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Parish on Mateta, the Academy and Palace v West Ham

January 26, 2021 10:55 pm

In his regular matchday programme notes, Chairman Steve Parish updates Crystal Palace supporters on Jean-Philippe Mateta, the Academy redevelopment, use of Selhurst Park for COVID-19 vaccinations and the Palace v West Ham United clash.

You can read what he has to say below, and purchase a full programme for just £1.99 here.

Welcome to the directors and players of West Ham United to Selhurst Park today. I hope that you are reading this in good health and spirits.

Since my last set of notes, we enjoyed an important win here against Sheffield United, secured an excellent point at Arsenal, but sadly exited the FA Cup at Wolves and were defeated by an excellent Manchester City.

I’m delighted we have been able to be active in the transfer window, bringing the excellent young striker Jean-Philippe Mateta to the clubon a loan with an option to purchase.

I know you will all welcome him and I hope very soon you will be able to do that in person at Selhurst Park. Jean-Philippe has an excellent scoring record from a top league and I am sure you are as excited as me to see him in red and blue.

At halfway through the season we can’t be too disappointed but we are looking forward to a competitive run of games coming up, starting with West Ham who are in great form. These are usually tight encounters and I have no doubt this evening’s match will be the same.

Elsewhere, hopefully you saw our announcement that we offered Selhurst Park to the NHS to become a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

Our stadium is at the heart of our community, and nothing is more important than the rapid roll-out of the vaccine programme to allow us all to return to something approaching normality. We expect this to begin in earnest in February.

I was pleased to see our Under-18s beat Fulham to maintain their position at the top of the division. It really is a joy to witness this team winning games so well under Paddy’s guidance, and we must remember this is the first time our sides have operated at this elite Category 1 level. Long may it continue.

Our Under-23s narrowly lost to Fulham meanwhile, but there were plenty of positives to come from that match – and plenty of learnings for the players too.

At the Academy itself, the transformation of the site is just incredible. You may have seen the indoor dome taking shape, but inside the buildings, it really has become an elite facility.

The changing rooms, classrooms, meeting rooms, work and relaxation space is something that everyone here is proud of, none more so than me. The impact it will have on current and prospective players, as well as our Academy staff, is going to be enormous.

Enjoy the match tonight, and stay safe.