Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has massive capital with Eagles fans, not only because he saved the club from oblivion last summer, but also because he makes himself accountable and accessible to his fellow supporters.
And last night, following the dismissal of George Burley as manager with the side rooted in the Championship drop zone after the latest defeat, Parish was answering fans’ questions on Holmesdale.net.
There he admitted that the appointment of Burley by his co-chairman Martin Long and himself was a mistake: “Martin and I picked him, it was the wrong decision and therefore our fault,” Parish wrote.It could yet prove to be an expensive error, because whoever is appointed to succeed Burley has less than half a season to retrieve the situation and ensure Championship survival, and with very little cash in the transfer kitty to work with this month.
Ironically, one of the criticisms Parish made of Burley was his inability to secure key loan signings earlier in the season.
Parish declined to name anyone being considered to take charge, with Eagles hero Dougie Freedman at least in temporary charge of first team affairs.
Chris Hughton, who guided Newcastle back to the Premier League, was spotted in the crowd at the New Den on Saturday, prompting ever-hopeful fans to put two and two together. Other names linked to the Palace job include, inevitably, Steve Coppell, Paul Hart, the man who kept the club up last season under the most difficult of circumstances, and Chris Coleman.
The hope for Eagles fans must be that the next appointment is the right one.
Last night, Parish wrote: “I think I’ve learnt a lot about things in the last six months.
“In hindsight, I got the wrong choice for the circumstance we are in and for the way we are at Palace, the players we bring through and probably the way Martin and I are as people.
“We picked the manager and he didn’t work out.
“George knows what he is capable of and how to represent that to me but I know Palace and the situation.
“It’s our job to make these pieces fit and they didn’t.
“There are also questions I would ask now that I didn’t know to ask then.”