All change as Palace face period of uncertainty
What a difference a few days can make on expectations of a Premier League season ahead. Only a few days ago Crystal Palace looked a decent bet to build on a tricky last campaign, and possibly even improve on an 11th place finish. With news of Tony Pulis’ departure on Thursday evening emerging, all hopes and thoughts on the 2014/15 season had dramatically changed.
August 18th, 2014
Having missed out on several transfer deals over the summer months, Pulis felt that the required control of the club’s dealings could not be agreed upon with Chairman Steve Parish. Following a meeting on Thursday it was concluded that he should leave the club by mutual consent. After arriving nine months ago he guided the club to Premier League safety and their highest league finish.
With some decent additions already arriving the club appeared stable and on a good footing to begin the season. The departure of Pulis now leaves new signings unsure of their futures and the club desperately seeking some stability. The former Stoke City manager had established himself in a very short space of time and, having had pre-season too, the new manager will find it tricky to maintain morale and pick up results.
Ever since the first big-money owners began to dominate the upper echelons of the Premier League, control of clubs has been a topic of debate. With former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger there appears little doubt that they had, or have in the latter’s case, overall say in almost all the club’s activities. At opposite ends of the scale there are clubs like Tottenham who seem intent on having a Director of Football to look after many of the dealings behind the scenes.
What seems clear is that there is no ‘better way’ to run a club. Some managers desire complete control from top to bottom whilst others are merely content to train and manage the first team. What is certain though is that if any of the relevant parties are not happy with this agreement then the wheels come off pretty quickly. Following the announcement of Pulis’ departure it has emerged that initial concerns over the future of the club emerged as long ago as January.
If these rumours are true it suggests that Parish and Pulis’ relationship was always going to be strained and therefore likely to end the way it has. With all the demands of the modern game it is essential that everyone within the club is pulling in the same direction.
Having endured a very tough start to life back in the Premier League, Tony Pulis brought some fun and more importantly much-needed wins and points to Crystal Palace when he arrived. His tenure can only be viewed as a success and it is a dreadful blow to the entire club that he has left.
Hopefully after seeing their first game of the season against Arsenal on Saturday the togetherness can remain. The side played in the Pulis mould and were unlucky not to salvage a point. Their spirit and comradery will be essential in the coming weeks.