In 2010, when Steve Parish was CEO of a global marketing business, the last thing on his mind was buying a football club.

But Crystal Palace, his beloved boyhood club, went into administration in January that year, and were slowly sinking into what seemed like inescapable doom.

He told UCFB: “It got to the point where the administrator said we’re going to have to close the club if you don’t do it. I kept saying to him I really don’t want to do it, I’ve got a big business, I don’t have the time, the numbers [at the club] are frightening.”

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But one Bank Holiday Monday, sat on his sofa at home, everything changed for Parish – and ultimately for Palace. The protests of a disgruntled group of fans at Selhurst Park led to a remarkable series of events that changed the course of the club’s history.

Parish said: “That day some fans had been at the ground protesting, demonstrating, making their feelings known that they didn’t want the club to go under. Then my statement was issued [declining the offer to buy], what they heard was there’s a bank in London that’s stopping us surviving. So on Tuesday morning, thousands of them turn up outside Lloyds Bank in London to protest!”

He added: “Within a few hours, we had a phone call from the administrative office of Palace’s bank, saying we need to sit down and have a meeting. At that point I’d sort of run out of excuses, so we bought it!”

Suddenly, Parish had inherited the monumental task of transforming a team who were in financial chaos, didn’t own their home stadium and whose standard of play was rapidly declining. Having retained their place in the Championship, a huge moment for Palace who are one of only ten teams to have never left England’s top two divisions, the Londoner resigned from the world of business and made it his sole mission to save the football club.

A decade on, it’s safe to say Parish has done just that. In May 2013, three years after surviving relegation to League One by a mere two points, Palace were promoted to the Premier League following a thrilling play-off final which the Eagles edged in extra-time.

Their current seven-year streak in the top flight is a record for the club, but Parish doesn’t want the club’s only focus to be their distance from the bottom of the table – he’s looking up.

Parish said: “Crystal Palace are the only Premier League club in South London. There was a stat that came out that said that 14% of all English qualifying Premier League squad players came from within a 10-mile radius of Selhurst Park! We’ve got a fantastic catchment area for talent, and we can exploit that.”

Palace are hoping to capitalise on the wealth of talent that surrounds their home stadium, known as the ‘Concrete Catalonia’. The club’s Academy was awarded Category One status by the Premier League this year, and from this they’ll attempt to rebuild and continue their upward march.

Parish added: “The squad is getting a bit older and we’re trying to transition that squad into the younger talent, and invest in players in the academy as well. We’re really blessed at Crystal Palace with our fan base. They really want to see the club progress, they’re certainly willing to suffer things in the short term for the future.”