Rumours have been rife about a possible takeover of the club for the past six months, with American billionaire Josh Harris being the man leading the interested consortium.
Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has been quoted on multiple occasions in the past, saying that they are always talking to people but have the clubs’ interest at heart so will make sure that anyone who is interested in taking over the club, also has the same ambitions and loyalties.
Speculation in the past few weeks has linked the club with an imminent takeover, leaving only a few minor details to be finalised; when I spoke to Steve Parish last week, he had this to say about the constant rumours surrounding the future of Crystal Palace:
“The papers have been saying it will happen in two weeks time, three months ago the papers were saying it was going to happen in a months time, it’s definitely going to happen next week, it’s definitely going to happen in two weeks – let’s wait and see,” he said.
“I’m not going anywhere, I’ll stay running this football club and what is really important is if we do anything it adds to what we have got. If I can find a way of bringing in more investment into the club maybe some new ideas, getting things from other sports, I’m here to move this football club forward as fast as I can. That’s what I wanted to do five years ago, it’s what I want to do now and it’s what the other three guys want to do.
“I haven’t given up five years of my life to this to end up back in the Championship in exactly the same place as we were. That wouldn’t be success for me, it wouldn’t be success for Alan and it has taken me a long time.”
If you were to predict five years ago that Alan Pardew was going to be the manager of Crystal Palace with the team establishing themselves in the Premier League, you would have been laughed at; but due to the recent climb of the club, the former Eagles legend was prepared to come to the club and help with the the mission that had already begun.
Admittedly, in the Premier League every club needs a sufficient backing and with this being Crystal Palace’s first real stint in the division in recent times there is a lot of catching up to be done with the facilities at the club.
“You’ve got to get a platform, something that people believe in. Alan Pardew wasn’t going to manage this club when we took over, we were very lucky to get him when we did, it was because we were in the Premier League and we had a much better squad. Things were exciting at the club, it’s going forwards. He was prepared to come and do it,” Parish continued by saying.
“It’s building blocks and at some point because of the under-investment, we might need some money and a lot of money.”
One of the main assets for any football team is it’s stadium and that is something that CPFC2010 have been looking at improving since they saved the club. There have been major changes at Selhurst Park in recent years with improved cladding outside of the stadium to make it more appealing as well as a complete refit of many bar and restaurant areas.
News on the redevelopment of the clubs’ South London stadium has been quiet over recent years since the announcement that they were looking at moving the Eagles back to Crystal Palace and with a possible investment in the club, could this provide the money that is needed for such a project?
“We’ve got a plan for the redevelopment of Selhurst Park, it is very very difficult. There’s no point in announcing something or talking about something that can’t be done – I kind of did that with the National Sports Centre but there was a point to it because Spurs were trying to go there at the time, they were trying to got to the Olympic Stadium so there was a kind of, we’ve got a claim on that – if there’s going to be a stadium there,” he said.
“We’ve got to get it right, we’ve got a study going on at the moment – there’s a lot of working going on in the background. We need a plan for the whole stadium, bring it together and make it better and how do we keep the atmosphere when you redevelop the stadium. We got relegated the last time we didn’t have a stand in the 90s so how do we maintain the atmosphere, whats the best way of doing it – it’s not just about how we do it, what’s the best method of doing it.
“Do we go play somewhere else? Probably no, there really isn’t anywhere. We might have to but when we have something that is going to work, we will talk to people about it, there’s no point of me building models of what can’t be done. The Holmesdale wouldn’t be allowed now because of the seat widths.”
Steve Parish has persistently stated that it would always have to be the right person, if they were to invest or takeover the club and have similar ambitions in taking the club forward, to the next level. He has said though there there is no rush on looking for the right people to help move the club onwards.
“I’ve got to look at the right thing, the right partners, the right people – everything has to be right. There’s no rush,” he said.
“People don’t know who I’m talking to or what I’m doing, they’re just speculating. For some reason it has blown up recently against because people think they know things, some people are right and some people are wrong. What isn’t right is anything is imminent. If it was right it could happen very quickly, whilst it’s not right it won’t happen.
“There’s nothing different today then there was six months ago. People want to be the one that has the knowledge; when the time is right we will announce it. Chelsea was apparently sold in three days – it could be three days time, it could be three months time or never.”