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Top facts about Selhurst Park, home to Crystal Palace from a century ago

Mon 21 February 2022 | 20:29

Here you would go through everything there is to know in line with the Top facts about Selhurst Park, home to Crystal Palace from a century ago. So without further ado, let's buckle up for the long ride ahead.

Selhurst Park is a football stadium located in Selhurst in the London Borough of Croydon, being the home ground of

Premier League

club Crystal Palace.

While Archibald Leitch designed the stadium, it was inaugurated in 1924 and has been the host of international football games for the 1948 Summer Olympics, being shared by Charlton Athletic from 1985 to 1991 Wimbledon from 1991 to 2003.

With a capacity of 25,486, even if it has not been the biggest stadium in the Football League, it has a well-earned reputation as one of the friendliest stadiums.

One of the

Top facts about Selhurst Park

is that it is a combination of the modern and the old structure, with two old side stands and two more modern looking end stands.

While both ends of the ground have been redeveloped in recent years, the Western end, which is the impressive, two-tiered Holmesdale Road Stand, is the room for the vast majority of the home fans.

As part of the other top facts about Selhurst Park, one can suggest that a record attendance of 51,801 audiences were participated to watch

Crystal Palace

triumph over Burnley so as to win the Second Division in 1979.

Top facts about Selhurst Park, home to Crystal Palace from a century ago

Come along with us to delve into some of the most interesting top facts about Selhurst Park.

Selhurst Park History

The stadium's initial ground which was a brickfield was grabbed from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company for the price of £2,750 in 1922.

Yet even before that, the club had been struggling to pursue a deal for the ground as early as 25 February 1919.

Scottish stadium architect Archibald Leitch designed it, being built by Humphreys of Kensington (a firm regularly used by Leitch) for around £30,000, while it was officially inaugurated by the Lord Mayor of London on 30 August 1924.

Back then the stadium had only one stand, which is the present Main Stand, yet it was uncompleted because of industrial action.

In that period, Crystal Palace confronted Sheffield Wednesday, conceding the game 0–1 in front of 25,000 spectators. Following two years, it was on St David's Day in 1926 that England coped with

Wales

in an international at the venue.

England amateur games and several other finals were also held there, along with other sports, most notably

boxing

, bicycle polo (in the late 1940s) and cricket and music concerts (in the 1980s). Besides, the stadium was the host of two games for the 1948 Summer Olympics.

In 1953, its first floodlights were established comprising of a number of poles around the 3 sides of terracing and four roof mounted establishments on the Main Stand, yet they were renewed nine years later by floodlights mounted on pylons in each corner and six establishments on the Main Stand roof. 

Real Madrid

played under the new set of bulbs there, in their first-ever match in London which was a real footballing coup at the time for third division Palace.

Its ground was kept unstructured until 1969 when Palace was ascended to Division One for the first time, which was then the highest tier of English football.

The Arthur Wait Stand was constructed, being called in honour of the club's long-serving chairman, who was a builder by trade and often worked on the site himself.

It was remarkable for Arthur Wait that it oversaw Palace's rise from the 4th to the 1st Division in the 1960s. The Whitehorse Lane end was given a new appearance with a "second-tier" of terracing, brick-built refreshments as well as toilets along the top.

For security measures, The Safety of Grounds Act was necessary for the Holmesdale Road terrace (Crystal Palace supporters preferred stand) so as to split into three segments. The rest of the poorer facilities were primarily located in the place of opposition supporters.

Modern facilities were later established at the back of the Holmesdale Stand. It was in the summer of 1981, that they redesigned the Main Stand terraced enclosure, refitting it with seating.

In the same year, in order to solve their financial problems, Palace sold the back of the Whitehorse Lane terrace and the nearby land to supermarket retailer Sainsbury's for £2m, while the size of the terrace at this end was divided into half.

Then Charlton Athletic moved into the stadium as interim tenants in 1985, so as to become the first league clubs in England to agree such a ground-sharing scheme with Palace.

