Crystal Palace have agreed to create a singing section at Selhurst Park next season after resolving their row with supporters group Holmesdale Fanatics.
The two parties had been involved in a long-standing dispute over proposals for a signing section, with Palace initially suggesting the plans were unworkable.
But after the Holmesdale Fanatics responded by boycotting home games – they are yet to attend this campaign – a resolution has been found that will see the creation for what Palace describe as a ‘larger and dedicated singing section’ in time for the new season.
Crystal Palace have resolved their dispute with supporters group Holmesdale Fanatics
In a statement, Palace admitted that the singing section could cause some disruption
In a statement on their official website, the Premier League side admitted that fans should expect some disruption as they look to get the singing section up and running.
‘Much has been said and written in recent weeks about the prospect of an enhanced and expanded ‘singing section’ in the Lower Holmesdale Stand, to further build upon the reputation that our fans inside Selhurst Park have created as one of, if not, the best atmospheres in the Premier League,’ they wrote.
‘Recognising this will cause some initial disruption but weighing up all the views and opinions there appears to be overwhelming support from the supporter base for this to become a reality.
‘We are therefore committed to facilitating a larger and dedicated ‘singing section’ next season, where our most vocal fans will thrive and act as a catalyst to make the Holmesdale Stand into an even greater wall of noise and supportive force behind the team.’
Holmesdale Fanatics are yet to attend a match this campaign as a result of the row
Earlier this month, the Holmesdale Fanatics had accused the club’s board of trying ‘to paint their own fans in a bad light’ with a ‘misleading’ statement about the singing section plans.
Last season, the Fanatics asked the Premier League club about moving from their traditional block in the corner of the Lower Holmesdale Stand to behind the goal in order to create what they have described as ‘an inclusive singing section’.
The club were originally interested in the idea but later called the plans unworkable.
They said it could only be done if fans in Block E, behind the goal, agreed to swap with the Fanatics in Block B.
Palace’s statement revealed that these rumours prompted many fans to write to the club to say they did not want to be moved from seats they and their families had sat in for years.
Holmesdale Fanatics could now attend Palace’s next home game against Wolves on October 6
‘We explained to the Fanatics that we felt it would be hugely unfair and disruptive – as well as potentially cause a great deal of ill feeling towards their group – if we pressed ahead,’ the club statement explained.
‘Instead, we promised that we would revisit this once the Main Stand was rebuilt and we had better alternatives to offer those who would be displaced.’
The Fanatics, however, saw this as a broken promise, refused to take up their usual season-ticket allocation and have stayed away from Palace’s two Premier League games this season against Liverpool and Southampton – a boycott that many Palace fans believe has had a negative impact on Selhurst Park’s atmosphere.
Palace’s next home game is against Wolves on October 6, with the Fanatics likely to be back for the first time this season.