Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish and former boss Tony Pulis are “best rid of each other” due to disagreements about the club’s transfer policy, according to Andy Dunn of the Sunday Mirror.
Pulis, who scooped last season’s Premier League Manager of the Year award after dramatically avoiding relegation with Palace, departed the club on the eve of this campaign after a summer of low-profile signings.
“Clearly they were poles apart in the way they looked at the transfer policy,” Dunn told The Sunday Supplement. “If they were poles apart, as unfortunate as the timing was, they are best apart. They’re best rid of each other.”
Since confirming their survival in the Premier League last season, Palace have strengthened with the £900,000 arrival of Fraizer Campbell, Brede Hangeland for free and Martin Kelly for £1m - but Dunn believes Pulis was not content by the cautious spending.
He continued: “The transfer policy is what Steve Parish is interested in. Tony Pulis is interested but they can’t agree on it.
“Pulis has a way of doing business and he spends quite a lot of money on a lot of players who, if you’re the chairman or chief-executive, you’d think haven’t got a lot of re-sale value.
“Pulis’ argument is that if they keep us in the Premier League you’re making your money from that.
“For example, at Stoke in the five Premier League seasons between 2008 and 2013, his net spend was actually fourth or fifth of all the teams.
“So the deficit in terms of spending was around £100m.
“A lot of those players he spent £4-5m on and maybe they weren’t going to have a re-sale value. Dave Kitson was £5.5m, Cameron Jerome was £4m, Charlie Adam was £4m. Again, Pulis’ argument would be that he made Stoke City an established Premier League club.
“But clearly it is a gamble if you are spending that much money on players who haven’t got potential but are proven, effective players without being superstars.
“The gamble then, and Steve Parish had to make a decision, was ‘do I go out and pursue players like Gylfi Sigurdsson?’ Steven Caulker was mentioned for £5-6m. Or do we bring young players in who have got the potential to develop and be an asset to the club in terms of finances?”
Rob Draper of the Mail On Sunday acknowledged that Parish couldn’t risk the club’s bank balance.
“He’s trying to do right by the club. They’ve been in administration twice in the last 15 years and have been on the verge of liquidation," Draper said.
“It’s his job to think about where the club is in 20 years, not in one season, and you have to balance the two and that’s where the tension is.
“Steve Parish is probably right to say we can’t go down that route, we can’t afford to. We just need to build, slowly, steadily. That might mean relegation but with parachute money you back yourself to get back up. I imagine that’s what his thinking is.”
Our panel concurred that Palace must not take too much time before appointing Pulis’ successor – with Malky Mackay, Tim Sherwood and Paul Clement in the mix.
Dunn said: “They can’t [afford to wait]. Ideally they need someone in certainly over the next couple of days. There’s only two weeks left of the transfer window.
"Clearly they need to recruit players – Tony Pulis knew that, Steve Parish knows that – so they need the manager in to at least ‘okay’ those players in conjunction with Parish.”
Draper warned: “One thing we know is that you’ve got someone in the board room in Steve Parish who is going to get involved. So as a coach going there you have got to accept that.”