Selhurst investment plans could be Parish’s Palace legacy

Crystal Palace’s terrific run of form under new manager Alan Pardew has provided the club’s owners with something even non-dom billionaires’ money cannot buy: time. RAY RYAN reports

Palace's Steve Parish: time on his club's side for once

Palace’s Steve Parish: time on his club’s side for once

Steve Parish insists he is in no rush to sell Crystal Palace. While the Eagles’ co-owner admits talks have been ongoing about a sale, he says there is no immediate need to sell.

Parish had been in talks with American businessman Josh Harris, and he remains keen to bring new investment to the club. Although he says there is no real immediate need to sell, he wants to bring in new money to make improvements and increase the capacity at Selhurst Park.

“The only reason for us to get money in is to improve the infrastructure,” Parish said. “There is no rush and we are in a good place. If it happens, it happens.”

The Palace co-chairman was part of the management team which rescued the club from its second spell of administration in 2010. He was speaking after last week’s announcement of record profits of £23 million. Parish said, “We’ve done well enough that I think we can fund the player things we need to do out of our own resources.

“We are long overdue some ground improvements. They are very costly. We need to make sure we get that done. If that means bringing in other people, and they are the right people, then we’ll do it.”

Time for change: Steve Parish wants investment to enlarge and modernise Selhurst Park

Time for change: Steve Parish wants investment to enlarge and modernise Selhurst Park

Harris is the major owner of two sports franchises in the United States – National Hockey League side New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.

According to Parish, if he brings in and outside investor, it is possible that he and others from the CPFC 2010 consortium could remain part of the club’s backroom team. “It depends what the situation is – something else could happen tomorrow. Right now, the people we’ve spoken to want me to carry on being involved. If that’s the right thing for the club, then I will be.

“If a Roman Abramovich-type or Abu Dhabi person wanted to buy the club and was prepared to put that kind of money in, then obviously it is a different conversation.”

Parish is adamant that improvements to Selhurst Park, the Archibald Leitch-designed ground which has been Palace’s home since 1924, are his priority.

“I want to leave a legacy. A few years in the Premier League isn’t my idea of a legacy,” he said. “I won’t be happy until we’ve made some major improvements to the ground and are a solid Premier League team. There’s lots of work to do.

“We need to put more seats in and make us a better attended club as that gets you to another level.

“If we can get over the line in the league we can start making some really positive, bullish plans for the club.”

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