'SOMETIMES you have to look at the level I am working at. We are not a dominant club, so results are going to have ups and downs. The inconsistencies are why some players don't play at top clubs.

"Top clubs have players who consistently give you seven, eight out of 10. Sometimes, you want your players to just grow a little bit more - a bit more grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck."

Although it might seem appropriate - especially after the Sixers dropped a 106-98 decision to the Denver Nuggets on Monday - those words were not spoken by Sixers coach Brett Brown.

That was Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew speaking to the Telegraph of London two weeks ago before his struggling English Premier League squad played at Swansea City.

Pardew's club dropped a 5-4 decision that brought out louder howls from the wolfpack of Palace fans calling for his sacking.

OK, so what does a soccer coach across the Atlantic in London have in common with a basketball coach in Philadelphia?

Well, both the Sixers and Crystal Palace F.C. have Joshua Harris as a major shareholder in the ownership group.

In 2011, Harris became majority owner of the Sixers when his group purchased the franchise from Comcast-Spectacor for $280 million. Last year, Harris purchased an 18 percent share in Crystal Palace.

Oh, you can add New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes because Harris' consortium purchased a majority stake in the NHL team and the operation rights to the Prudential Center for $320 million in 2013.

The other thing that links all three franchises is that they have been among the bottom-feeders in their respective leagues.

Palace broke its losing streak with a 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, but with more than a third of the Premier League schedule completed, Crystal Palace has 14 points. That has it just three above the relegation zone.

In English soccer, the bottom three teams of a higher league are dropped a tier and replaced by three teams from the league below them.

There is a huge financial hit for dropping from the Premier League to the second-tier Championship League. In television revenue only, each of the 20 Premier League teams is guaranteed 100 million pounds. Television money for the Championship League is around 3 million pounds per team.

With that kind of cash at stake, it is no wonder Pardew is on the hot seat. Last week, Harris and David Blitzer, a Sixers partial owner and Crystal Palace investor, reportedly met with Palace chairman Steve Parish to discuss Pardew.

Perhaps if the NBA had a relegation system and the Sixers were actually sent to the D-League for having stocked a roster of D-League quality designed to lose, Brown would be under that kind of pressure from Harris to get things turned around, too.

The loss to Denver was the seventh straight for the Sixers (4-17).

Since the Sixers started this rebuild four seasons ago, they've won a total of 51 games and lost 216.

If the NBA had a relegation system, they would be starting their third season in the D-League. They would not have profited from the first year of the nine-year, $24 million television contract that began this season.

You want a strong deterrent for tanking? Try relegation.

Rumors out of London are Crystal Palace is prepared to invest heavy dollars during the January transfer window to improve its squad and stay safely away from the relegation zone.

Harris would have operated differently had the Sixers faced the prospect of relegation. He would have spent money on quality free agents to enhance his draft picks.

Former Sixers president/general manager Sam Hinkie may have been the architect of "The Process," but he did not have the authority to act autonomously.

Had Harris not been in favor of the idea of intentionally losing in order to gain high draft picks, Hinkie would have walked a different path in rebuilding the Sixers.

You can speculate on whether it was at the directive of the other NBA owners, but last December Harris, in a surprising change of heart, cut Hinkie's legs out from under him by hiring Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations.

Near the end of the season, Bryan Colangelo was brought in to drive the car and Hinkie quit rather than slide over to the passenger's seat.

But how much has changed?

The two-season wait for rookie center Joel Embiid has exceeded expectations and the drafting of Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick brings more hope.

Still, Colangelo's free-agent signings of Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson and Sergio Rodriguez were not dial movers. And considering the assets Hinkie left in the cupboard to play with, Colangelo's inability to move back up into the lottery and draft another talented young player was a passive decision when aggression was needed.

The presence of Embiid and Simmons makes things better, but the way Colangelo has constructed the rest of this team makes it clear that Harris is comfortable with a slow build.

Perhaps Harris will be proven correct and all this short-term suffering will be rewarded with championships down the road.

Harris can exercise patience with the Sixers - a luxury that his sports property across the pond isn't afforded because of relegation.

@SmallTerp