Firstly I would like to welcome the directors, management, players and supporters of Stoke City to Selhurst Park this afternoon.
I would also like to offer my congratulations from everyone at the club to Leicester City who are deserved champions. It has been an outstanding achievement and a lesson to us all!
Today the curtain will come down on our home campaign for 2015/16 and it has been quite a memorable one. There have been some fantastic victories at places like Stamford Bridge and Anfield and we have also secured some big results here in SE25, plus of course we’ve welcomed Josh and David on board which will only help us going forward.
With a win today we will hopefully secure our fourth consecutive season in the Premier League. That will be the longest we have ever graced the top-flight for and another important milestone. My aim is for the current generation of fans to grow up only recognising us as a Premier League club!
Whilst we are pleased with that achievement, the second half of the season hasn’t been what we have been looking for and we will be evaluating why during the summer. We’ve probably learnt more from these past few months than during any other time in our stay in the Premier League, and we’ll be stronger for it.
Having said that, we are one game away from clinching our first ever European campaign. It’s a fantastic achievement to reach the FA Cup final but I know we all want to go one better than 1990. It’s a huge occasion for everybody associated with this football club, and I will be filled with pride when I see the players and management walk out at Wembley to take on Manchester United on what could be the biggest day in this club’s history.
It’s funny that I can vividly remember watching us take on United 26 years ago when Brighty and Alan Pardew were playing for us, so it’s going to be strange for me all these years later owning the club, sat next to Brighty and Alan managing us!
I wasn’t sure if it could be achieved but the atmosphere you generated at the national stadium last month for the semi-final was even better than when we last played there in 2013. I can’t wait to hear what you have in store for the final.
Back to today and we are already beginning to look forward to next season with the launch of our new membership packages for 2016/17. After a review we’ve dropped the price of our Junior Memberships to £15 so more young fans can get closer to the club, attend exclusive events and have the chance to meet their heroes.
We’ve also added extra benefits to our other memberships including better ticket access, more club shop discounts and improved welcome packs, so you’ll find even more value for money when you renew for next season.
Thanks once again for your tremendous support this year; let’s hope we can create more history next season.
As always, Up the Palace!