Wayne’s Contract Talks

This was written for ‘Eagle Eye’ in 2005 as Palace looked (correctly as it later turned out) to be heading for relegation.  The club owner, Simon Jordan, and manager, Iain Dowie, did not get on well with Routledge’s agent, Paul Stretford, who was keen to move him to that graveyard of young English players – Tottenham Hotspur.

When Eagle Eye was much younger and anarchic it used to pick up club gossip by eavesdropping on players in the bar. These days we are far more establishment and simply get our MI5 colleagues to plant bugs in the chairman’s office. The following transcript was the result and sheds new light on the Wayne Routledge situation:

Sound of a door opening.

SIMON JORDAN: Ah, Dom, what have you brought me for lunch?

DOMINIC JORDAN: Sorry, Si, but the canteen has run out of food so all I’ve got are some of the stadium pies.

SIMON JORDAN: Are you trying to poison me? The expiry date on those pies is circa 1993. Their current edibility consists of a highly negative factor. They’re not fit for human consumption. Take them to the lower Holmesdale and sell them at the Birmingham game. I didn’t spend £30 million on this club just to ingest comestibles of excessive age.

DOMINIC JORDAN: Yes, boss. And the people for your meeting are here. And I did as you said and beat up Alec Ferguson.

SIMON JORDAN: You did what?!!!

DOMINIC JORDAN: You said to thump that Stretford-End knob.

SIMON JORDAN: I said to thump that knob-end Stretford!!!!! Get out!!!!!!!

Sound of a door closing followed by what sounds like a head repeatedly hitting a desk. Mutterings can be heard appearing to contain the phrase “I hope one of us is adopted”.

Sound of a door opening and people entering the room.

SIMON JORDAN: Thank you for coming Iain, Wayne and… your agent. Shall we get to business?

PAUL STRETFORD: Alright, I want lots of money or Walter will go to Spurs.


PAUL STRETFORD: My meal ticket, sorry, my client here.

IAIN DOWIE: Do you mean Wayne?

PAUL STRETFORD: Oh, is that his name? I’ve always thought of him as a Wally.

IAIN DOWIE: Look, Wayne is a very talented player but still very raw. Will he be a great player one day? Yes he will if he continues to learn without too much pressure on him. Can we provide that atmosphere? Yes we can. Wayne will be far better served in his career by continuing to learn in this nurturing environment.

SIMON JORDAN: And I’ve spent £40 million on the club to create a nurturing environment.

PAUL STRETFORD: My client will feel that is insufficient.

IAIN DOWIE: “Will feel”?

PAUL STRETFORD: I’m paid to do all his thinking and I know what’s best for Walter. The poor kid is only driving a low-end Merc! Do you know how embarrassing that is? All the other young Premiership players can afford to go out and burn £50 notes, shag granny hookers and guzzle magnums of Cristal every night but my Walter can’t. Do you understand how humiliating that is for me? He’s the only one of my clients who can’t do this. At Spurs he’ll finally be able to.

IAIN DOWIE: Wayne, I feel your head is being turned by silly money here. Your joy has always been in playing and becoming a better player. The improvements in your game while I’ve been here are tremendous but you still have so much to learn. Football is not about amassing the most toys…

PAUL STRETFORD: …that’s what my chauffeur and butler and gamekeeper said…

IAIN DOWIE: …but about realising your potential through fostering close relationships with your team-mates on the training ground…

SIMON JORDAN: …which is part of the £50 million I’ve spent on this club…

IAIN DOWIE: …and using them to become a better person which will benefit you for the rest of your life.

PAUL STRETFORD: We’re forgetting the most important thing here and that is I get a 15% cut of any transfer fee plus a ‘consultation fee’ as well. Now are you going to pay Walter £40,000 per week and my fee of £100,000 for getting him to re-sign or do we go to Spurs?

SIMON JORDAN: I refuse to deal with such a scumsuckingmotherfuckingPARASITE as you any more. I haven’t put £60 million into this club just so you can try to blackmail me by using a contract loophole to blindly trade the futures of young men solely on the basis of how much money you can grasp with your grubby little hands.

IAIN DOWIE: Err…, yes. Wayne, with a club like Spurs you wouldn’t be guaranteed the first team football you need to continue your education. They have very fickle fans, even more so than ours, and they would be far less understanding of your occasional lapses in performance. You would be lucky to achieve half as much first-team football as you do here.

PAUL STRETFORD: But what player wouldn’t want £40,000 a week just to sit on the bench? That’s the dream of footballers these days. That’s what I help my boys to achieve.

IAIN DOWIE: Wayne, you’ve been very quiet. Is there anything you’d like to say?

WAYNE ROUTLEDGE: It’s not about the money. The only reason I want to leave is because I can’t stand the excitement.



PAUL STRETFORD: What?!!!!!!!

WAYNE ROUTLEDGE: I love it at Palace but ever since I’ve been here we’ve been fighting against relegation and going for promotion and losing games in the last minute and winning games in the last minute and my nerves can’t stand any more of it. I want to go to Spurs because it’s so dull. They always finish tenth in the league and they only have a cup run once every decade. It’s the perfect place for stressed out players.



