Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

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Steve Parish Officially Rules Palace Out Of The Race For Charlie Austin

Steve Parish spent some time on TalkSPORT last night, speaking to Jason Cundy and Andy Goldstein about all things Crystal Palace, revealing in amongst a host of other things, that the club are not in the running for QPR’s Charlie Austin.

The former Swindon Town striker was a huge hit in the Premier League last season, bagging 18 goals for the Hoops despite their relegation back to the Championship and now, it looks as though the 25-year-old will be leaving Loftus Road to return to the top flight, but not with us.

Although Parish was quick to admit that both Alan Pardew and the board of directors are big admirers of Austin, it sounds as if the financial package required to take him away from the west Londoners will be too substantial for us to cope with, given the level of interest in him from other parties. Indeed, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Chelsea have all been mentioned as potential destinations for the striker, who, despite the uncertainty over his future, is maintaining publicly that he is 100% committed until QPR until told otherwise.

Whilst it would be fantastic for Palace to add Austin to their attacking ranks before the transfer window closes, it would undoubtedly require us to break our record transfer fee for the second time in a matter of weeks after the recent arrival of Yohan Cabaye, which understandably, isn’t something that the club are particularly comfortable with.

After the announcement that Patrick Bamford has agreed to join the club on a season-long loan from Chelsea, you would guess that we could perhaps be in the market for one more striker before the window closes at the end of August, but for now, we are still waiting for concrete news on who that person may be, with the club having done a pretty good job of keeping their transfer business quiet so far this summer.

For now though, it’s good to be able to put any hope of Austin joining the club out of our minds for good. Of course, it would have been great to bring him in, but with more than enough uncertainty floating around over other summer targets, any definitive news is always welcome.

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What Changes Can Palace Fans Expect Under US Ownership?

With plenty of chatter surrounding the long-awaited takeover of Crystal Palace by a group of American businessmen led by Josh Harris, many will be wondering what it means for the immediate and long-term future of a football club who have had their fair share of ups and downs in the last decade.

Thanks to the financial struggles of Mark Goldberg and Simon Jordan, both of whom rolled the dice and lost in their attempts to take Crystal Palace to the “next level”, the club’s fans are understandably uneasy at the idea of any newcomers, with the current owners having built a sense of trust through nearly five years of pragmatic and thoughtful decision-making, but if we are to continue to progress at the same rate, it seems as though we have little choice other than to embrace the winds of change.

So how exactly will things change at Selhurst Park with the arrival of Harris and his fellow investors? The answer, from what we can gather, is not that much. Whilst they will undoubtedly offer a greater sense of financial clout than the current consortium, their track record in New Jersey and Philadelphia chimes quite closely with the mindset of CPFC2010, leaning far more towards gradual improvements rather than a reinvention of the wheel. Of course, every Palace fan will be understandably sceptical of the new men failing to understand what the football club means to those who follow it, but with Steve Parish having spoken to hundreds of potentially interested parties over the years, we should all take comfort in the fact that he sees Harris and co. as suitable custodians for a club who are desperately craving a period of prolonged stability.

Whilst they are expected to provide a level of funding which will keep the club competitive on the field, there will apparently be a great deal of emphasis placed upon off-field strengthening too, with hopes of a redeveloped stadium and improvements to the training facilities and youth development policy thought to be high on the agenda for a club who are often described as a sleeping giant by those who are old enough to remember when more than 50,000 people packed in to Selhurst Park to watch the team secure promotion to the First Division against Burnley in 1979.

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Following a series of false dawns, we now look to be on the verge of securing an unprecedented third consecutive season in the Premier League, with the financial buffer that it creates making us an extremely attractive prospect to anyone with money to burn and a desire to be a part of the drama that comes with a place at English football’s top table.

Although many will worry that we are now set to follow in the footsteps of Chelsea under Roman Abramovic’s cash-centric runaway train, the reality looks set to be far less turbulent, with Harris having a reputation for the slow and steady approach in all of his various business ventures.

We shall see for ourselves soon enough.

For rolling news and comment on everything happening at Crystal Palace FC, follow Hopkin Looking To Curl One… on twitter by clicking here…

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