Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, players and fans of Manchester City to Selhurst Park today for what is a landmark match for our club.
This fixture coincides with the formation of this incarnation of Crystal Palace Football Club some 110 years ago and it gives us all a chance to celebrate the achievements we have attained in those years, especially during the decade since we celebrated our centenary in 2005. I think despite the low points, things are most certainly on the up.
We’ve sold around 17,250 season tickets this year, leaving only a handful of casual tickets left to sell each game. We have close to 10,000 paying members this season, 25,000 digital members despite only launching it only four months ago, shirt sales are up 37% on last year and on social media we have over 650,000 Facebook fans (up from 30,000 since we were promoted) and 200,000 Twitter followers.
We have come so far since the dark days of 2010 to now having a squad and manager capable of beating a side like Chelsea on their own patch like we did a fortnight ago. That was a superb moment for me and everyone connected with the club, and a tremendous return for all the hard work in the summer from the manager, scouting department and players.
Sitting second through the international break was also nice for all of us, of course it’s very early and no-one is getting carried away but I certainly prefer it to the other starts we’ve made in previous seasons.
I can only personally remember the late 80s early 90s as a time when it’s been equally as exciting to be a Palace fan. I am so proud to be a part of it and committed to making sure we do everything possible to continue to progress and give us more great days and moments to celebrate.
The transfer window has closed since our last home game and it was sad to see Glenn Murray leave the club. Glenn has been a fantastic player for us and contributed so much to getting us into the position we find ourselves today.
Glenn wanted to play first-team football regularly and hopefully he’ll get that at Bournemouth; I think it’s a great signing for them so everybody benefits from the deal. I can only thank him for everything he’s done for us and wish him well for the rest of his career – he will always be offered a hero’s welcome at Selhurst Park with whatever side he turns up with in the future.
There were one or two other deals that didn’t quite go through on deadline day but ultimately I was delighted with the 25 man squad Alan selected for the coming few months. It has to be the strongest in our history, and whilst it didn’t cost as much as today’s visitors’, hopefully we can be a match for City and all the other sides in the Premier League this season.