Whatever the reason behind Crystal Palace appointing Eddie Izzard as associate director, no one can accuse the comedian of setting expectations for his tenure unreasonably high.
“What I can actually do – I’m not sure,” the funnyman said of his new role, exuding all the vagueness for which he is known and loved, but which may be viewed as mildly perturbing by the average Palace fan.
Eddie, a lifelong supporter of the club, is the latest in a surprisingly long line of figures from the entertainment and media world to get involved with their favourite sides, with varying degrees of success.
Sir Elton John first bought Watford in the seventies, and since then has remained attached to the club in a variety of figurehead and ownership roles. Under his gaze the club has moved from fourth-tier stalwarts to top-tier nearly men, and currently sits as a reasonably competitive member of The Championship.
Delia Smith has had a similar effect on Norwich. Currently, she is the majority shareholder of the now-Premiership club. And despite that cringe-worthy half-time speech in 2005, aimed at motivating supporters during a relegation battle, the club’s fortunes have generally blossomed under her stewardship.
Perhaps the most bizarre – and ultimately useless – set of entertainment figureheads at a football club was the 2002-vintage Exeter City board, which included King of Pop Michael Jackson and serial kitchen-utensil terroriser Uri Geller as directors. Even with Uri’s undoubted psychic talents, the club dropped into non-league status from 2003 to 2008.
He may not have a Grammy, a cookbook or a bent spoon – the usual celebrity-figurehead prerequisites for administrating football clubs – but Izzard does have a couple of things going for him. He is, by his own admission “a determined bastard” and a rabid fan to boot: when Palace lose, Eddie says, he tends “to swear in front of children and shout at televisions in pubs.” We’ll have to wait and see if such drive and passion can help the Eagles fly.
Management ups and downs
The Haymaker dispatched his rival and Munich-brawl partner Dereck Chisora in emphatic, five-round fashion over the weekend, setting up a potential money-spinning scrap with Vitali Klitschko.
Billed as the biggest upset of the year, Khan’s loss to Danny Garcia on Saturday means that the Bolton man will probable not fight Floyd Mayweather after all. It does mean that Mayweather will have one less boxer to choose from when he comes to selecting his next fight – perhaps meaning that fans will get to see the Pacquiao bout they so crave.