Crystal Palace released a statement on Sunday evening. FYP editor Robert Sutherland takes a look at the fallout from the HF disbandment and how it can be fixed.
Everyone is angry and everyone has a perspective on the big issue surrounding Crystal Palace at the moment. The Holmesdale Fanatics, their wish to move to block E of the stand, and the apparent reluctance of the club to commit to it has been the hot topic since it became clear that the group would no longer occupy block B.
- The HF wished to move to a more central position in the Holmesdale stand. The move had been trialed in a number of cup fixtures and in the Julian Speroni testimonial.
- The club appeared to be adaptive to such a move. Plans for this to happen got to a stage where the club were holding back season ticket sales in the Holmesdale, which suggests they were considered to be serious.
- At some point during last season, the club changed its mind. The HF responded by essentially disbanding; members took seats up in different areas of the Holmesdale stand instead.
- As a result of this, the atmosphere at games has taken a significant hit.
- Were there face-to-face discussions about the matter? Or were all discussions conducted over email?
- Were any season ticket holders in block E consulted about potentially moving seats to accommodate the Holmesdale Fanatics?
- Did the club consider any kind of compensation for those fans inconvenienced by such a move?
- The club and HF need to hold face-to-face discussions about this. The impression we get is that discussions were held over email -- which is ultimately an un-emotive way to find a solution to a divisive issue -- words can be harsher and views won't always be listened to. If discussions have been held face-to-face, there arguably needs to be some mediation that represents a broader spectrum of fans.
- There needs to be a better consultation of those fans directly affected. The club have season ticket details for those fans -- so ask them the question -- would you consider moving? What would it take?
- Consider offering these fans some kind of benefit/compensation for doing so -- what would it cost the club? What kind of benefit does having the most colourful fanbase in the Premier League have? Does one outweigh the other?
- Would the HF consider reforming while such a consultation is carried out? If block E season ticket holders refuse to move, would they consider waiting until the new Main Stand is built?