaving for Krasnodar for £12m, leaving Roy Hodgson yet again with basically no strikers.

Transfers: 

IN
Lookman - £17.75m from RB Leipzig

OUT
Ayew - £12m to Krasnodar

Palace also offered new contracts to Sakho (2023), Jairo (2023), Meyer (2023) & McArthur (2021).

Let's see if the actual season resembles any of that when it starts back up again in a few weeks!