Fans to sponsor Palace shirts

Crystal Palace will be sponsored by their own fans when they entertain Preston North End on April 5.

The Eagles went into administration in January and in an effort to raise some much needed cash for the club GAC Logistics, Palace’s main sponsor, have allowed the Crystal Palace Supporters Trust the branding rights to the team shirts for a one off game.

Supporters who contribute £25 towards the project will get their names printed in the matchday programme.

Donors will also get the chance to win a signed player’s shirt as well as many other prizes.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response of our fans since the club went into administration. The project enables supporters, young and old, to help in a very tangible way,” said Crystal Palace CEO Phil Alexander.

The Crystal Palace Supporters Trust was created in 2000 when the club went into administration for the first time.

It was established by a group of Palace fans and has proven to be a well run and diverse organisation, with the board consisting of people of all occupations from accountants to gardeners.

The objective of the fans' sponsorship project is to raise over £50,000 and the Supporters Trust have already donated £6,000 themselves.

The Trust’s Secretary, Lesley Palmer, said: “The fans sponsorship project is a great opportunity for the diehard season-ticket holder, the armchair fan, the fan who has moved away, as well as those who cannot get to games for whatever reason, to support the club.

"The Trust wants to show prospective new owners how it can work with the club going forward. The fans are the biggest income stream for any football club and they need to be listened to and encouraged - it makes straightforward business sense.”

This project is a somewhat refreshing change from the 'prawn sandwich and champagne' style that has engulfed football in recent years.

It has been a difficult season for the South London club, who recently lost their manager Neil Warnock to QPR and who have yet to find a new owner after going into administration.

However, projects such as this surely indicate that the club has the fanbase necessary to be a success once more.

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Reporting by Kieran Lovelock