Fight for survival: Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace face off in do-or-die clash

Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace, two clubs with proud recent histories, face a do-or-die clash against each other for Championship survival in front of 38,000 fans at a sold-out Hillsborough on Sunday.

A victory for Wednesday would send Paul Hart’s Palace into League One and possibly even push them towards extinction, with the club’s administrators this week admitting they have no funds to stay in business beyond the end of the season.

A victory for Palace, or a draw, would send Wednesday tumbling into League One in front of their own fans, a painful reminder that though they still have one of English football’s most revered and atmospheric grounds, they do not have a team worthy even of English football’s second tier.

Here Alan Biggs and Sami Mokbel outline what is at stake.

Sheffield Wednesday fans celebrate

Will home fans be cheering on Sunday? Wednesday supporters celebrate a goal in the recent Sheffield derby


Average attendance this season: 22,546
Honours: League Champions (1903, 1904, 1929, 1930). FA Cup winners (1896,
1907, 1935). League Cup winners (1991)
Recent highlights: 1991 League Cup final win over Manchester United. Winning League One play-off final at Cardiff in 2005.
All-time heroes: Jackie Sewell, Albert Quixall, Derek Dooley, Chris Waddle, David Hirst
Seasons spent in the top tier of English football: 60
Last season in football’s third tier: 2004-05
Financial future: Not as bleak as it looks. Sheffield Wednesday have debts of around £26million but their liabilities have not increased for several years and have been held in check with the support of the club’s bank who are believed to be willing to write off some £12m under the terms of a proposed investment deal.

Shaun Derry

The pain is there for all to see: Shaun Derry lies dejected on the pitch after Palace drew with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night


Average attendance: 14,770
Honours: Never been champions of England but reached the FA Cup final in
1990 and finished third in the old First Division in 1991.
Recent highlights: 1990 FA Cup final, 1994 Football League champions, four promotions to top flight since 1989.
All-time heroes: Don Rogers, Johnny Bryne, Jim Cannon, Ian Wright, Dougie Freedman
Seasons spent in the top tier of English football: 13
Last season in third tier: 1976-77
Financial future: Palace’s very existence has been in the balance since the club fell into administration in January, incurring a 10-point penalty. A consortium of local businessmen are in negotiations to buy the club but they have been described as ‘reluctant’ bidders and there is no guarantee they will retain their interest if Palace
fall into League One. The club’s administrators say they will have no option but to launch a fire sale of players next week if a deal is not reached.

The bottom four in the Championship

Hows this for a twist of fate

Hows this for a twist of fate

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