Steve Parish is known to be a man who is happy to make his voice heard in the media when the occasion calls for it and last week, the Palace chairman spoke to the BBC World Service about Roy Hodgson, Frank de Boer, Wilfried Zaha’s future and plenty more, with the interview in full available to listen to here.
Speaking first about the decision to appoint Roy Hodgson back in September, Steve talks about the need for those in charge of any football club to look “through the noise” surrounding any potential manager, of which there was rather a lot following England’s disappointing performance at Euro 2016. Rightly making reference to Iceland’s subsequent qualification for this summer’s World Cup and Hodgson’s excellent record within the game over a long period of time, it’s quite clear that Parish feels as though he has the perfect man for the job in place as things stand.
Moving on to discuss the time Frank de Boer spent in the Palace hot-seat, Steve wastes no time in admitting that he made errors of his own when recruiting the Dutchman over the summer whilst insisting that there are no hard feelings between the two of them despite the rapid fashion in which the Ajax legend was dismissed from his post.
When pressed for his thoughts on the January transfer window, the chairman is quick to make to raise the question of whether or not Premier League clubs have too much money at their disposal, leading to sloppy decision making when it comes to player recruitment.
Predictably, the conversation soon turns to the subject of Wilfried Zaha’s potential departure, prompting Parish into speaking with a comforting degree of confidence about where the winger’s future lies, possibly as a consequence of being asked the same questions so frequently over the last few weeks.
Moving on from Wilf, the interviewer then asks Steve for his thoughts on Christian Benteke, who himself has been linked with a move away from the club this January. In what is probably the most surprising of answers from Parish over the course of the clip, he goes on to speak incredibly positively about the Belgian striker’s respect and hard work for the club, giving absolutely no indication whatsoever that he is headed towards the exit door.
Finally, we hear about Steve and his fellow directors’ long-term aims for Crystal Palace FC, including their hope of becoming an established Premier League outfit with facilities to match that lofty position. Whether you’re looking towards the stadium itself, the training facilities we have or our much-discussed academy, there remains a huge amount of room for improvement, with Parish himself reiterating the point he made a few weeks ago by saying that we are currently only “30% of what we could be if we reached our true potential”.
The statement made in the final 30 seconds of the above clip is worth listening to by itself, highlighting, in case anyone still feels unsure about Parish’s ambitions for us, just how far he thinks we can go if the cards fall favourably for us in years to come.