PAUL STRETFORD: OK, so that’s great. I’m guaranteed at least £200,000 for doing nothing. It’s been great working with you Wally, Ivan and Stuart. By the way I’m starving. Do you have a canteen around here?

Sound of an intercom.

SIMON JORDAN: Dom, can you bring in a couple of pies for Mr Streford.

Transcript ends

"Er, Curtis, are you sure this is a low-end Merc?"
“Er, Curtis, are you sure this is a low-end Merc?”


Generating multiple icon sizes

I was starting to look around in Xcode 5 and noticed that creating an AppIcon in image assets now has space for twenty items (that’s not including the eight for the watch).  This comprises seventeen different sizes which map to 29, 40, 50, 57, 58, 60, 72, 76, 80, 87, 100, 114, 120, 144, 152, 167 and 180 pixels.  That’s a lot of ‘Save for web…’ commands in Photoshop.

A quicker way is to use the Mac’s built-in sips (scriptable image processing system) command.  Generate your icon at a large size (1024 pixels and above) and call it appIcon.png.  Then go into that folder in Terminal and run the following commands:

cp appIcon.png iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x3.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneSpotlight_40pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneSpotlight_40pt_x3.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneApp_57pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneApp_57pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneApp_60pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPhoneApp_60pt_x3.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSettings_29pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSettings_29pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSpotlight_40pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSpotlight_40pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSpotlight_50pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPadSpotlight_50pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPadApp_72pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPadApp_72pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPadApp_76pt_x1.png
cp appIcon.png iPadApp_76pt_x2.png
cp appIcon.png iPadProApp_83-5pt_x2.png

sips -Z 29 iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x1.png
sips -Z 58 iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x2.png
sips -Z 87 iPhoneSpotlight_29pt_x3.png
sips -Z 80 iPhoneSpotlight_40pt_x2.png
sips -Z 120 iPhoneSpotlight_40pt_x3.png
sips -Z 57 iPhoneApp_57pt_x1.png
sips -Z 114 iPhoneApp_57pt_x2.png
sips -Z 120 iPhoneApp_60pt_x2.png
sips -Z 180 iPhoneApp_60pt_x3.png
sips -Z 29 iPadSettings_29pt_x1.png
sips -Z 58 iPadSettings_29pt_x2.png
sips -Z 40 iPadSpotlight_40pt_x1.png
sips -Z 80 iPadSpotlight_40pt_x2.png
sips -Z 50 iPadSpotlight_50pt_x1.png
sips -Z 100 iPadSpotlight_50pt_x2.png
sips -Z 72 iPadApp_72pt_x1.png
sips -Z 144 iPadApp_72pt_x2.png
sips -Z 76 iPadApp_76pt_x1.png
sips -Z 152 iPadApp_76pt_x2.png
sips -Z 167 iPadProApp_83-5pt_x2.png

It will copy the large image file to all the correctly named targets and then scale them to the required sizes.  Once they have been added into Xcode as image assets then updating them is simply a matter of generating the files again and copying over the existing ones in the Finder.


‘Twas the night before Cardiff

Written about Palace’s play-off final game against West Ham in 2004, it appeared in the one-off resurrection issue of legendary fanzine ‘Eagle Eye’ in February 2005.  Clement Clarke Moore may have provided some inspiration.

‘Twas the night before Cardiff, when all through the club
Not a person was stirring, they were all at the pub;
The scarves were hung by the chimney while pints were quaffed,
In hopes that they would soon be held triumphantly aloft;
The supporters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of the Premiership danced in their heads;

And the missus in her away strip, and I in my home,
Had just settled down for a bit of hide the bone,
When out in the stadium there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new Main Stand roof
Allowed me to see and verify with proof,
When, what to my wondering eyes should come from the haze,
But a team bus, and eleven focused players,
With a hulk of a driver, so loquacious and, zowieee!!!,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Dowie.

As rapid as Eagles his disciples they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Danny! now, Shipps! now, AJ and Tony!
On, Nico! on Hughesie!, on, Wayne and Aki!
To the edge of the area! Form that wall!
Hold the line! Hoof it! Clear away the ball!”

As that song goes about bubbles that fly,
Where like hopes they fade as they reach the sky,
So up to the house-top the players they flew,
With the bus full of dreams, and St. Iain too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard the roof thud
The clatter and thump of each player’s stud.
As I kissed the club crest, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Iain came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Palace gear, accepting the cheers,
And his clothes were all tarnished with blood, sweat and tears;
A bundle of promises he held in his hand,
Saying heading for the Premiership – the promised land.

His eyes – how they twinkled! his gurning how merry!
He had a replacement for Julian, he was going to play Derry!
His crooked smile mouth was making a sound,
He was saying it was time for one more round;
The ghost of Sunderland’s hopes he held so tightly,
Thanks mainly to that penalty miss from Jeff Whitely;

He had an interesting face and a mind of steel,
That ensnared the opposition and made me feel,
That anything was possible and he calmed my fears,
And lifted the gloom of following Palace for years;

A gruelling training schedule and a good choice of sub,
Soon gave me the belief that we were going up;
He spoke of Harbin and Symons as he went about his work,
Writing his programme notes; then turned with a jerk,
And raising his hand he gave me the clenched fist,
And I swear this is true (even though I was pissed);

He sprang to his bus, and his team all piled on,
And away to Cardiff they all flew with the hopes of South London.
But I heard him exclaim, as he left the facility,
“We’ll do them tomorrow with bouncebackability.”


Dave Lewis interview

This was written for the ‘Palace Echo’ fanzine after the play-off final win in 2004.  The person most disappointed with the result was the one who did the most to have it shown in Australia.

Originally the play-off final wasn’t going to be shown in Australia. This was going to deprive a number of Palace fans the chance to see the game. It was also going to deprive an even larger number of West Ham fans the same opportunity. The satellite channel which held the rights claimed there wasn’t enough interest and that it would take something major to make them change their mind.

His name is Dave Lewis.

Joe, Dave Lewis & Julian

Dave is a West Ham fan. He’s also Australian born and bred. This former rugby player switched codes to the round ball. “I started to watch soccer on TV in 1973 and West Ham had that fantastic side. They won big or they lost big and I identified with that. They were a very entertaining side to watch.” When Setanta, the sports channel which broadcasts predominately Gaelic sports in Irish pubs to the expat community, elected not to exercise their rights to show the game Dave faced a decision. He could have flown to England as he has so many times in the past but he tried a second option. He offered to underwrite the cost of Setanta showing the game. The cost remains private but regardless of whatever currency you use it was a significant amount.

Setanta, surprised at such a proposal, thought about it and then backed Dave all the way. “Setanta deserve praise. They’re a private company, they could have said ‘no’, they could have said ‘no matter what you pay we won’t do it’. They’ve really helped. They’ve done a lot of work”. A couple of messages on the West Ham chat site asking for expressions of interest brought forth a tsunami. There were literally thousands of West Ham fans in Australia who wanted to see the game. There were a few hundred Palace fans as well and we were more than welcomed as the news spread. With the reach of the internet and other more traditional media the clamour for tickets grew. When they finally went on sale most venues were swamped by the demand. In Sydney the 150 tickets at Scruffy Murphy’s sold out in under 24 hours while the Aussie Rules club – capacity 400 – sold 80% in two days. The latter was only available for booking via a online sales at a server set up in very quick time by Dave’s company, the DLA Group, and manned by his staff who performed not only their own jobs but also the mad scheme dreamed up by their boss.

Elsewhere the trade was just as brisk. One venue in Melbourne rapidly became two venues in Melbourne. Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Cairns cascaded into line as well. Another venue sprang up in Sydney to meet the demand. Then came a fourth – The Metro Theatre. “But that doesn’t have the specialised equipment capable of showing the Setanta broadcast”, was the issue I raised with Dave a few hours before the game. “As of this morning it does”, he grinned. The biggest audience Setanta had ever got for one of its broadcasts in Australia was around 1,300 for a football game involving Celtic. The second biggest was for one involving Manchester United. Crystal Palace v West Ham United attracted an audience of 3,000 people each paying $25 (around £10) a ticket.

This all took place within seven days. Dave seems a bit bemused at how the enterprise expanded as originally “it was all about a guy wanting to see a game of football”.

The scramble for venues proved problematic in Sydney. “It’s really important to dispel this notion of English soccer hooligans. Some of the clubs where we wanted to put this on turned us away with ‘Oh, soccer hooligans, there’ll be trouble’”. But the camaraderie that Dave was so keen to show between fans rose above that and there were no reports of trouble. All over the country media outlets lined up to interview this mad football fan who was going to such lengths to show a game between two teams who weren’t even Premier League. Sky and Channel 7 (national TV) interviewed him and “I’ve been on Mt Gambier radio”.

The interest wasn’t just limited to Australia. “I was on Radio New Zealand this morning – and the game isn’t even on in New Zealand!”. As well as an appearance on Ceefax the BBC match commentator was also due to call him from Cardiff thirty minutes before kick-off. A West Ham businessman in the US offered Dave money to support his attempt to show the game (the offer being graciously declined). An email from Britain even contained a marriage proposal “but I’ve already got an English wife and I’m very happy with her” – while a suggestion to make a movie from it would mean an obvious casting choice of Russell Crowe (however, Dave did not swear, get drunk or beat up anyone so that actor may have to really work at getting into character). If it were an American movie it would end with a stirring finale and Dave being escorted triumphantly aloft the shoulders of his fellow supporters. But it was a game between two very English teams and could only have that most English of results for him.

“Utterly *utterly* devastated”, was his email after the match, “As said, CP were by far the better team”. Grace in defeat and an ability to move mountains in the space of a week. Dave Lewis is a rare man and there will always be a part in grateful Australian Palace fans hearts for him.