Steve Parish has confirmed that relegation from the Premier League would not put a halt to the club’s plans regarding the redevelopment of Selhurst Park with he and all of the other major shareholders in agreement over their long-term vision.
Whilst the proposed re-working of the Main Stand and corners of the Holmesdale Road and Whitehorse Lane structures comes as a massive change for everyone associated with the Eagles, Parish has been keen to stress that he and everyone else behind the scenes must maintain long-term goals that aren’t too heavily impacted on by our fluctuations in form on the pitch.
Of course, the injection of funds offered by American duo Josh Harris and David Blitzer will have helped hugely with the financing of our proposed new Main Stand but even so, it sounds as though Parish is keen to ensure that the new structure pays for itself within 10-15 years of construction coming to a close.
Whilst major obstacles remain in the shape of consultation with the local council over planning permission, the wishes of local residents and the presence of Sainsbury’s at one end of the ground, I have to admit to liking the manner in which Parish has approached Monday afternoon’s announcement, asking for cooperation whilst amplifying the benefits to the local area in an extremely public setting.
Should everything go swimmingly (which knowing Palace it won’t) we could see planning permission granted shortly after the application is submitted in January, leading to construction getting underway at the end of 2018. Tentatively scheduled to take two years, we could have it all finished before 2020 is at an end but as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
As someone who spends literal hours every day writing, analysing and generally fretting about the wellbeing of Crystal Palace FC, I can’t pretend that I hadn’t worried about the impending threat of relegation and its impact on the planned redevelopment of Selhurst but Parish’s words certainly offer a degree of comfort to cover that eventuality.
Let’s hope, for everyone’s sakes, that we don’t have to cross that bridge in the near future. Forgetting the strain it would put on the club financially, I just don’t much fancy another away trip to Preston North End next season.