In the next year, chairman Ron Noades purchased the stadium from the club in so far as to raise revenue.

In the summer of 1990, the lower half of the Arthur Wait Stand was turned into an all-seater with the help of Football Trust Grant Aid, after the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster.

Two rows of executive boxes (48 in total) were built over the Whitehorse Lane terrace (on the roof of Sainsbury's supermarket) in 1991 and this was later roofed and converted into an all-seater in the summer of 1993.

Charlton came back to The Valley via West Ham's Boleyn Ground, and Wimbledon F.C. took their place as tenants in 1991. The Holmesdale terrace was destroyed in 1994 and renewed the following year with a two-tiered 8,500 capacity stand.

The main stand's roof cladding was also substituted since the previous one had started to leak. This could be included among the

top facts about Selhurst Park

that some 25 years on, this proves to be the most recent major work accomplished at Selhurst Park.

In fact, Mark Goldberg just bought the club of Crystal Palace and the chairman Ron Noades had retained ownership of the Selhurst Park ground, so he purchased it from the club in 1986. Then Chairman Simon Jordan took out a ten-year lease on the ground upon the purchase and Noades received rent from Palace.

At the time that the FA permitted the old club to move in 2002, a group of their fans decamped to the newly established AFC Wimbledon in protest, yet, Wimbledon relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003.

It was confirmed by Palace chairman Jordan that the purchase of the freehold of Selhurst Park from Altonwood Limited (Ron Noades' company) was completed for the amount of £12m in October 2006.

Yet, Simon Jordan neither had the ownership of freehold, nor any interest in it and the reasons why he claimed he had bought it are not revealed.

Selhurst Park Limited, a joint venture between HBOS and the Rock property empire owned by Paul Kemsley, a former director of

Tottenham Hotspur

, had the ownership of the club. It was in April 2008 that a 25-year lease was given to Crystal Palace at the rent of £1.2m annually.

While The Rock Group went into administration in June 2009, PwC took the management of the freehold, acting on behalf of Lloyds Bank, which currently owns HBOS. Besides, it was expected that PwC would sell it within two years.

The CPFC 2010 consortium purchased the club as well as Selhurst Park in June 2010, so as to make the stadium and Football Club united in a company for the first time since 1998.

In January 2011, CPFC 2010 revealed its plans of redeveloping the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, the club's original home, in a span of five years.

Yet, opposition from Crystal Palace residents and Bromley council have deemed the plans impossible, as they suggested Selhurst Park's gradual redevelopment, just like the Molineux stadium (home to Wolves).

It was in June 2012 that Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish approached the Rugby Union team, London Welsh, about a probable ground-share. While there was doubt over London Welsh's promotion to the

English

Premiership, their plans to play their matches at Kassam Stadium were considered to be unsatisfactory by the RFU.

In 2018, Crystal Palace 2010 confirmed that a £100m renovation of Selhurst was probable, so as to meet the quality of modern Premier League grounds. Among

top facts about Selhurst Park

, one can suggest that it has been employed by Apple TV in the US series Ted Lasso.

Selhurst Park stands

As a usual typical

British

stadium, Selhurst Park has four stands, in such a way that on each side of the pitch, there is a side.

Because the stands are near to the pitch the stadium has found a somewhat intimidating atmosphere at the time that the Palace fans are up for the fight.

Holmesdale Road Stand

With a capacity of 8,329, the Holmesdale is a double-tiered stand, consisting of Lower-tier 5,510 and Upper-tier 2,819 located on the south side of the stadium.

It was constructed in 1994–95, forming the SE end of the stadium. So it is considered to be the newest stand in the stadium, after that it was replaced with the previous terrace end.

Arthur Wait Stand

With a total capacity of 9,574, a portion of the Arthur Wait Stand, around 3,000, is allocated to the away supporters. While it was named in honour of the chairman back then, it was inaugurated in 1969, forming the NE side of the stadium.

