Browett: This could be Palace's best chance
Crystal Palace may not get a better chance to reach the promised land of the Premier League than the one they have right now – according to co-chairman Steve Browett.
The Eagles sit fourth in the Championship, only four points behind the automatic promotion places and with a seven-point buffer to Middlesbrough just outside the play-offs.
With last season’s relegated Premiership teams unlikely to be promoted, there could be as many as 10 Championship sides receiving parachute payments from the Premier League next season, making it harder on paper for a club without the payments, such as Palace, to challenge the top of the table.
Although Browett knows it is not those with money that prosper most in the Championship, he recognises this season is a golden opportunity for the Eagles.
"I don’t think Crystal Palace will have a better chance of getting promoted to the Premier League than we do right now for quite a while," he said.
"Next season there could be a record number of teams with parachute payments in the Championship and one parachute payment is better than a Championship club's total income.
"So, on paper, it is looking really hard but, as we have seen, Wolves, Bolton and Blackburn have got massive incomes and haven’t done that well.
"It is about having a team. We could go out there like other clubs have done and buy 11 individuals for a lot of money and think that expenditure will automatically breed success. But the examples of Swansea, Norwich and Blackpool prove it is more important to have a rounded team that have played together for a while."
If the Eagles – the top scorers at home in all of Britain’s professional leagues with 41 goals but without a win on the road in nine after losing 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday– were to go up this season, then Browett is sure they are ready.
"I think we would be as ready as anyone else," he said.
"We have got a manager with the experience of getting a Championship team up to the Premier League and then adapting that team to it. We have also got a bit of money to spend from the Zaha sale as well.
"Overall, we all would have taken this position at the start of the season so everyone is happy."