Steve Parish writes his first notes of the new season that will be published in the match programme for the game against Schalke on Saturday.
It has been a very busy summer for us off the field, which began with Sam Allardyce stepping down as manager not long after the conclusion of the last campaign. I very much appreciate him informing me that he wanted to step away from football when he did, allowing us plenty of time to recruit his replacement in time for a packed pre-season.
Sam was fantastic during his short time with us, and we are all grateful for his efforts in helping us beat the drop. It was sad to see him depart, but he will always be welcome here at Selhurst Park.
After a thorough appointment process, I’m delighted that Frank de Boer is our new manager. He enjoyed a legendary playing career and tasted unprecedented success as Ajax manager, so he arrives here with plenty of pedigree and will be a huge draw in enticing new players – and fans - to our club.
It has been interesting to watch Frank’s philosophy being instilled in the squad during pre-season, and I’m sure you share my excitement heading into what is a record-breaking fifth successive season in the top-flight for Palace. This squad is bursting with talent, and I’m confident we can improve upon our position in recent seasons this campaign.
It is incredible to think how far we have come in those five seasons, let alone since we bought the club in 2010, and this was no more evident than when we were in Hong Kong participating in the Premier League Asia Trophy last month. It was fantastic to meet up with hundreds of local fans who all share a passion for the red and blue and follow us every game in their adopted bar – ‘The Doghouse’ - as well as cult hero Fan Zhiyi who we were proud to host during our time in Asia.
To help us compete financially with the giants of this division, we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring new partners into the club, and I would like to welcome ManBetX and Dongqiudi who feature on our shirts this season. The revenue from these deals is pumped straight back into the playing side of the club, and has helped us secure two additions this summer in Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan from Chelsea and Jairo Riedewald from Ajax.
Today we welcome Schalke for the first ever meeting between the clubs, in what is an important game for Frank and the squad as it’s our last pre-season match before Huddersfield in a week’s time.
Finally, I’ll be answering a selection of fans’ questions on this page each home matchday and I’d love to hear from you – simply tweet your question with #AskSteveCPFC, and I’ll try to get through as many as possible.
Enjoy the game, and the season ahead.
The match programme will be on sale at the stadium on Saturday, priced at £2.50.