Crystal Palace will stay at Selhurst Park, co-chairman hints
CRYSTAL Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett has dropped the strongest hint yet that the club will remain at Selhurst Park – and abandon plans to leave the borough of Croydon.
The option of moving the club to Crystal Palace Park now looks unlikely, with fears planning issues could drag on for years. It has also been revealed co-chairman Steve Parish is holding discussions with Sainsbury's about the future of The Eagles' current home.
Mr Browett told the Advertiser: "Steve (Parish) has already stated that we'd love to move to the park.
"But it is felt that planning issues and appeals could make that too difficult.
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"Not so much opposition from the council, but from local residents.
"At the moment Steve is talking with Sainsbury's to see how the development of Selhurst would work in partnership with them.
"They would like a bigger store and we would like a better stadium. There is plenty of room for both."
Addressing supporters on a Palace fans' website, Mr Browett did not rule out moving away from Selhurst in a ground share while development took place.
But he added: "It should be possible to develop one stand at a time and not have to move out."
Mr Browett said it is "very unlikely" work will start as early as next season, but did express a desire to move where the away fans sit in a revamped stadium.
He added: "My own preference long-term is to give the away fans the Whitehorse end.
"The reason why the away fans can't be in the Whitehorse now is that the executive boxes are above them, but also because that stand doesn't have enough seats to satisfy demand from away fans for all games.
"In a future stadium the away fans could be there but the boxes would be elsewhere."
In January 2011, artists' impressions of a 40,000-seater stadium on the National Sports Centre site were unveiled, a project which would have cost £40 million.
James Daly, Five Year Plan fanzine editor, says he trusts the co-owners to take the club in the right direction.
He added: "I think it would have been nice to go to Crystal Palace Park, it would have made sense from an historical point of view.
"That's what my heart says, but my head says if we have to stay at Selhurst, we stay at Selhurst.
"The guys running the club are savvy businessmen and they know what they are doing."