Upgraded infrastructure, not transfers, will progress Crystal Palace. Only the most ardently optimistic, nay delusional, of Crystal Palace fans could dispute that the club has excelled itself this season. In finishing eleventh in the Premier League the weight we have punched has been so far above our own that it's a miracle we could even reach. To what end, therefore, would we splurge millions in the summer transfer window? With the club's current infrastructure, we have managed to hit the ceiling of our development merely four years after exiting administration. Any tangible improvement on this season would necessitate unnerving and frankly un-Palace levels of spending. The three clubs above us – Southampton, Stoke City and Newcastle – possess quality in their squads far beyond our own. Of course, our togetherness and team ethos arguably eclipses theirs but teamwork and unity can only carry a team so far – and we've reached the final destination on that particular journey. Taking Southampton as an example, they added Victor Wanyama and Pablo Osvaldo to an already talented squad last summer for almost £25 million. Such lavish spending is beyond us at this moment in time. However, supposing our thus far sensible chairmen were suddenly gripped by a wave of extravagance, what could we hope to achieve with our millions? The most optimistic of outlooks would have us competing with Stoke or Southampton for 8th place. A glance at the prestige and magnitude of the teams above would banish any Europa League dreams, while we would certainly be well clear of the relegation scrap. The evident conclusion here is that summer spending would buy us a permanent place in the incontrovertibly thrilling race for mid-table mediocrity: a spellbinding struggle to be the first to secure a mundane, meaningless limp towards the end of the season. Three worthless matches this season (albeit rendered more exciting by their influence on the title race) have been more than enough. Why not maintain the spirit of the squad and allow another enthralling, competitive season next term, while committing funding to the club's long-term future? Any money available in the undoubtedly stringent and sensible budget drawn up by the chairmen would be best served on off-field enhancements. Stadium redevelopment, for example, is crucial in the long-term for the growth of the club. With the enormous potential South London catchment area from which to cultivate a growing fanbase, upgrading the club's infrastructure could well enable us to truly challenge higher up the table in the future. Of course, marketing will be equally crucial (and costly) in this regard to tempt younger fans away from the clutches of Chelsea and English football's other great Corporations. When the training ground is factored into the equation, one realises there are far more pressing requirements for funding than simply bloating an already sufficiently talented and characterful playing roster.
More Pages to Explore .....