Roy Hodgson backs Steve Parish over Crystal Palace contingency plan
By James Dale
Last Updated: 01/03/18 2:59pm
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish is "sensible" to have a contingency plan for relegation, says manager Roy Hodgson.
Parish said his comments had been taken out of context when it was reported he told the Sport Industry Breakfast Club he was "planning for the Championship" in a response to questions over whether it was a risk to invest in a new stadium without their Premier League status secure.
What I actually said today... Asked 'just how much of a risk is investing in a stadium when the club is not guaranteed Premier League safety', Steve Parish said: "The football club has been going since 1905, and will still be going in [the year] 3005. Relegations and promotions are temporary things. What I've got to make sure is that in any eventuality, we can fulfil what we need to do to that are the long term goals of the club. So somehow, under every set of circumstances, I've got to try to make it happen. That's the job. People say to me 'is it (the stadium redevelopment) going to happen if we get relegated?' Well, there will be different challenges to making it happen, and unfortunately in football - you have this unique thing (relegation) - this destroyer of value - but you have to somehow learn to manage it. It exists. Three teams are going to get relegated each year. We're in a difficult situation this year - make no mistake. One of the big challenges of being involved in sport is on a Monday morning when you have lost in the last few minutes [v Spurs], we as a club have to find a way of keeping going. We have to make a plan. People say to me 'What I am doing right now?' I'm planning for the Championship - people say 'oh don’t worry / you won't go down'... given there's very little I can affect right now. .. I'll go to training tomorrow, I'll chat with the manager - if there's anything - anything - I can do to help - talk to the medical dept, I'll do it. Have a difficult conversation with someone, I'll do it. Whatever the manager needs doing, I'll do it. But really at the moment - it's down to the players and those guys. They know it and I know it. What MIGHT happen is that we end up in the Championship. So I can't start thinking about it when it happens. Goes on ... So we have to plan for those eventualities. And of course within that we are looking at the stadium, the Academy, other plans - what plans can we still fulfil, and what can't we fulfil - that's the job of running a football club.
Palace are currently outside of the relegation zone only by goal difference ahead of the visit of Manchester United, live on Monday Night Football.
Hodgson believes Parish is right to prepare for every eventuality.
"He was saying what anybody would have to say if they were serious about running their football club and their business," said Hodgson.
"You can't definitely plan ahead on the basis you will be in one league or the other. You have to take into account all the contingencies and that seems to be what he has done.
"I know very well that Steve Parish as a chairman - every bit as much as me, my players and my staff - is 100 per cent focused on doing everything we possibly can to stay in the league."
Parish said his job was to ensure Palace's long-term goals were achieved under any circumstances, and Hodgson insisted the chairman's comments will not impact the players - who Parish frequently interacts with.
Palace will have to continue without Wilfried Zaha when they take on his former club, United, on Monday.
The club have failed to earn a Premier League point in any of the eight games Zaha has missed this season.
"He's ahead of schedule," said Hodgson. "The medical staff are quite surprised by how quickly he's recovered from a serious injury but still a while before he can return.
"Every team is dependent on its star players, especially the ones in those forward areas who are going to create chances, score goals."
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