Develop Croydon Conference - 21st November 2017

7
Dec

New Crystal Palace ground could become an international venue

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish says the £100million redevelopment of Selhurst Park into a 34,000 capacity stadium will make it fit to host international football.

Hailing the project announced this week as the chance “to create a new Crystal Palace for the modern year”, Mr Parish said the scheme underlined the football club’s ambitions.

As its centrepiece would be a five-storey stand boasting an all-glass front, paying homage to the original Crystal Palace.

“We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go,” said Mr Parish.

“A stadium that south London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent.

“We have worked long and hard and looked at several options over the years, including returning to the original site of Crystal Palace, which wasn’t viable.

“We are creating a new home worthy of our club, our fans and our community, and a celebration of our 112 years in south London.

“We want to make the pitch regulation size so it is FIFA and UEFA compliant so we can host internationals or European games, and we will remove the TV gantry in the Arthur Wait Stand which will massively improve the sight lines.

“The investment will probably be between £75million to £100million. We have a shareholder base that are capable of funding it but with all of these developments we’ll look to be selling some things – whether they be debentures or pre-sold 10-year season tickets.

“I wouldn’t go into this project if we didn’t have a shareholder base that were capable of putting the money forward, that has been the missing link. Josh [Harris] and David [Blitzer] have been involved in this and support it, and that’ll be very important to get this thing done.”

Palace expect the redevelopment to take three years, with Eagles bosses hoping new hospitality facilities will help drive down overall ticket prices.

The proposed new stand’s all-glass front pays homage to the club’s formative years situated next to the original Crystal Palace on Sydenham Hill.The current main stand will remain in full operational use throughout the building work.

Parish insisted leading architects KSS is the right firm to handle the project, having underpinned the redevelopment of Anfield, Twickenham and Wimbledon.

“It was essential that we chose KSS who are the only people that have done this (with Anfield),” said Parish.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to go back and forth to Anfield and witness this process of it happening, so it’s not like we think we can do it – we’ve watched these guys do it so we’re very confident that it can happen.”