Steve Parish gives us his thoughts as we begin our home campaign with a London derby against Arsenal, giving our online audience the notes from our matchday programme feature, From The Boardroom.
Firstly, I’d like to welcome all Palace fans back to Selhurst Park for what promises to be another exciting season for all of us.
For the first time we’re heading into our third straight campaign in this league, and today we have a brilliant game to kick-off another season in SE25 with the visit of Arsenal. I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to their directors, management, players and supporters.
It has been a very busy summer. We have invested heavily on and off the pitch to continue to bring this club up to the standard required to be a force within this division, and I’m delighted with what has been achieved.
Obviously the headlines have all focussed around Yohan Cabaye but I feel we have also made some other great acquisitions. I’d like to welcome Alex, Patrick, Connor and Bakary and all of these players boast plenty of experience and further potential. It will be exciting to see how they develop this season.
I’m delighted with the strength of the squad and that came the fore at Carrow Road last weekend. The extra quality off the bench helped guide us to a magnificent win and kick our campaign off in the perfect way.
The away day at Norwich was fantastic. I went on the train and it’s great to be back at games, and I always like chatting to the fans to and from the station.
We had an enjoyable trip to South Africa last month that saw us compete in the Cape Town Cup and we were wonderfully well received and looked after by the local government and people.
I think we gained plenty of new supporters in that corner of the world as the squad were a credit to the club as they coached children, signed autographs and conducted themselves in a way we can all be proud of. It’s another sign of how far we’ve come that we’re being invited to participate in these tournaments.
There has been lots of other investment around the club away from the squad, including redeveloping the training ground, the laying of a new pitch at Selhurst Park and new hospitality lounges at the ground, as well as improvements to the away areas.
Along with all this spending we have been tying up new sponsorship agreements and we’re pleased to have the Mansion Group and JD Sports on board as club partners, and thank them for their support. I think we will be great partners for each other and I’m excited to be working alongside them in the coming months as we develop the relationship.
It’s been evolution rather than revolution this summer which is the way we want things to be after last season’s success, and with plenty of hard work we hope to continue to progress during the next 10 months. There will be ups and downs but whatever happens I know you will all be here giving your valuable support to Alan and the team.
Up the Palace,