Crystal Palace fans claim 'sabotage' as Holmesdale Fanatics banner removed

The banner in the stands has been removed (Micah Crook)
The banner in the stands has been removed (Micah Crook)

Crystal Palace are at loggerheads with the Holmesdale Fanatics, who have accused the club of “sabotaging” their own supporters at the start of the Oliver Glasner era.

The fans’ group are unhappy their long-standing banner has been removed and replaced by LED advertising screens at Selhurst Park.

Palace insist suggested workarounds, such as hanging the original banner from the Holmesdale Stand’s roof, had been rejected by the Holmesdale Fanatics. The club say the introduction of a new LED wraparound system is why the banner can no longer be displayed in its traditional position.

The Holmesdale Fanatics say they will not display flags or tifos until the issue is resolved and the row is set to impact the atmosphere at Palace games.

In a sternly-worded statement, they said: “After a strong start on Saturday, it’s time to push on together for what we all hope will be a proud unified era.

“Our top-flight status at Palace has been built upon that very unity and galvanised by a unique fanbase and style of support which brings untold positives.

“For the club to be sabotaging that very support is beyond comprehension.

“Removing the long-standing group banner for more soulless LED advertising goes against every principle that the Palace identity has been built on and is flat out insulting to years of hard work and loyalty.

The Holmesdale Fanatics claim their ability to produce displays at home matches has been reduced by 75 per cent.

“Glasner has come from a league which puts supporters front and centre but currently he, the players and Palace fans are being denied the true level of support we are capable of because of these poor club decisions, choosing corporations over their own fans.

“All attempts to discuss this with the club get nowhere – as they continue to prioritise forced entertainment such as tacky light and flame shows. Everything our support stands against.”

The Holmesdale Fanatics say “urgent action is needed” from the club ahead of their next home game against Luton on March 9.

Mick Grafton, a spokesperson for the Holmesdale Fanatics, told Standard Sport: “Removing the main Holmesdale group banner and clamping down on fan-led displays is hugely detrimental to the positive support and atmosphere we should be building under the new regime.

“We have received mass support from the fanbase - so the club needs to remember what Palace is all about and not trade its unique identity for tacky gimmicks. Let the supporters who built this club support.”

A Crystal Palace spokesperson told Standard Sport: “The club supports fan-led displays, they bring vibrancy to Selhurst Park and we will always assist any group who wants to create them. The club has not banned tifo displays.

“We do have guidelines that need to be followed to ensure that any displays are installed and secured safely and do not present a risk to either the supporters assisting in creating the display, the club’s staff or supporters in the ground at the time the display happens.

“Regarding the issue raised about the banner, we have installed a wraparound LED system that helps greatly with the spectacle and also drives revenue for the club.

“We are working on various alternative positions for the banner to avoid blocking an LED screen, but so far those we have suggested, such as placing it on the roof of the Holmesdale, have not been deemed acceptable.

“We will continue to work to find a solution as we believe both elements can be in place. We believe both fan-led displays and club light shows have a place and create the great atmosphere that makes Selhurst Park unique.”