Glenn Murray, he was the enigmatic ‘gift that kept giving’.
Arch rivals to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion decided in their
ultimate wisdom to sell their striker Glenn Murray to the Palace. Well
in truth, to add insult to injury, gave him away on a free transfer.
Within 2 years, once settled, he had popped in 30 goals in a season for
Crystal Palace and single handedly got us promoted. Virtually neck and
neck that season nobody doubts had he stayed at the Albion it would be
they who got promoted. An almost comedic turn in reciprocating this
utter stupidity was then actioned by the Palace and he has ended back at
Brighton deemed not good enough at the Palace to the horror of most fans
but banging them in down at the Amex. Below I give my interpretation of
the dire financial ramifications of the darkest day in the history of
Palace transfers, in my mind, eclipsing the sale of Ian Wright who
unlike Murray wanted to go.
A cautionary tale on the grotesque sums of money swirling around in
football where Brighton and Hove Albion can build an outstanding stadium
for £93m and Palace can inadvertently blow a similar sum flogging on one
of their ex players.
To cut a long story short Palace went up via the play off’s during which
against….you guessed it, Brighton, Glenn Murray picked up a serious knee
injury. Missing the start of the new season in the Premiership with the
injury was tough for Murray but he is a man blessed with a calculated
and steely resolve under his almost laid back persona. By the time he
was fit again, although he showed signs that the touch was still about
him, the next season he was packed off to Reading. Here he regained his
touch and confidence and he came back to the Palace where in a short
spell he showed he still had it banging in 7 goals in 17 appearances,
not bad for someone in his first proper stint in the top flight, the
various rating criteria in the game putting him up there with the best
in the Premiership. Today he is still up there with the best and above
Murray is someone who like Vardy has worked his way up the league’s and
suffers from that stupid ignorance in football that strikers will
struggle moving up a league. Murray not for the first time had shown not
only that he was good enough but with a whole season in front of him he
could put his injury behind him and show everyone just how good he is.
Many of us couldn’t wait until 2015 /16, 20 goals ? England call up? No
he was sold for an insulting £4 million pounds, that only today, 2 years
later Steve Parish admits was a huge mistake. Parish has a habit that
many Palace fans fall for of admitting to mistakes as it is considered
humility and he gets a pardon for his sins on the club forums. Cunning
But not so cunning, of course. Glenn Murray in now back at Brighton in
the Premiership banging goals in showing what most Palace fans knew he
could do, that he has still got it in abundance. He is now Brighton’s
gift that keeps giving.
Parish has seen fit to say sorry but as usual blame everyone else. But
is that fair ? Cue predictable answer.
Season 2015/6 saw Alan Pardew not only save Palace from relegation but
take us up to tenth. He had credit in the ‘ideas’ bank. He didn’t want
an old fashioned centre forward like Murray but wanted to start playing
more ‘sexy’ football. Parish alludes to the fact this was a Pardew and
his entourage decision. But the start of 2017/8 season saw Parish do the
same thing in the disastrous appointment of de Boer. Both Pardew and
Parish are vain and both were caught in a melee of arrogant self belief,
self confidence and self importance that was ill founded on the back of
a relatively successful season and amazingly thought they start
reinventing football and the culture, ethos and DNA of what makes Palace
such a feisty and loved club. Buggering it all up in other words.
So Glenn was shipped off, ruthlessly to Bournemouth briefly, before
returning to the South Coast Sussex. But the Palace lacked a consistent
striker having of course just sold a brilliant one and in August 2016
splashed out £27 m on Benteke, factor in his higher wages that Murray
who is equally as good and that is £30m wasted. I’d argue season 2015/6
Glenn Murray would have been a top scorer and we would not need to spend
so freely on someone no more than equally equipped
With the Pardew ‘experiment’ failing Sam Allardyce was signed up.
Relegation was looming and in a desperate transfer window Allardyce
splashed out £40m to bolster the team, which worked. Of course had we
had a decent back up striker to augment the Benteke haul we would have
been in mid table safety and no need to spend in such a care free but
This season, a desperate start. Murray is banging them in for Brighton
and the Palace setting new records for scoring no goals we opt to shore
up the defence and splash out £30m on Sakho. Had Murray still been with
us and we had scored goals would that have been necessary ?
So £100m maybe wasted. That is before you factor in the massive
contracts these new guys pulled in to steady the sinking ship Relegation
are on and the enormous financial hit if we get relegated which if
Murray was at Selhurst still wouldn’t be a threat.
Of course, all clubs make catastrophic decisions but somehow this was so
stupid. A mistake a club with our resources can ill afford. The irony is
we desperately need to invest in Selhurst or a new stadium. Cost of AMEX
£93m. The worst thing is that for a couple of years we were able to cock
a snook at the Albion at their horrific mistake, as a Palace fan I
can’t tell you how enjoyable that was and something an Albion fan can
now do in return. That really is sickening.
What is interesting though is the rising stakes of Premiership
membership, you can see why Chairmen get so jittery because one mistake
and you get ruthlessly punished. Who can doubt that if Palace had held
onto Murray we would not be in this permanent cycle of white knuckle
season’s. Is Parish up to it ? No No No. He was vitually flawless as a
Championship Chairman but in the white heat of the Premiership with
financial and media override he has flunked it. What he has going for
him is that although he is a vain twat, he is proper Palace and our vain
twat and he genuinely tries but is sadly out of his depth. Screwing up
is a Palace etiquette so we’re not bothered.