BY ROB SUTHERLAND
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has revealed that there will be significant news about the club’s academy in the next few months.
And the Eagles chief says that the Eagles’ “Team of the 80s” is an inspiration and a warning about the risk of missed opportunities.
“We have been talking to relevant people about the plans we have got for it [the academy], and they will be announced before Christmas in a big way,” he says.
“The stadium we are moving forward as well. With the team we have to try and be smart about the things that we do, while we build the club in other ways.”
Parish is aware of the risks that come with not taking advantage of the club’s potential.
He was talking at an event at Croydon’s Boxpark on Tuesday where there was a premiere of Team Of The Eighties documentary, due to air later this month on BT Sport.
“When you see 52,000 in Selhurst, you know what this club is capable of, and what we could set fire to,” said Parish.
“That’s what I am trying to bring back. We have had moments, we really have, and hopefully we are still on that path.”
The team of that period rose to prominence following back-to-back promotions under the guidance of Terry Venables, with a team built by Malcolm Allison, consisting of young Londoners at the core of the team.
After winning promotion in 1979, that Palace side was relegated just a season later.
Parish says that watching this documentary has made him all the more determined to turn Palace into a success.
“I don’t want this to be another missed opportunity, and I have been saying this for 10 years. I don’t want us to lose this opportunity with the time we have got now.”
Turning his attention to the team’s current form, he says that everyone at the club is grounded in reality.
“So far it is going okay, but we are not deluded,” says Parish.
“We know that so far we are doing better this season than some of the starts we have had.
“We are not getting carried away. We have got five clubs above us and no-one at this club is getting carried away internally.
Parish thinks Palace have similar ingredients to the “Team of the 80s” too.
“This team has got a lot of spirit, the fans have got a lot of spirit, and we have got a bit of quality as well.
“I really do hope that we can build on what the team and the manager is doing, off the pitch. That is what is going to accelerate us on the pitch.”
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD