Can Crystal Palace afford to stick and not twist to stay in the Premier League?

Eagles chairman Steve Parish will stand by Wembley heroes but he knows investment is needed

The dressing room door opens, the chairman bursts in, he beams at his celebrating players. Then he says: "Well done lads, with the money we've made today I can go out and buy some better players."

It's one of those apocryphal stories which was probably true once, but it was not repeated at Wembley on Monday. Crystal Palace co-owner Steve Parish's message to the players who had taken the south London club into the Premier League was "we'll give you a chance – you've earned it".

Parish pointed to the post-promotion success of Norwich, Swansea and Southampton, noting "they've really stuck with a lot of the players that got them there. The clubs that have gone out and gone mad tend to lose that team ethic."

Up to a point. Of the last three teams promoted through the play-offs the one which stood by the Wembley heroes most was Blackpool, who were subsequently relegated. This will not be lost on Palace boss Ian Holloway, who was their manager.

Seven of the Blackpool side who defeated Cardiff City in 2010 started at least half the next season's 38 Premier League games. It would have been more but for injury to keeper Matthew Gilks. Six of the Swansea team which won the play-off final the following year were fixtures in the top flight while only four of last year's ascendants, West Ham, started half the matches.

The Hammers kept much of the team relegated in 2011, gambling on bouncing back, but still went out and spent around £20m with their recruits including six players who would be regulars last season: James Collins, Mohamed Diamé, Matt Jarvis, Joey O'Brien, Jussi Jaaskelainen (the only signing made to replace a departing player) and, on loan, Andy Carroll.

West Ham's net investment was around £18m, double that of Swansea a year earlier and far in excess of Blackpool's £5m net spend. Their reward was a 10th-place finish. Palace are likely to spend as much as West Ham, in part because the new TV deal means they receive a minimum £60m next season, but primarily because they will need to. Parish, while insisting "the first thing we need to do is to keep the nucleus of our side together", admitted "obviously we've got to add to the squad".

Goalkeeper Julian Speroni and holding midfielders Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi look capable of playing in the top flight. There is youthful promise in Jonathan Williams. Jonathan Parr, Yannick Bolasie, Joel Ward and Damien Delaney may be able to step up. But Palace are short of pace in defence and bereft in attack.

Wilfried Zaha, who scored both goals in the play-off semi-final against Brighton, and was brought down for the penalty that won the final, now leaves for Manchester United – at least his £10m fee can be added to Palace's coffers. Leading scorer Glenn Murray is injured and unlikely to return before 2014. And for all Holloway's compliments about play-off match-winner Kevin Phillips, no one should seriously expect a player who will be 40 when the season starts, and last played in the top flight in 2010-11 (scoring once) to be more than an impact substitute.

Palace fans have been talking about the club's latent potential ever since 51,000 squeezed into Selhurst Park to watch Terry Venables' team win promotion three decades ago, and the noise and fervour of their support at Wembley underlined this. However, the Eagles have been instantly relegated on the three times they have been promoted to the Premier League and after years of under-investment Selhurst bears a tatty appearance.

Holloway spoke of using promotion to facilitate a new ground, but suitable locations are fiendishly difficult to find in the tight streets and railway lines of the club's south London heartland. Palace may need to move further and while that may upset many fans, it was obvious at Wembley that the Palace support no longer reflects the ethnic make-up of Selhurst's environs.

Such considerations are for the long-term. For now Palace must focus on prolonging their latest visit to the top flight beyond 10 months. Holloway will be besieged by agents promising their players is 'the one' he needs. Much will depend on his judgement, and the preparedness of Parish and partners Steve Browett and Martin Long to back him without putting at risk a club that was in administration and facing relegation to the third tier just three years ago.

Stepping up: How winners fared

Premier League appearances made in the following season by the play-off winning XI (from a maximum of 38 games):

2010: Blackpool

Gilks 18; Coleman 0 (loan ended), Baptiste 19+2 as substitute, Evatt 36+1, Crainey 31; Vaughan 35, Southern 11+10, Adam 34+1; Ormerod 6+13, Campbell 30+1, Taylor-Fletcher 29+2.

2011: Swansea City

De Vries 0 (moved to Wolves); Rangel 32+2, Monk 14+2, Williams 37, Tate 1+4; Britton 35+1, Allen 31+5; Dyer 29+5, Dobbie 2+6, Sinclair 35+3; Borini 0 (loan ended).

2012: West Ham United

Green 0 (moved to QPR); Demel 28+3, Reid 36, Tomkins 18+8, Taylor 14+14; Collison 5+12, Noble 25+3, Nolan 35, O'Neil 17+7, Vaz Te 18+6; C Cole 14+13.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?