CRYSTAL Palace Football Club’s cheerleaders have hit back at claims their saucy routines are to blame for the team’s poor form.

With The Eagles hovering just above the relegation zone, some fans on online forums have claimed cheerleaders The Crystals are to blame because they distract the players with their revealing outfits.

But The Crystals team captain, Charlotte Duffy, says the claims are “unfair”, pointing out that Palace are unbeaten at Selhurst Park since the cheerleaders were introduced on December 11.

News Shopper: The Crystals team captain Charlotte Duffy

She said: “I think people need to look at the facts, because the team are doing well at home and have not lost a game since we have been there.”

The 25-year-old from Essex added: “We are nowhere near the team during the games.

"We go on before the game and then make a V formation as the players come onto the pitch, but there isn’t even any eye contact.”

The 14 girls in The Crystals are not paid to perform and Miss Duffy says they do it voluntarily “for the fans” and their love of dancing.

She said: “We have had a lot of fans get in touch to show their support since these claims were made.

“We have had lots of messages on our Facebook page and on the club’s website forums from people showing their support.”

Miss Duffy says many members of The Crystals are Palace fans, and she says she is now a loyal supporter despite not being interested in football before she started dancing at Selhurst Park.

View our gallery of the lovely ladies in action.