By David Owen
January 20 – In this loadsamoney era for top-tier football, Crystal Palace stands out as a club that has managed nonetheless to retain close links with the community that spawned it. So it is not altogether surprising that of all Premier League outfits it should be the Eagles who have teamed up with their local council to provide some practical midwinter help for the homeless.
Under a deal with Croydon, rough sleepers in the south-east London borough are being offered emergency shelter at the club’s Selhurst Park base when overnight temperatures dip below freezing.
This entails a lounge being turned into a temporary shelter for up to ten rough sleepers. Thrown in are a camp bed for the night, a hot evening meal, washing facilities and breakfast.
Councillor Alison Butler described the move as a “wonderful gesture” and said Palace were “setting a standard for other clubs to follow”. Palace chief executive Phil Alexander said the club, which is hovering above the relegation zone under former England manager Roy Hodgson, was “happy to do our bit to help those most in need”. The club has what it describes as a “strong relationship” with the charity Crisis.
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