Belfast Telegraph

Steve Parish desperate for Palace to avoid relegation tussle

Frank de Boer has been instructed to end the "anxiety" and "near-unbearable pressure" that descends every year at Crystal Palace.

The Dutchman was unveiled as the club's new manager on Monday, signing a three-year contract to succeed Sam Allardyce following the latter's resignation.

De Boer has already revealed plans to implement a more expansive brand of football but arrives with chairman Steve Parish desperate to avoid the relegation struggle they have experienced every season since their promotion in 2013.

Parish spoke at the conclusion of the 2016/17 campaign about the need for Palace to finish in the top half of the Premier League, and at De Boer's unveiling said: "The pressure (of relegation) is almost unbearable.

"Everyone says you get the parachute money which was always 55 per cent of the TV money, so it used to be £10million, then £20million, now it is £45million or £55million. Where will it go in the next TV cycle?

"Some people in this room won't have a job if we get relegated: we have 400,000 fans on our database, the fans' hopes and dreams, fears and jobs rely on it. I have been here seven years; everything hinges on it.

"(Club co-owners) Josh (Harris) and David (Blitzer): for them the stress is almost unbearable, but it is our job to see through those moments and to steer us away from danger.

"It is the worst feeling in the world, I won't lie to you. We're steadily improving the club and to lose it all in one season would be terrible.

"Frank's number one brief is to reduce mine and every supporters' anxiety."

De Boer, 47, was in contention to join Everton last summer until Ronald Koeman's appointment, and on Monday revealed he also rejected the Liverpool job in the summer of 2012 before it was offered to Brendan Rodgers.

"Yes (I rejected it) as I just signed a new contract at Ajax at that moment," the former Ajax and Inter Milan manager explained. "I said I was not finished with Ajax at that time. (I have no regrets) at all. I had a fantastic time (at Ajax).

"I try to play dominant, but also know that you already think defensively. In the Barcelona time of (Pep) Guardiola, everybody's involved with attacking but also defending; that's what I want to bring to this club.

"You have to know when you can be dominant. Also, when you don't have the ball you can try to move (the opposition) to where you want them to go.

"Against big clubs with fantastic players sometimes you will be pulled back, but still you have to be in the kind of shape where you can have transition, be dangerous, or get the ball.

"It is an exciting project. To be a solid, stable club in the Premier League, there is a lot to lose and there is a lot to gain. I am excited.

"You can sit here now and say that I am the right man but in six months you can shake hands and that's it: it is impossible to say (I will be given time to succeed). But (Steve Parish) is positive and I am positive."

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