Facing predictable fan outrage over the possibility that Selhurst Park will be re-named “The 12Bet Stadium” for the 2013-2014 season in the Premier League, after a little-known firm of Asian online bookmakers, the Crystal Palace management last night moved to head off the criticism.
Steve Browett, one of the club’s co-owners, posted this message on the fans’ bulletin boards: “No need to panic. Just to assure everyone that we are not changing the name of Selhurst Park.
“I hope that’s clear and that people can calm down.
“I can assure you that everyone is working flat out to improve the stadium and the team and that there will be a lot of positive changes around the place in the next week.
“Keep the faith and rest assured that CPFC2010 continue to strive to do our best for the club whilst preserving our history and heritage.”
Signs had been photographed around Selhurst Park displaying the 12Bet Stadium name. There is now a suggestion that while some sponsorship will be received from the bookmakers, this will not extend to the title of the stadium.
At his press conference ahead of today’s pre-season friendly against Lazio, Ian Holloway, the Palace manager, admitted that there were other fundamental issues with Selhurst Park, like the grass.
With Palace’s involvement in the Championship play-offs in May, there was a delay in relaying the Selhurst pitch.
“It’s manic,” Holloway said. “We’re having to change everything to bring our ground up to scratch. It is like a builder’s yard. Our whole set-up has grown in such a huge dimension.
“In my department, everything is wrong. The grass isn’t right, because we had to do it too late. The kit didn’t turn up on time and it wasn’t right, so that caused problems.
“It’s just the norm for the last team that gets promoted, but we’re getting there and I’m quietly excited. I’ve been there, seen it and done it and all I am concerned about is getting the right atmosphere out there,” said Holloway, who led his previous club, Blackpool, to the promised land of the Premier League via the play-offs.
With the start of the Premier League season just a week away, Holloway admitted that he had brought a hypnotist, Glenn Catley, in to work with his squad. “I’m using every trick in the book to help my group. There are two ways to be fit – physically and mentally. Glenn is fantastic at it. What he is doing is none of your business, but if you want it to be shared… look at Andy Murray and what Mr Lendl has done for him.
“I’ve already read things like Palace are in a trance and it’s bullshit, it makes me sick. Top sports people in the world have to train mentally and physically – if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for Palace.
“The Palace players know I will give them every single per cent to catch these people we’re trying to take on. We can’t do it financially, but we can by every single other aspect.”
And you can bet on that.
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