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Parish: The Only Way Is Up

4 July 2015


Chairman Steve Parish has given his views on the Eagles' season ahead, as well as looking at the club's upcoming pre-season trip to South Africa, saying "the only way is up."

He has spent part of the summer enjoying a break abroad, but has said he is now looking forward to getting back to it with Palace. 

"It was my fiftieth year, so I had a bit of fun on my various birthday trips," said Parish. "It was very nice to get away, but now I'm looking forward to the new season and the tour to South Africa. 

"It's amazing, amazing for this football club. When we bought Palace [in 2010], we played Exeter and someone else down there like Plymouth in pre-season. There was no fear for the games, we paid all our own travel and accommodation. We even got rained out one year down there and we had to come back and go to Spain, so it's fantastic that we're actually being paid to participate in a proper tournament in pre-season. 

"It's a beautiful country (South Africa), it's a beautiful hotel - all paid for. Alan and Phil have been down to see it."

He said that the opportunity for the Eagles to play in front of large crowds abroad - and potentially against one of Europe's top teams - was an exciting one.

"We'll play Sporting, hopefully, at the end of the tournament, if we beat the local sides," he said. "They're expecting upwards of 40,000 people in the stadium to see the back-to-back games. It's brilliant. We're really looking forward to that."

Looking further ahead, to the start of the new Premier League season, he was excited at the prospect of welcoming Arsene Wenger's Arsenal to Selhurst Park for the opening home game of 2015-16 - insisting that it is about time the red and blue army got one over the Gunners.

"We've got to beat them sooner or later! We've come close, Glenn off the post last season. I think we deserve at least a draw against them," he said. 

"I used to be in the school of thought, as a fan, that you don't want those games early, you want them buried somewhere in mid-season when it can't do much harm, but bring it on. Come on, let's do it! Let's get them, let's get the buzz going around Selhurst.

"Those August games will be a bit difficult because of all the holidays, the stadium could have season ticket holders away, leaving little patches, but hopefully everyone comes out in force for that one."

His parting message for the fans was to simply to maintain the incredible, consistent standards of support that the Eagles have become famous for.

"I think for the fans, all I can say is: keep on doing what you do! As Alan said, we want people to raise their expectations, but that doesn't mean booing and hissing when we're not playing like Barcelona and winning 6-0 every week. 

"It's a tough league and we've got to keep grounded. We've got to keep doing what we do to maintain that level of excellence - me, the players, the coaches, everybody - no stone unturned, proper preparation, training, fitness, strength, all that sort of stuff. And if we keep doing those things, which I know that Alan and myself will police heavily, then I think that the only way is up for us in this league and that's fantastic for a club who were in administration five years ago. Absolutely superb."

The full video interview with Steve Parish is available at eagles.cpfc.co.uk.

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