Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has thrown his support behind the club’s redevelopment plans ahead of Croydon Council’s Planning Committee upcoming meeting to discuss the club’s application.
Hodgson said: “Selhurst Park has been here a long time, and whilst improvements have been made over the years it’s fair to say they have been piecemeal improvements within the club’s means. I was with the Chairman Steve Parish when he presented the new, comprehensive plans back in December 2017 and it would be wonderful if these plans for such an impressive stadium can become a reality. It will benefit the local community no end, by providing hundreds of new jobs and will certainly improve the vista in that part of Thornton Heath.
“Over the course of the season, the incremental income from these extra 8,000 tickets and secondary spend will help us keep the club at the level we want to be at – playing in the best league in the world, The Premier League, and helping put the club, south London and the borough of Croydon on the global stage.”
The manager added: “The club has a proud tradition of inspiring young people from the area – and we’ve seen Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha who grew up in the area - amongst many others go on to make a huge contribution to the football club. This season, we’ve seen the emergence of Croydon-born Aaron Wan-Bissaka into the first team. Aaron has been with the club’s Academy since he was 11, and his progress should show that the pathway is there for talented young players. I hope that this investment in the club and wider area will provide inspiration for even more young people from south London who have a dream of representing their local club.
“I can only see positives, I am 100% behind it and I’m hoping the people in the local area will support the plans.”
Hodgson has a close affinity with the borough as he was born in Croydon in 1947 and has been visiting the famous ground since the ‘50s. Warmly reflecting on his first ever visit to the stadium, he said: “I was only six, so it would have been in 1953. One of my earliest memories is being taken to a game and sitting on the crossbar at the Holmesdale Road end with my dad holding onto me from behind, and then later it was being down the front where the peanut seller would come around and you would be hoping that someone would kick the ball behind the goal so that you might get a chance to kick it back!”
Selhurst Park and its Main Stand (which still exists today) in the 1950s, when Hodgson first set foot upon Selhurst Park.
The club’s planning application shows computer generated images of how the Main Stand would be transformed by the £75-100 million investment.
Members of the public are being encouraged to submit their comments on the club’s application for the consideration of the council’s Planning Committee. To do so, click here.