Simon Jordan believes Crystal Palace should aim much higher than just seeking to avoid relegation – but stressed that fans should ‘be careful what they wish’ amid growing uncertainty over the future of Roy Hodgson.
The Eagles produced the ultimate victory at Brighton on Monday night thanks to Christian Benteke’s final strike in a 2-1 win at Amex, although they recorded just two shots on target in the entire game.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Hodgson told supporters questioning the club owner’s ambition to be ‘cautious’, with the general consensus among Palace loyalists that the club should operate at a higher level than they are now.
Hodgson’s side are currently 13th in the top elite and 10 points from the drop zone, and appear poised to secure Premier League status for another season.
And while Jordan agrees with the veteran boss’s sentiments, he believes Palace has a squad of players – 14 of whom are without a contract at the end of the season – who should be looking up instead of down.
“Every space you step up in the Premier League is worth £ 2.5million on merit,” the former palace owner told talkSPORT. “Finish at the bottom of the league, additional income at the end of the season.
“Finish at the top of the league and you get an extra £ 40-50million from your ladder payouts. So if you win four / five places and in that top ten for example, Palace will get an extra £ 12million.
“To do that, they’ll probably have to spend £ 30million, £ 40million, £ 50million… so it depends on where you position your football club.
“Your position is whether it is’ among the elite of the division ‘, or are you condescending to say that it is’in the division’.
“Roy is right, but don’t ignore the fact that apart from the big transfer fees last summer – which by the way most clubs did not spend outside of Chelsea – Palace has a squad of players who should operate at a level that should be far from relegation.
Commenting on the quality of the Palace team, Jordan added: “I know Benteke couldn’t hit the back of a cow with a banjo sometimes, but they paid £ 35million for him!
“They have Andros Townsend, they have Jordan Ayew, they have Wilfried Zaha, they bought the boy [Ebere] QPR’s Eze for £ 20million.
“They have a center-half at Mamadou Sakho for which they paid 26 million pounds. They have backs at Jeffrey Schlupp for whom they paid £ 17million, