Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Palace are not the world's oldest club

Some Nigels have been claiming that Crystal Palace are the oldest football club in the world, but this nonsensical claim is rebutted by historians here:

I suppose that when one looks at the condition of the main stand at Selhurst one could believe it had been there for ever and a day.

The historical document is rather long so the main points are as follows:

* The Crystal Palace Cricket Club (formed 1857) and the Crystal Palace Football Club (1861) were not subsidiaries of the Crystal Palace Company but their tenants, paying rent for the use of the park.

* There are no records of Crystal Palace being affiliated to the FA after 1875, nor did they play any matches or receive any coverage in the press.

* The teams that played just three matches as Crystal Palace in 1895, 1896 and 1897 were made up primarily of Corinthians' players. There are no records of a Crystal Palace club being affiliated to the FA at the time even though the park now contained the largest football stadium in London.

* Attempts by the Crystal Palace Company to form a professional club in 1901-02 failed because the FA considered there would be a conflict of interest if the owner of the FA Cup Final venue also owned a professional football team.

* When Crystal Palace Football & Athletic Co. Ltd was formed in 1905 it was as a separate company under the direction of an independent board and while the Crystal Palace Company invested heavily in shares, they did not control the new club.

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