Goalkeeper Julian Speroni will leave Crystal Palace this summer after spending 15 years at the club, it was announced on Thursday. Speroni’s contract expires this summer and it will not be renewed.
The 39-year-old Argentine will depart Selhurst Park this summer after joining from Dundee United back in 2004. He made 402 appearances for Crystal Palace, more than any other goalkeeper in the club’s history and placing him fourth all-time at the club overall. Speroni also owns a club-record 112 clean sheets.
“Julian has devoted the best 15 years of his playing career to our club, and will go down in the record books,” said club chairman Steve Parish, “but perhaps more importantly, will be remembered as a true club legend by all Palace fans and everyone at the club. You just don’t get many people like Julian in elite football any more – he is a model professional, ultra-committed, immensely loyal, and has set impeccable standards to his team-mates down the years. His contribution to this club cannot be overstated, and we will be eternally grateful for his service.”
Speroni had made just 14 Premier League appearances over the past four seasons, including just one this year as he rode the bench serving as third string to Wayne Hennessey and Vincente Guaita. He could get a final run-out in the last game of the season as Palace hosts Bournemouth, with little on the line sitting in 12th.
The Argentine was critical in securing Crystal Palace’s Premier League status in 2013, keeping clean sheets in both legs of the playoff semifinal against Brighton & Hove Albion, plus again in the final against Watford that saw Kevin Phillips score the extra-time winner in a 1-0 victory. He remained the starter for the club’s first two top flight seasons after promotion that saw them finish 10th and 11th, still the best table finishes for the club in its Premier League history.
It is unclear what the future holds for Speroni, but the release did not mention retirement, so it’s possible he has offers for a bigger role elsewhere, with both the Premier League and Championship likely in play.
Wayne Hennessey will not be charged for making what was alleged to have been a Nazi salute earlier this year after he successfully pleaded to the Football Association that he did not know what a Nazi salute was, it was announced on Tuesday.
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The FA deemed it a case of “considerable ignorance” on Hennessey’s part. “Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue,” their statement read.
“In fact, when cross-examined about this, Mr. Hennessey displayed a very considerable — one might even say lamentable — degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.
“Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.
“All we would say (at the risk of sounding patronizing) is that Mr. Hennessey would be well advised to familiarize himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country.”
As such, the Auschwitz Memorial, the museum which preserves the site of the former German Nazi Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, has referred the Crystal Palace goalkeeper to a 37-step an online course about Nazi propaganda and the symbols and gestures which came to represent Nazism.
The 32-year-old Welsh international explained his actions the day after the photo was posted online by teammate Max Meyer, saying, “I waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it and at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry. It’s been brought to my attention that frozen in a moment by the camera this looks like I am making a completely inappropriate type of salute. I can assure everyone I would never ever do that and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental.”
Hennessey has played in just three games for Palace — two in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup — since the photo was taken on Jan. 5.
Crystal Palace host Brighton & Hove Albion (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a massive rivalry clash to kick off the Premier League action this weekend.
The M23 derby is here.
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Palace have won three of their last five games, with Wilfried Zaha firing on all cylinders, and Roy Hodgson‘s men can almost see light at the end of the tunnel in their battle against relegation.
Brighton are just three points and two places behind Palace, but Chris Hughton knows his team aren’t in great form and a win in this derby would be hugely important for momentum in the final months of the season.
In team news Palace bring in James McArthur and Andros Townsend for Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyate with Vicente Guaita replacing Wayne Hennessey in goal, while Brighton made one change as Florin Andone replaced former Palace striker Glenn Murray in the lineup… but Andone was injured in the warm up and Murray comes back in.
- Zaha, Batshuayi, Bardsley (OG) for Palace
- Burnley lose second-straight game
- Eagles on 33 points
Crystal Palace beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, as the Eagles continue to soar towards midtable.
A Phil Bardsley own goal put Palace ahead and second half goals from Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha sealed the victory. Ashley Barnes scored a consolation in stoppage time.
With the win Palace move on to 33 points, while Burnley are on 30 points.
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The Eagles took the lead early on as Wilfried Zaha found Jeffrey Schlupp at the back post and his ball back towards goal was knocked into his own net by Bardsley.
Wayne Hennessey then made a fine save to deny Chris Wood as Burnley cranked through the gears and put Palace under serious pressure.
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Jeff Hendrick then had a volley blocked as Burnley pushed hard to get back into the game.
Plenty of tackles were flying in as players from both teams piled in during a major flash point right on half time.
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At the start of the second half Palace doubled their lead in fine fashion. Aaron Wan Bissaka raced down the right and delivered a perfect cross for Batshuayi to hammer home his second goal in his last three Palace games.
Burnley piled the pressure on Palace, as Barnes missed from close range but the Eagles were happy to deal with plenty of long balls and crosses into their box.
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On the break Schlupp and Basthuayi both went close for Palace, and Zaha finished the job with a fine low finish to make it 3-0.
Barnes scored a consolation and Peter Crouch went close moments later, but Palace were more than worthy of the three points.
Roy Hodgson‘s men are now looking to break into the top 10 after three wins in their last five games.
- Cathcart own goal puts Palace ahead
- Redemption for Cathcart makes it 1-1
- Substitute Cleverley with rare goal to win it
Craig Cathcart scored for both sides, including an equalizer for his Hornets, as Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s other goal as Javi Gracia‘s men used the comeback to climb into seventh with 32 points.
Palace stays in 14th place with 22 points.
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Watford hit consecutive posts in consecutive seconds through Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra, and will be wishing they did the same in their own end.
Palace went ahead of a wild goal mouth scramble that finished with Abdoulaye Doucoure smashing the ball off Craig Cathcart and into his own goal.
The Eagles could’ve gone ahead 2-0 when Luka Milivojevic‘s shot through traffic was blocked by the hand of a Watford man and was caught by Ben Foster, but no call arrived at Selhurst Park.
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Cathcart will have been pleased to reverse his o.g., even if he knew little about the first. This one had plenty of intent, a header over Wayne Hennessey with a little more than 20 minutes to play.
If you had Cleverley as your match-winner, well, that was an odd wager. He scored his second goal in the last two and a half seasons, the substitute potting a loose ball.
Palace fought hard for an equalizer, but Watford kept its spacing and managed a number of interventions in its own box.