Crystal PalaceSport

Holmesdale Fanatics release statement after group banner removed from Selhurst Park

The Holmesdale Fanatics have released a statement stating there will be no more displays at Crystal Palace home games until the club restores their group banner, which was removed for the 3-0 win over Burnley on Saturday. 

However, Palace confirmed they have not banned displays in the upper tier of the Holmesdale.

The banner, which sits between the upper and lower tier of the Holmesdale Road stand, was missing for Oliver Glasner’s first game in charge, with goals from Chris Richards, Jordan Ayew and Jean-Philippe Mateta handing Palace all three points. 

Palace and the group, which was founded in 2005, have worked closely together before – moving the singing section from Block B to E in 2019. An estimated 400 season-ticket holders were displaced so HF could stand behind the goal, but a number of fans ended up staying in their seats and joining the signing section.

They shared a message on their X account on Tuesday evening that read: “After a strong start on Saturday, now is the time for unity and to push on together for what all hope will be a proud 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. 

“So, 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 and antagonistic. This banner is symbolic and represents the unique Holmesdale support from all in the stands. 

“Even corporate teams such as Chelsea and Man United have chosen to open multiple tiers of space off upper tiers for supporters.

“This cynical decision goes hand in hand with the ongoing and unjustified bans on our tifo displays from the upper tier, which leads to 75 per cent fewer Selhurst displays. 

“To compound this, these types of displays are allowed at every other Premier League club as other fan groups replicate the Palace displays, which we are banned from producing. 

“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 by these poor club decisions. 

“All attempts to discuss this with the club get nowhere – as they prioritise forced entertainment such as tacky light shows. We need action to restore the authentic Palace support.

“Until our banner is returned and banners are again permitted from the upper tier, there will be no more flag or tifo displays at Selhurst. 

“A simple fix from the club and recognising what our support is famous for would resolve all this.

“Later this week as part of wider plans to push the club on this season, we will be launching a crowdfunder to provide permanent flags for use at every game for the whole Holmesdale. 

“When and if these get used is dependent on the club remembering what our identity is about and putting the above points right.” 

A member of the fanatics told the South London Press: ‘This is the latest move from the club to stamp out the very support Palace is famous for, as owners try to rebrand the club as a sterile Americanised fanbase with light shows, flashing LED screens and forced entertainment.

“Supporters are the heart of the club and should be put first over tacky gimmicks.

 “The group banner needs to be restored and with owners then remembering what this local community club is all about again.”

A club spokesperson told our paper: “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.

“Any display that hangs from a high-level structure (particularly from the upper Holmesdale) or requires securing needs qualified and accredited personnel to undertake the work. The club have made it clear that we will supply this at the club’s cost.

“Flags must be fireproofed, any flags must have the appropriate certificate for fire rating. In the event this is not possible, the club has undertaken to provide support – again, the club have undertaken this task at the club’s cost and will continue to offer that service.

“Flags must be displayed responsibly (which they generally are) and not impact on the view of supporters during the game.

“Marine Flares are illegal and must not be taken into or ignited in the ground.

“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”.

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