Main Stand

With the capacity of 5,460 as well as 63 extra Press Seats, the Main Stand was inaugurated in 1924 as it has consisted of the Directors Box, new offices/Main Entrance that were constructed at the back of the stand during the nineties.

Moreover, the outside of the Main Stand has been recoloured in white in replacement of the prior blue painted corrugated iron.

New seats were also established during the summer of 2013, while within the stand there are a number of lounges/Bars and a restaurant too.

With the new confirmed investment, according to the club's plan, this stand is set to be redeveloped into a three-tier structure, building over so as to remove the current stand.

On 19 April 2018, the Croydon Council meeting, confirmed their plans to increase the total capacity of the stadium to  34,000, with a new 13,500-seater Main Stand.

The modern stand would be equipped with an all-glass frontage, inspired by the original Crystal Palace. It was set to start the work in summer 2019, so as to have a new stand for the 2021–22 season. Still, until now, the work is yet to be started.

Whitehorse Lane Stand

With a capacity of 2,219 along with 480 seating for executive boxes, the Whitehorse Lane stand contains 24 luxury Executive Boxes. While it is also recognized as Family Stand for Crystal Palace supporters, it forms the NW end of the stadium.

Selhurst Park facilities

As one of the other top facts about Selhurst Park, one can suggest that even if it has a relaxed atmosphere, its facilities aren’t that much desirable.

That is to say, its seats in the away area are cramped to the point that those seating toward the back, would be struggling to see all of the pitch.

There are some places where you can buy food and drink on the concourses, but you have to cope with somewhat disorganised disturbance in so far as to reach the point of ordering.

In addition, it is wheelchair-accessible all through it, having 128 wheelchair spaces along with 289 easy-access seats.

All of Selhurst Park's toilets are fully accessible as it also has one full-sized accessible changing room and a second smaller changing room that has accessible toilets.

People with autism and the sensory issue can take advantage of a sensory room so that it is possible for them to move around and relax as it has a room with a TV showing the matches, without any view of the pitch.

There exists a second sensory room with views of the pitch yet it is not always available for every match, so it is necessary to check that beforehand.

What'smore, it is a cashless stadium and only contactless payments along with Apple Pay and similar methods are acceptable as outlets.

Audiences with hearing impairments can also join the stadium to watch its events since induction loops are available, and with headphones, spectators with visual impairments are able to listen to match commentaries.

Selhurst Park accessibility

Selhurst Park is situated in the far south of London which is around 8 kilometres from central London. Getting to the stadium by train is by far easier as both Selhurst and Thornton Heath station are a 5 to 10-minute walk away from the stadium.

Trains that come from Victoria and London Bridge stations in the centre, provide services to the stations. While just 25 to 30 minutes is enough for this journey, the trains call at Clapham Junction too.

In the meantime, Norwood Junction station is located at the other side of Selhurst Parktheat at the same distance. As it serves from London Bridge station, it takes less time than the aforementioned trains (in 10 to 15 minutes).

Besides, a number of buses are there to connect audiences with the stadium, or for instance, Bus 468 is easy to be taken from Elephant & Castle, and bus X68 would be caught from Russel Square in The City or Waterloo Station as both buses pass the

stadium

on Whitehorse Lane.

Crystal Palace rivalries at Selhurst Park

Notwithstanding its being London based, the greatest rivalries of Crystal Palace is when south coast club

Brighton

copes with them at Selhurst Park.

In the light of the fact that the football clubs ascended the pyramid side by side for so many years and they are just 40 miles apart from each other, it is no wonder to see them have a history of ‘facing off’.

Their confront with Millwall is also worth mentioning, especially when they are both situated in South London, even if there is not any sense of hatred between them.

Likewise, Crystal Palace has a similar encounter with Charlton since there is a close distance between them in South London. Moreover, because Charlton has formerly been tenants at Selhurst Park, there is not any sort of bitterness between the sides.

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source: SportMob

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