Crystal Palace chairman Parish on rejecting Project​ Big Picture: Just look at Chelsea and Man City

Logo: Tribal Football

Tribal Football

Article image:

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has explained why they rejected the Project Big Picture scheme.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Parish declared: "Of course we should always consider ways to improve the game and this plan has some ideas of merit. But we already have an amazing product and in my view we tinker with it at our peril. Many of Project Big Picture's proposals strike at the heart of football's core value — namely that outcomes are decided on merit and success. The founders of the Premier League understood, and devised a constitution that prevented radical, ill-considered change.

"While I represent Crystal Palace around the table I'm acutely aware we are also a proxy for the 72 EFL clubs and we have a duty of care to the game in everything we do.

"The combination of jeopardy and glory are essential to what we believe to be sport. It is not — and nor should it be — comfortable for anyone competing, least of all in the Premier League where every team faces their own perilous 90-minute drama every week.

"It's our culture that makes the league what it is: the full crowds, the passion, the gut-wrenching, stomach-churning amount that it matters. What keeps us going is the dream of building our clubs through the right investment, acumen and sprinkling of luck to rise to a new level.

"It has been done. Chelsea and Manchester City have driven themselves to new heights. Financial investment was important, but they spent wisely, appointed great managers, recruited well and built fantastic youth systems. If Project Big Picture had been introduced 20 years ago, neither's rise would have been possible and neither would have been one of the anointed in the way suggested now.

"As a supporter of a smaller club I accept that continued success and glory should bring rewards and advantage. The overall commercial revenue and Champions League income of some dwarf clubs like mine. Perhaps some believe we are deluded to think we can build and one day achieve the same heights. These people seem to think our fate was decided long ago, and we should know our place. But as Leicester City showed, anything is possible — presently."