The S – Word


Mo Money Mo Problems at Crystal Palace
March 18, 2010, 8:34 pm
Filed under: The Championship | Tags: ,

Every now and again there is a story in football that is just too good to be true. This is one such story, no question about it.

Rapper/producer/entrepreneur P-Diddy, aka Puff Daddy, aka Sean Combs is apparently tabling a £360m ($548m) bid for Crystal Palace. That’s right, Crystal Palace – the South London team who are currently occupying bottom spot in the English Championship.

P-Diddy. A big lover of Championship football.

Soccer doesn’t get a whole lot of coverage here in the United States and I can say with a good degree of certainty that Palace are not a team you could stumble across on ESPN. 2010 has not started well for the club – they’re facing relegation, they have been docked ten points for going into administration and earlier this month they lost manager Neil Warnock to London rivals Queens Park Rangers.

So, just how did Puffy come across the Eagles? Does he harbour a secret penchant for mediocre English football teams? Could he have been enticed by wet Wednesday night games down in sarf London? Or perhaps he thinks that the chance to work with manager Paul Hart and his assistant Dougie Freedman was just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Wrong. He is considering a bid because he likes the club’s name. I kid you not.

“Sources” told The Sun newspaper: “Diddy was in London meeting football fixers a couple of weeks ago. The finance is in place, he’s just deciding who he thinks he’ll make a bid for. Portsmouth were mentioned but he thought Palace were a better idea. He could cover their debt and bankroll a return to the Premier League. He liked the name as well.”

I can see it now – Diddy relaxing by the pool, having breakfast in the Malibu sun, the light dancing off his many diamonds as he’s hand-fed eggs benedict by two oiled and voluptuous women in bikinis. Naturally his thoughts turn to soccer. Hmmm, he thinks, I want in to the EPL, maybe I’ll buy a club. He gets one of his lackeys to bring up a list of available English clubs on his iPad and Crystal Palace catches his eye. “Hey… Crystal!?!” he exclaims, “Is that like Cristal, my favourite champagne?” and “Palace? This team plays in a palace?” Upon reading this Puffy, I assume, was sold.

Puffy - your Palace awaits. Glamorous isn't it!

Cue a headline writer’s wet dream and puns aplenty. Today The Sun ran with “Palace fans giddy over bid-dy by Diddy.” Others went along these lines: “Diddy to be king of the Palace?” , “Cristal Palace”, the list goes on…

I don’t know if there’s any truth in the rumours but what the hell, it makes for an amusing piece of news. Anyway, whoever let truth get in the way of a good story? In football journalism it goes with the territory. It’s probably only a matter of time before the club comes out and denies all knowledge of the bid (-dy by Diddy, sorry…) but in the meantime it’ll bring Palace some positive press and some much needed escapism for the fans, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Until next time, thanks for reading!