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FAN VIEW: Tony Pulis has only thought of himself by leaving Crystal Palace now - and that's unforgivable

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OUR columnist and Palace fan ALEX WHITE reflects on the events of the past 24 hours - and explains why fans shouldn't be so quick to blame Steve Parish and the board...

It is certainly never easy being a Crystal Palace fan and with the drama of the last 24 hours, I think that is an understatement.

It started as rumours back in January this year that the relationship between the club chairman Steve Parish and manager Tony Pulis was strained. As is to be expected, both men played down the reports and got on with work as usual.

The big question on most of our lips now is – why did Pulis decide to leave? If you look at the papers and social media you could find a dozen reasons to why he walked out.

The stories about frustration surrounding transfers to me seem odd. Parish himself will admit that the window, so far, hasn't been as successful as we all would've hoped. As a club we missed out on some big deals for big name players, most notably Steven Caulker and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Of course it's frustrating that the players chose other clubs but Pulis can't say that the owners didn't try. They bid over £8 million each for these two players alone and offered a staggering £40,000+ per week contracts.

The fact that the owners tried to sign these types of players suggests they tried their absolute hardest to meet Pulis' needs. The other rumour is that Parish wanted to sign Zaha and Pulis didn't, but I really don't see why Parish would do that behind Pulis' back – in fact I don't believe that he would. Parish always said in his interviews regarding Wilf that it was ultimately up to the manager. To me this collapse in relationship seems personal - both Pulis and the owners are strong opinionated people and maybe their relationship just wasn't supposed to be.

From what people have said to me, ever since Pulis accepted the job his relationship with Parish was deteriorating. Pulis considered walking in the summer but our wonderful owners managed to convince him to stay.

What frustrates me is that already in this story we have seen people take sides and people have been portrayed as the 'good guy' and the 'bad guy'. We can't really comment or make a judgement until both sides have given their stories. Parish and the board have come off as the 'bad guys' but questions have to be asked on how easy to work with Pulis was. I know that Parish wanted to sit down with Pulis over the summer and talk over relationships and targets, but this meeting didn't happen until much later than what Parish wanted and intended.

We have to remember that yes Parish leads the consortium and is chairman, but there are four owners of this great club. They always said they would never risk putting the club's future into doubt again and wouldn't be bossed around by anybody. The club needs to spend money to show ambition but we shouldn't give in to whatever just because that's what the manager wants.

We have to realise that perhaps we are better off a stable, solvent club with a future rather than breaking the bank to sign players which end up getting us into the same mess as last time. We all know that that is the beliefs of our owners and most of us respect that, we are not run like bigger clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City which are unsustainable in the long term if something bad was to happen. Until we have the security from a billionaire willing to gamble on Crystal Palace, the future of the club will not be risked and I totally respect that for what it is. We sometimes don't realise how lucky we are to still have a club to support every Saturday at 3pm.

I'm not writing a completely pro Steve Parish piece because it would be small minded not to look at both sides of the story. In the past three years the club have had three managers; these three have all decided to walk away. Why did they walk away? Well we never really found out. Dougie Freedman never spoke badly about the club and what went on because he had too much love for us to do that. Ian Holloway has never come out and said anything negative regarding the day to day running but has for sure hinted at some issues in his newspaper columns.

Regardless of who is to blame in this situation, the fact these events have occurred two days before the season is set to start is unforgivable. As fans we should be getting gripped and excited ahead of what should be an exciting season. Instead, we find ourselves baffled as to what has just happened to our club.

I don't think as fans we had ever felt so safe and calm under a management regime. It is gutting to lose our best manager in years - arguably ever - but if the manager is willing to walk away two days before the start of the season is he really the kind of person we want in charge of our club? Forget the relationship with the owners, Pulis owed it to the players and fans to leave this club with dignity and integrity much like the previous manager. For me it seems like he has thought about one thing when walking away from this club, and that's himself.

Keith Millen was fantastic when in caretaker charge last time round and I am really hoping he can have the same success. Millen revived the side; without him last season I truly believe Pulis' job would've been far harder. Ultimately what has been done now has been done and the events cannot be changed. We still have a duty as fans to get behind the players and galvanise as a group once again and I'm sure the fans will show the world how to truly back a team.

Saturday's fixture will be tough but with the support from the best fans in the country anything is possible - just look at last season.

Keith Millen's red 'n' blue army!

FAN VIEW: Tony Pulis has only thought of himself by leaving Crystal Palace now - and that's unforgivable


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