Harty on Palace topping the table

Did I miss something or have they changed the duration of the football season?

I only ask because while I, like all football fans, can see that Crystal Palace are top of the Championship, to hear the crowing coming out of South London and beyond you would have thought they had won the league already and now look forward to at least one season in the Premier League.

At the start of the season, in this very column, I tipped Palace to get relegated. Clearly, you can’t be right all of the time, but, then again, my optimistic outlook was mirrored by the pessimism in and around Selhurst Park at the time.

I’ve still yet to hear from a Palace supporting friend who wouldn’t take a straight wager on who would finish higher, the Albion or Palace, because he thought it was a bet he couldn’t win even before a ball was kicked.

Supporting any team is about highs and lows. So, my advice to all Palace fans is to enjoy yourselves now, because you never know what’s round the corner. And, as fans of their other big rivals Millwall will be quick to recall, at one point last year Palace were 16 points clear of the Lions, yet failed to finish above them after 46 games.

It certainly cranks up the build-up to the Palace/Brighton encounter in two weeks, which is nearly a sell-out. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that for the first couple of games at Selhurst this season, Brighton had more supporters in the Amex West Stand than Palace had in their ground.

One such person who wasn’t fickle about his football team was the late Roy Burrows.

Among other things, one of the best all-time club linesman in local football, Roy was also passionate about his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers.

That made Saturday’s fixture between the Albion and Wolves all the more poignant as it was the first time the sides had met since Roy sadly passed away last month.

I’ve no doubt he would have been on the edge of his seat at Molineux and, given the circumstances of Wolves going down to 10 men before half-time and then equalising in the 94th minute, I’m sure he would have been secretly satisfied with a point, although equally would have contacted me to say how lucky Brighton had been.

And, whatever the result, I certainly missed that call from him and, given the standing room only at the crematorium, I will not be the only person to miss him.