Steve Parish is putting all of his effort into pushing through plans to redevelop the Main Stand at Selhurst Park, suggesting that any further proposals to boost our capacity to 40,000 are likely to be done by a new chairman.
After the official announcement of the club’s planned revamp on the Main Stand on Tuesday, Parish spoke at length about the reasons why he was so passionate to make it a reality, whilst admitting that his own personal ambitions didn’t stretch towards rebuilding the whole ground.
Plenty of supporters and neutrals have raised doubts over whether the club would be able to fill a 34,000-seater stadium (the planned capacity following the rebuild) but Steve himself is adamant that the Eagles have a wide enough supporter-base to sell out the ground week after week if we remain in the Premier League.
Drawing on the fact that we sold out an allocation of that size in three days for the FA Cup Final against Manchester United, the Palace supremo clearly feels as though a new Main Stand, complete with a five-storey glass facade in reference to the original Crystal Palace, will be eye-catching enough to bring an extra 8,000 fans to SE25 for every game.
Whilst I and plenty of others were aware of a waiting list for season tickets, it seems as though Parish is sure that a newly refurbished Selhurst will encourage a whole new generation of fans to opt for a lifetime following the Eagles rather than looking elsewhere. As he says, our catchment area is absolutely huge when broken down, meaning we simply need to find a way of alerting them to our presence, rather than settling for the fact that children across south London and following teams in the North West rather than one that is on their doorstep.
The redevelopment of Selhurst Park has been a real passion project for Parish from the moment he first took up residence in the Palace boardroom back in 2010. I for one am desperate to see him make it a reality, even if he may not be around for anything beyond the recently unveiled plans.