sport

Parish backed over Pulis exit

Crystal Palace co-owner Steve Parish has received backing for his handling of the shock departure of Tony Pulis.

Fellow co-owner Steve Browett posted an open message to Palace supporters revealing that Parish had worked non-stop in trying to bring in the players Pulis wanted and, subsequently, in trying to replace the Welshman in the Selhurst Park hotseat.

Parish attended the Eagles' opening 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates while working on bringing a new replacement, with former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood the odds-on favourite.

Browett said of Parish: "The bloke works tirelessly every waking hour of the day for the good of Palace - because he loves the club and has sunk a lot into it - and he's doing a thorough job at trying to find the best manager possible in the shortest amount of time to replace the one who walked out two days before the start of the season.

"I might be his business partner, but people who know me know that I am ruthlessly honest and Steve has done nothing but what's best for CPFC.

"I'm full of admiration for the bloke and I might add that some of the lies in the press have been absolutely outrageous. They really do completely make it up. Don't believe what you read! "I'm not sure that Steve has made mistakes. Dougie (Freedman) did a great job keeping us in the Championship and laying some solid foundations, he'll always be a Palace hero to me, but he was poached by a sensational salary offer from Bolton.

"Ian (Holloway) did brilliantly to get us up and is a lovely bloke, but struggled in the PL and was hugely honest in resigning. Tony did a sensational job organising and strengthening the team and getting us to mid-table.

"I don't see any shooting ourselves in the foot. It's all gone pretty well so far although I would agree that it would have been nice to have done it all with just one manager. But nobody should complain about where we are today, four years on from near extinction."

Parish and Pulis were believed to have argued over transfer targets and the former Stoke manager was reportedly unhappy that only forward Fraizer Campbell, centre-half Brede Hangeland and full-back Martin Kelly had been added to the squad since finishing 11th in May.

Browett added: "Don't worry. We will sign some players. It's not the board's fault that we've been quiet so far - the funds were always there and no request from Tony was ever turned down.

"The new manager (whoever he may be) has the biggest transfer kitty in the history of the club. There is serious money to spend and we will improve on what I think is already a very good team without disrupting the spirit that got us here. Trust us (co-owners Parish, Browett, Martin Long and Jeremy Hosking). "We had a board meeting before the Arsenal game with me, Steve, Martin, Jeremy (and Iain (Moody - sporting director) and I can promise you that we are all 100% united. Others may have personal agendas but you can be assured that CPFC2010 only want what is best for the club. That's the whole reason for us doing this in the first place."