The club was founded in 1905 at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building by the owners of the FA Cup Final stadium which was situated inside its historic grounds. Palace played their home games at the Cup Final venue until 1915 when the First World War forced them to move out and play at Herne Hill Velodrome and The Nest. In 1924, the club moved to their current home at Selhurst Park.
Palace initially played in the Southern League before they joined the Football League in 1920 and became inaugural champions of the newly formed Third Division in 1920–21. Since 1964, Palace have mostly played in the top two leagues of English football. The club enjoyed a successful period after they gained promotion back to the top flight in 1989 after an eight-year absence. They reached the FA Cup final in 1990, finishing as runners-up to Manchester United, and the following season saw Palace challenge for the English league title, eventually finishing in third place in the top tier in 1990–91, their highest ever league position. Palace were denied a place in Europe at the end of that season due to the partial UEFA ban on English clubs following the Heysel Stadium disaster. The club won the Full Members Cup the same year when they beat Everton in the Wembley final. Palace became founding members of the Premier League in 1992. The club suffered a period of turmoil after being relegated from the Premier League in 1998. They went into administration twice, in 1999 and 2010, but recovered and gained promotion back to the Premier League in 2013. Palace reached another FA Cup final in 2016, again losing to Manchester United. The club have also been second tier champions twice, and hold the record for the most play-off wins for promotion to the top flight, winning the final four times.
In 1973, the club changed its original nickname from “The Glaziers” to “The Eagles” and introduced the red and blue vertical stripes now associated with the club. The club had previously played in claret and blue colours. Palace have rivalries with Brighton & Hove Albion, with whom they contest the M23 derby, and fellow South London clubs Millwall and Charlton Athletic.