Palace blog: The two-year plan
Amongst the multitude of end of season events one really stood out as a main attraction, what with the club’s love for transparency - the fans forum, our chance to attend our very own end of season ‘press conference’.
Though out of everything revealed at the event – passing on Bafana Bafana international Siphwe Tshabalala in favour of giving academy graduate Kyle Da Silva game time; scouting a South Korean and an Australian playing in the J-League; Clyne is as good as gone, but his replacement is lined up; redeveloping Selhurst Park is now preferable to moving to the proposed site at Crystal Palace Park; the list could go on – the real intrigue came from the club’s revelation of two-year cycles to take the club forward on the pitch, while at the same time keeping the club in relative economic safety.
Co-chairman Steve Parish spoke of the steep learning curve himself, Martin Long, Steve Browett and Jeremy Hosking have had to cope with since becoming first time owners of a football club.
They reckon that they’ve got a much better grasp of the business now though, and what’s more they shared their vision for the mid-term future with those assembled in the marquee on the pitch last Friday evening.
The club will now try to break into the country’s top division. But of course, chasing Premier League football is an expensive undertaking – the bit where the two season cycles come in.
Broken down, this means that over a two-year period the club will try hell-for-leather to achieve promotion on a platform of breakthrough academy talent, shrewd signings and astute loan picks. That’s not to say the owners aren’t putting money into the club – they’re still spending millions – it’s just that they’re not willing to plough 10s of millions into the club at a pace that not all of the owners can keep up with.
At the end of these two-year cycles, players will be sold to balance the books and the whole process starts again.
Hopefully, the foundations for a steady, financially sound climb to the top that’ll see us stay there when we get there because that’s where the money is – and let’s face it, that’s what you need to be a successful football club these days.