• Premier League

Palace deny Cardiff 'spy' claims

ESPN staff
April 11, 2014
Jason Puncheon scored twice in Palace's 3-0 win at Cardiff © Getty Images

Crystal Palace have denied being given details of Cardiff's starting line-up two days before their crucial Premier League meeting last Saturday.

The Sun reports that representatives from Cardiff met Premier League officials on Thursday to discuss allegations that Palace's sporting director Iain Moody, who previously worked for the Welsh side, used a spy to obtain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's planned XI.

Palace visited South Wales last weekend with both teams battling to stay in the Premier League, and Tony Pulis' side cruised to a 3-0 victory to leave Solskjaer's team six points from safety.

However, Palace - who are now seven points clear of the drop zone - vociferously deny the claims.

"I don't think I have done anything wrong," Moody said.

Palace co-owner Steve Parish confirmed that an unnamed agent read 11 names over the phone to Moody, though only nine of those players actually started.

"This is far-fetched and sour grapes," he said. "We played Cardiff and beat them fairly.

"I am assured by Iain that he did not speak to anybody directly at Cardiff - or try to get the team out of them.

"He did, however, get a phone call from an agent who gave him 11 names. But two of them were wrong, so we can't even be fairly accused of having the correct lineup.

"Everyone tries to second guess the other side's team. But I would never dream of being involved in anything of the kind of thing being suggested.

"Nothing untoward: everything within the rules and spirit of the game."

Meanwhile, Cardiff boss Solskjaer - who was brought in by owner Vincent Tan in January - has admitted to sleepless nights following his side's poor form.

"For the first time I have lost a bit of sleep," he told the Daily Mirror. "I've been up at 4am working out how to galvanise everybody.

"Sir Alex Ferguson rang me a couple of weeks ago to ask how things were going. I said I had not lost a minute of sleep - but I have to admit there have been a couple of bad nights this week."

Cardiff sit 19th in the table, and have just five game to survive their debut season in the Premier League.

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