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Welcome back, finally, to each and every one of you here with us at Selhurst Park today. I’d like to thank you for your patience and especially your commitment to the club during these unprecedented recent months.
Today is a big day for everyone associated with the club, as we are reunited with 2,000 supporters – playing in front of our fans for the first time since March. Of course it’s nowhere near the scale we want to be at, but it’s a start – and it is a situation I hope will accelerate in the new year as the vaccine is rolled out and we hopefully return to a more normal existence.
The people here today are some of our longest standing supporters who also bought a Season Ticket into the unknown. I hope you enjoy this really unique experience.
Our visitors today are top of the table Spurs, but Roy and the team are in high spirits after the magnificent win at West Brom last Sunday. It was an important performance after a tough few weeks, but it was a result richly deserved. Once again VAR played a part with the red card in a very similar incident to Luka’s sending off last season – going down to 10- men doesn’t always mean an easy win for the opposition side and the manner we went on to win was very satisfying for everyone.
I was absolutely delighted to see Christian back amongst the goals. He’d been knocking on the door before that match, almost securing the equaliser at Burnley, as well as bringing out an excellent save from the ‘keeper in the Newcastle game; I’m sure it will be the first two of many this season.
I was also heartened to see Joel go and visit the club chefs in the Palace Kitchen at Selhurst Park, as they are creating 350 meals a day in order to feed 5,000 before Christmas. As our longest standing player, Joel knows how seriously we take our commitment to our local community and he spoke effusively of the entire club galvanising behind such a good cause of feeding people who need help.
Today, we are proud to shine a light on the Rainbow Laces campaign which promotes inclusivity in football, and further embraces the LGBT community. This is everyone's game, and everyone is welcome here at Palace.
It will be truly fantastic to see 2,000 of you today – and I know you’ll do everything you can to make your presence known in support of Roy and the players.
Up the Palace.