Crystal Palace: Ian Holloway says Premier League is different planet

Ian Holloway

Championship play-off final: Crystal Palace v Watford

Monday, 27 May
15:00 BST
Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC London 94.9 and BBC Three Counties Radio. Live text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway says winning a place in the Premier League would have a profound impact on the club's future.

The Eagles face Watford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday.

He told BBC London: "We have got a chance of everybody's dream. It is a different planet and off the chart.

"If it is achieved then it might mean a new ground, which is the vision of the owners."

He added: "I have already seen and felt what it would mean to Crystal Palace fans.

"You have got some serious issues on the pitch, as you have got to get serious players in, but off the pitch it would mean an unbelievably bright future."

Whichever side wins promotion to the Premier League can expect to receive a sum in the region of £120m, with financial services company Deloitte describing the play-off final as "the biggest financial prize in world football".

The new Premier League TV deal will see top-flight sides receive £55m and even if the play-off final winners are relegated after just one season, they will be given around £60m in parachute payments over the course of four seasons.

Crystal Palace co-owner and co-chairman Steve Parish described the potential windfall as "transformational".

Parish, along with Stephen Browett, Martin Long and Jeremy Hosking, took over the Selhurst Park outfit in summer 2010 after a troubled time for the club, which had seen them enter administration in January that year.

"There is almost too much at stake," Parish told BBC London 94.9.

"It's almost like walking into a casino and putting the future of the club on red or black. It's a 50-50 bet with which you might be able to transform your football club.

"The longer you are not in that division [the Premier League], the more riches are bestowed upon clubs which happen to be in there and the harder it is for other clubs to get in there and stay there.

"Watford are not in a dissimilar position with us on grounds and I'm sure we'll both be looking and the riches and thinking we could probably make that go quite a long way and make a big change to the club.

"It puts an enormous amount of pressure on both clubs for the game and it will be the team who cope with that the best who will prevail."

Holloway, who took charge of the Eagles in November, has previously managed in two Championship play-off finals, both with Blackpool.

The Tangerines beat Cardiff in 2010 to set up a one-year stay in the Premier League and then missed out on an immediate return to the top flight when they were beaten by West Ham last season.

Holloway hopes his Crystal Palace side, who finished the season in fifth place in the table and overcame Brighton in the semi-finals, are able to cope with the occasion on Monday.

"I think it is about the performance," he said. "You only ever get good results when you give good performances.

"All you can focus on as a manager is the performance. You don't always get the result but as long as people try and give me that wonderful performance then I can't ask for any more than that.

"It depends on how good you are compared to the opposition.

"I think we have a good chance if we can do what we [usually] do. I'm sure Gianfranco [Zola, Watford manager] will tell you the same.

"We are privileged to have earned the right to be in this setting and in the final.

"The players are going to need to be as focused and as on the ball as they were [against Brighton], as the opponents we are taking on are at least as good and formidable a challenge.

"We also have to deal with the occasion and Wembley. If you haven't played there before it can be a daunting place.

"We've got an opportunity to do it and a 50-50 chance."

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