Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish is sounding more and more confident of Croydon Council giving the go-ahead for the club to redevelop the Main Stand at Selhurst Park when the final meeting takes place in a little over three weeks time.
Following on from the initial release of the club’s plans a few months ago, there has been a period of consultation and trouble-shooting behind the scenes, alongside a public forum upon which people could either approve or oppose the planned rebuild. Thankfully, all of these appear to have gone down rather well from the club’s perspective, boosting their hopes of being given green light when the time comes.
Of course, in order for this to work for every one of the various stakeholders involved, the club need to be incredibly flexible and accommodating whilst also retaining their vision for a new and improved Selhurst Park. It’s a difficult balancing act but it’s one that Steve Parish seems to be feeling ever-more confident about as time goes on.
As you would expect, plenty of supporters have raised concerns about the looming threat of falling through the Premier League trapdoor in May, suggesting that it may put a major spanner in the works regarding construction but for Parish, this appears to be a plan that won’t be impacted by the division we’re playing in when the 2018-19 season gets underway.
Many are keen to describe Selhurst’s proposed refurbishment as a “passion project” for the Eagles chairman but I can’t help feeling as though he does have a point when suggesting that we need to do something lasting to the ageing Main Stand as soon as possible if we are serious about retaining a place at English football’s top table for the long-term.
You would hope, given the overwhelming desire of those who’ve responded to the public survey, the club’s willingness to accommodate the council’s wishes and the undeniable beauty of the designs the club have put forward, that we stand a more than decent chance of being granted planning permission at the end of April.
When all is said and done, a top flight football club acts as a great asset for south London as a whole, with a potential boost to attendances and spending inside the stadium ideally having a positive knock-on effect for the local area.
Keep your fingers crossed.