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Club News

From The Boardroom - Arsenal

21 February 2015

We bring you the latest comments from the boardroom as Steve Parish pens his latest programme notes.

Firstly I'd like to welcome the owners, directors, players and supporters of Arsenal Football Club to Selhurst Park this afternoon.

This fixture brings back memories of the opening day of the season where we ran our opponents close under the management of Keith Millen after Tony Pulis left as manager on the eve of the new season. We put up such a dogged display that August afternoon despite the upheaval, so it will be interesting to see how far we've progressed since then this afternoon - hopefully we can pick up a rare victory against the Gunners!

Last week saw the new TV deal for the Premier League announced and I think it surpassed everyone’s expectations. Whilst we still don’t know the scale of the international rights it looks like the income will be a record amount, surpassing any other football league in the world.

The Premier League is quite simply a stunning success and one as a nation we should be proud of. Sure there are issues; we need to make sure we safeguard the vibrancy of the stadiums and do more to help the England team, but we should also celebrate what we have, a global institution that has won the admiration and attention from sports fans the world over. 

No other league has penetrated the globe in the same way - imagine here an overseas league being more popular than our own, it's impossible isn’t it! Yet in many countries around the world that's the case with our Premier League.

A significant portion of the money filters down the pyramid to the grass roots level, and the Championship has probably the biggest income of any second division in Europe because of the Premier League TV deal, which now links its payments to the lower leagues as a direct percentage.

My hope is that we can continue to agree some proper cost control so that clubs can give more back to fans. The top clubs still find it hard to make a profit on a consistent basis so we will be pushing hard for this control, along with safe standing and other benefits for the vast number of fans that make the competition what it is.

I've been away this week on holiday, and as usual no matter where I go in the world people will always come up to me and praise the club, normally because of our fans and the atmosphere and colour you generate on matchdays across the country. When I hear kind words like that, be it in America, Asia or Austria, it makes me proud to represent you all as chairman of this club.

I’ll be scrambling this morning as I’m landing at Gatwick at around 10am. I plan holidays around our games, meaning the FA Cup weekends are my only chance to get a winter break, but getting to the fifth round meant I wasn’t there for Liverpool. I did manage to watch the game and I don’t think we should be to downhearted as I thought they were exceptional on the day and I wish them well for the rest of the tournament.

I'd also like to pass on my condolences to the family of Richard Bassett, known to many as Fred, who died earlier this week. He was a lifelong Palace fan who travelled around the country supporting the side, and 

I had the pleasure of some conversations with him over recent years. He will be sadly missed.

Up the Palace


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