Simon Jordan

Simon Jordan is the man who bought the club he supported as a boy, took them to the Premier League and lost it all. Why doesn’t he get more credit?

Back in the day when Palace fan Mark Goldberg bought the club and lost it all within 24 months he became the laughing stock of the football world. But it’s easy to mock someone who let his heart rule his head. Everyone who laughed knew deep inside that they’d probably have done the same thing.

Like with everything in life it is easy to put Goldberg’s failure down to someone being foolish in their attempt to make owning a football club a success.

Time went on and nobody wanted to touch us. We were saved at the 11th hour by another Palace fan, Simon Jordan. Jordan put his money where his mouth was and bought the club. What followed was 10 years in which time he got us into the Premier League, unfortunately back down again and into two play-offs which we lost.

Jordan is a divisive figure but I respect him for his stance on agents, the old school stuffy chairman, the FA, Dowie and so on. He was the youngest ever top flight chairman of a football club and he didn’t want to take any shit. Why should he?

He was and is a Palace fan who also lost it all in attempting to make us a great club, in the right way. In the honourable way. In a way in which he and all of us could hold out heads up and be proud of what we achieved.

Jordan invested in the Palace academy which produced a lot of fine players, something which has been in decline since he lost control of the club in 2010.

But Palace again went in to administration because, as Jordan himself  put it, “I ran out of money” and also he details how, in his opinion, Steve Parish was in the background putting the boot in so he could get control of the club himself.

You can read about this in his book, Be Careful What You Wish For on his Twitter feed not to mention the various TV appearances he makes.

It would be easy to read Jordan’s book and listen to him in the media and come to the conclusion that he is a man who is bitter about what happened. Maybe he is but I think he is more disappointed at his own failings rather than at anyone else in particular.

After all, we all know the buck ultimately stops with us. Other people can’t pull one over on us unless we’re silly enough to let them. This can be in that we trust people too much or give someone else too much access to what we hold dear.

Jordan had Palace. Parish wanted Palace. Jordan was vulnerable. Parish took advantage. That’s business.

So there we were again. We were in administration and nobody wanted to touch us. Up steps Parish and 3 other Palace fans to save us at the 11th hour. Parish played the part of the reluctant owner, someone who saved Palace because nobody else wanted to but the truth is that he had been trying to get his hands on Palace for over 12 months prior to succeeding in doing so.

Fast forward to January 2015 and we get 2 extra American investors. All well and good in the world. We seem to be on the up and up.

So, my question is this. Why does Jordan get so much shit from Palace fans while Parish is seen as the golden one? Jordan had to try and do it on his own. He tried to get investors, Parish declined to invest in 2009 because he wanted it all for himself.

If what Jordan writes in his book is true, and if it wasn’t he have been in court by now, then Parish was complicit in the sequence of events which led to Palace going in to administration in 2010. Parish did nothing illegal but he was morally out of order.

When we were in the Premier League under Dowie nobody said “Jordan can do what he likes, he saves us from extinction!” in the way people champion Steve Parish.

In fairness people backed Jordan when he went after Dowie after he left for Charlton in the same way as Parish went after Pulis but that is about the extent of the adulation Simon Jordan received.

So why is Parish seen as the Pope for saving us while Jordan is seen as the devil incarnate?

Jordan was unlucky because the ITV TV deal went tits up leaving League clubs up shit creek. Other events followed which led to the financial burden on Jordan being too much for one man to sustain unless he had the kind of financial reserves that only a oil billionaire could handle.

I have a lot of time for Jordan and also for Goldberg… Okay, more sympathy for Goldberg but who among us wouldn’t buy the club if we had £50m in the bank and were about to become extinct?

Goldberg failed. Jordan failed. The thing they have in common is they were one man bands. Parish had 3 other investors and now he has 2 far rich American’s backing him yet he is perceived to be some fantastic businessman whereas Jordan is seen as some mug who threw it all away.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of time for Parish (as well as the other 3) for stepping in and buying the club. However Parish has major failings and should be criticised and held to account when necessary.

I just don’t get why some people dislike Jordan so much. Maybe I’m just getting old because over the last few years I have even found new respect for Ron Noades and what he did for Palace. Back in the day I really disliked him but after becoming more enlightened about how much he did for the club and the amount of scouting he did, it put a new perspective on things.

Noades got no credit whereas Coppell got it all. Nothing against Coppell but he did a lot wrong in his time at Palace but we only seem to remember the good.

We’ll never really know the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. As they say, there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in-between.

Noades ‘ripped off Goldberg’ but Goldberg let him. It was business. Jordan never liked Noades and was maybe so focused on Noades that he didn’t see someone else coming along to ‘rip him off’.

Parish has yet to make it to his 10th year as chairman of Crystal Palace so we have yet to see if he will lose it all or get ripped off by someone.

It seems to me, as a layman, that Parish is succeeding more by luck than judgement. We’ll see where Crystal Palace is in 2020 but the way things are going we have nothing to show for 5 years in the Premier League.

Remember this. The last 2 stands to be built at Selhurst Park were built by Ron Noades. Under Jordan we were never in the position to develop Selhurst Park because of finances and because we didn’t own the ground.

In the last 7 years under Steve Parish we have had both the finances and the ownership of the ground so what is the reason why we are not moving forward?

Questions need to be asked because Parish’s halo is losing it’s glow.