Case Study: Crystal Palace FC

The Challenge

In 2015 Alan Pardew was signed as the new Crystal Palace FC manager with hopes and aspirations to take the club into a new era of stability and high performance.

With a smaller budget than many of its London Premier League rivals, Crystal Palace has to maximise its competitiveness and Alan Pardew is a firm believer that the mindset of the team is an area that can be coached and improved to deliver improved results.

As a leader facing constant scrutiny and pressure to win, Alan also sees the value of objective support in helping him to develop clear communication strategies both with the team and the world’s media. Having worked with Jeremy Snape previously through his work at the League Managers Association, Alan was keen to bring Jeremy into Crystal Palace to provide support to both himself and the team.

The Solution

Jeremy was originally engaged to support Alan Pardew at Newcastle United when he was involved in a touchline altercation with an opposition player. This became front page news and despite Jeremy offering confidential support at the time, Alan has subsequently been very open in the national press about the way he benefitted from this support.

Joining Crystal Palace was new challenge and the key to working effectively in a new club or business is to understand the culture of the organisation that you are joining. Jeremy was invited to attend regular training sessions with the Crystal Palace team and also join them in the dressing room for both home and away matches. This gave Jeremy an insight into the unique culture of the club. By slowing building the trust of the senior players and coaches, and understanding the challenges that they were facing in their respective roles, he was then able to start building on these informal conversations.

With weekly face to face meetings at training and matches maintained by phone calls to preview and review matches, Jeremy has been able to support the manager and individual players as the season develops. Jeremy said “Joining Crystal Palace has been a real privilege, it’s a team of great character and ambition and they have been really open-minded about my involvement. The club has a fascinating story and huge appetite to improve in the future so I’m delighted to be a part of that.”


Crystal Palace performance coach

"I have worked with sports psychologists before and I haven’t been too impressed, as they’ve lacked understanding of the role. But Jeremy, being an ex-cricketer, understands the pressure. He is a mentor to me, I bounce things off him. He helps me to hit the buttons, bond the team and keep myself energised and focused on what I want to do."

Alan Pardew - Manager, Crystal Palace FC