Steve Parish has written his final matchday programme notes of the season ahead of the visit of West Bromwich Albion. Read on for the latest update from the Chairman.
Welcome to the directors, staff, players and supporters of West Bromwich Albion, as another memorable season draws to a close for Crystal Palace.
We’ve retained our elite status for a sixth successive season with plenty of positives to take from it, and I’d like to congratulate Roy, his coaching team and all the players. It’s been a great team effort to drag us up to where we start this final day, with the prospect of 10th place up for grabs. Even following such a difficult start, I never doubted our ability to get out of trouble.
Every player has played their part and I’m incredibly proud of all of them. Of course, special congratulations has to go to your Player of the Season, Wilfried, who has had a magnificent campaign despite two lengthy injuries, and also a special mention to Luka who has been a rock for us this season, leading by example following Jason’s injury.
I must also praise the work of the staff and players involved in our academy and ladies teams this year. The under-18s and under-23s won their leagues, and whilst the play-offs didn’t result in any further silverware, they should be extremely proud of their progress and dominance of their categories. The Ladies had another great season, and we are eagerly awaiting news of their application to join the Women’s Championship.
This season will also be one to remember for the huge progress we made on the stadium redevelopment project. We will be working tirelessly throughout the summer to ensure we can break ground as soon as possible. Thanks again to everyone who put their weight behind the project and has worked so hard to this point.
Thank you too to everyone who helped make our Palace Boxpark Takeover event such a huge success on Wednesday. It was brilliant to celebrate with you, and it is yet another example of what makes this club so special. We have tried many different venues for this event, but something in the heart of south London that was open to all feels very Palace. The players prefer it and so do I, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
At Boxpark we also unveiled our 2018/19 kits. It’s no secret how important I think these are, especially for attracting new and younger fans. I’m delighted that we have one of the world’s leading sports brands in Puma on board and we collaborated with them on the new designs of the ‘Palace fade stripe’ and the ‘Palace Puma sash’. The fade stripe promises to be a favourite, and the iconic sash harks back to the days of Vince Hilaire, Ian Wright and Mark Bright.
Finally, on a personal note, your support this season has been simply magnificent. You don’t get judged on the easy times but how you react when the going gets tough. In our darkest hours, being around the true fans - whether at games, on the train or at events like the Foundation’s Marathon March - and receiving your overwhelmingly positive support is hugely valued. It’s no surprise that pundits and visiting fans alike say that Selhurst Park is one of the best places to watch Premier League football.
I would also like to take a moment to congratulate the manner of our supporters at Stoke after the game; you were a credit to our club. I urge you to give everything you have for the team today, so we can see the season off in style. I can’t wait to see you all again in August.
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