Stadium move will benefit Palace
When Crystal Palace fan Steve Parish and the CPFC2010 consortium took over the club last summer, they had a clear image in which direction they wanted to take it.
Since the takeover, the club has failed to deliver on the pitch, lying third from bottom and struggling to steer away from the prospect of League One football next season.
However, off the pitch, the fans consortium led by Parish, has signalled their intent on a proposed move back to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre with a press conference called for Thursday to reveal their plans.
The question on every Palace fans' lips, including myself, is whether or not this is a step in the right direction?
In my opinion, this could prove to be a major step in the rebuilding of a club that is in dire need of redeveloping.
As previously mentioned, the club lies third from bottom in the Championship and have yet to build on their one away win all season and with average home attendances not reaching above 15,000.
The Steve Parish-led consortium need to consider whether or not a move back to the old stomping ground of the early 1900s is worthwhile.
With myself previously being a season ticket holder at the club for more than four years, I've seen first hand the vast fluctuation in attendances at Selhurst Park. When we reached the dizzy heights of the Premier League average attendances hit more than 24,000 and only fell to 19,000 the following season when we were relegated back to the Championship.
In recent years the club's home average attendances have fallen for every season leading up the current 2010/11 campaign.
Would a move away from a stadium that has seen a dramatic fall in fortune since the club were a Premier League outfit back in 2004/05 reap benefits to both the club and it's fans?
Crystal Palace is a name that produces fascinating historical connotations and is the reason as to why the club is as famous and well known as it is today.
When you think of Crystal Palace you think of the famous fire that took place in 1936 resulting in the Palace being burned down.
Since that fateful day, the name was used to denote the area in south London where it used to stand, so graceful and poignant.
A stark contrast to the football club that has since taken on the famous name.
The Crystal Palace Sports Centre stadium has a capacity of 15,500, which can be increased to 24,000 via temporary seating.
For a club that is struggling to fill a stadium that has a maximum capacity of over 26,000, a move to a stadium that is more ideally suited to the attendances that we are currently getting is such a viable option.
As a supporter since I was a young boy, I would rather go and watch my beloved Eagles in a packed stadium with an atmposphere to match than turn up to a crunch game and only have half the stadium full.
There is one downside to the proposed move to the CPSC though and that is the current running track that is situated around the proposed pitch.
I've followed the club to many away games over several years and the one that stands out the most is our rivals, Brighton.
The running track situated at the Withdean results in both the home and away fans being located a fair distance away from the pitch itself.
Obviously, no concrete plans have been revealed as yet and so, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the running track is not part of the proposed move to the CPSC site.
The Crystal Palace Sports Centre and it's adjacent stadium used to lie in the park that surronded the site of the previous Crystal Palace building.
With the Crystal Palace transmitter towering over the stadium, it's a clear indication that this new proposed site for Crystal Palace football club is draped in history and culture.
Again, another reason as to why I'm for the club's proposed move from Selhurst Park.
In addition, I know that I'm not the only one, but I feel a football club such as Crystal Palace should actually be located in Crystal Palace, as the name suggests.
The current Selhurst Park site lies in the heart of South Norwood, a good three and a half miles away from the Crystal Palace National Sports Cenrte, which lies in the heart of Crystal Palace.
This emphasises my point that a club which is named after a town should actually be located in the town that they are named after, with the likes of Fulham, Manchester United & City and Liverpool being prime examples of clubs that are located in the city/town that they are named after.
I am eager to see more detailed information at the press conference on Thursday, and the ways in which Steve Parish and the CPFC 2010 consortium are planning on successfully moving the club from its home of more than 80 years to a new, redeveloped site in the heart of Crystal Palace.
I am all in favour of the move and very much look forward to the forthcoming years at the club.
Fingers crossed though the players can match this ambition on the pitch.
In this section
- Palace sitting comfortably
- Eagles still in period of transition
- Palace blog: Positivity the key for Eagles
- Dougie can prevent a repeat of last year's nervous finish
- Clyne shows what might have been for Bostock
- Freedman should follow Warnock's lead in dealing with Zaha
- Palace give cause for cautious optimism
- A Spurs Olympic win would be a disaster for Crystal Palace
- Is Freedman the right man for Palace?
- Time for Palace to turn over a new leaf