Worrying Crystal Palace pattern hit an inevitable wall in the summer transfer window – opinion

Admittedly, none of us like to think of our football clubs as businesses.

We just want to see them spend bundles of cash on exciting new players, make tickets affordable for the supporters and to go and watch an entertaining game of football every now and again.

The sad truth is that, not matter how much we try to bury our heads in the sands, football clubs are businesses.

And in Crystal Palace’s case, one that is being run poorly in terms of transfer activity.

If you hold the Eagles close to your heart, you will have noticed that the level of transfer activity appears to be on a gradual decline.

The added bonus of Premier League money eases the pressure on raising funds via player sales, but it’s still important to maintain a balance in terms of players moving in and out of the club.

In Palace’s case, since being promoted via the playoffs in 2013, they have been fairly gung ho in their approach to bringing players in, but have been unable to balance the books by offloading anyone of significant value.

The graphic above shows that, with the exception of the most recent transfer window, money earned from player sales has only exceeded that spent on incoming signings on one occasion – during the 2012/13 campaign.

That was the season in which the Eagles were still in the Championship and were signing the likes of Joel Ward and Yannick Bolasie for just over £500k each, whilst making an initial £10.58m through the sale of Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United.

Since then, however, the spending has been fairly ludicrous when contrasted with the amount brought into the club through sales.

The following campaign, £29.7m was spent on new arrivals, whilst nothing was made from outgoings.

Since the 2013/14 season, and again excluding the most recent window, Palace have spent a whopping £199.92m on signings, and have seen just £55.64m come into the bank account via sales.

Across the last two campaigns, the spending has been restricted in comparison to the years before.

Palace have spent just £17.51m in the market across the last two years, seemingly as in a bid to balance the books.

That would explain the more considered approach to transfer dealings in the last couple of years, where Dougie Freedman has negotiated cheap captures such as Vicente Guaita, Max Meyer and Gary Cahill on free transfers, and James McCarthy for just £3m, as opposed to £28.08m on Christian Benteke and £25.38m on Mamadou Sakho.

For any Palace fans wondering why their club used to spend such significant sums on the likes of Benteke and Sakho only to see that spending halted, there appears to be a logical answer.

With such an unhealthy pattern of spending over the last seven years, this worrying trend was always going to catch up with the south Londoners further down the line.

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