As we kick-off a new season we bring you the notes from Chairman, Steve Parish, that he has written for today's matchday programme.
Each edition, Eagles Chairman Steve Parish has his say on the hot topics surrounding Palace and the beautiful game, and offers you the chance to pose him questions.
NEW BOYS & OLD FRIENDS
Welcome to everyone connected with Huddersfield Town. Dean Hoyle purchased the club at a similar time to when I bought Palace, and he’s worked incredibly hard to get here. I know how special this day will be for him.
Mark Hudson is one of my favourite ever players for Palace, playing over 130 times and captaining the club too. I’ve got to know Mark a little bit since he left, and following his recent retirement I’m sure he’s going to make a fantastic manager one day.
Andy Hughes is another old face here today. During his short time on the coaching staff here, his ability and enthusiasm was instrumental in us retaining our Premier League status. He left us because he felt the opportunity at Huddersfield was too good to turn down. Well, he’s obviously made a very good job of it along with the very impressive manager David Wagner who will be a great addition to the Premier League. We aim to make their day extremely enjoyable, up until 3pm.
This summer, we’ve built the new Fanzone, which I’m really proud of as it’s something I had wanted since the start, but we never got it right. Therefore, huge credit to Guy Wickett and the staff here who have brought my vision to life. It will become a great focal point for fans, and we have lots planned to improve it even further. It’s one of many things that gives me the conviction that we are making progress
We’ve also spent £1 million on more than 100 new wheelchair access bays and accessibility improvements, which we hope will enhance the experience of our fans with disabilities.
TRANSFER MADNESS & A PACKED PRE-SEASON
Everybody is aware of where transfer fees have gone this year. To me, there appears to be three different markets: the European star player market for a new generation of ‘win at any costs’ owners, then the English top-tier market where there’s a huge premium, especially for home grown players. After that, there’s the rest of us in the Premier League working to find value.
It’s hard to understand how any of this fits within Financial Fair Play, so I wonder if there will be any consequences with some of the spending. There are still rules that need to be followed, so it’s hard to see how this all fits with some of the reported numbers. Let’s not forget however that we topped Premier League spending in January, so this window was never going to be another record-breaking one for Palace. However we’ve done some good business already, and we should have a bit of firepower to come in the coming weeks before the deadline.
It’s also been great to see some of our under-23 players pushing for places this pre-season.
Our summer was hugely positive. We had a good run-out in Hong Kong with two great games, and were looked after brilliantly by the Premier League and the Hong Kong FA. It’s a far cry from our first pre-season when I bought the club, where we had a washout at Exeter!
Metz and Schalke were both competitive and feisty, and Tuesday night’s 3-2 under-23 win at Merstham was also hugely worthwhile. It’s something we hope to build on in the coming years when we look to take the club on the road to even more countries across the globe.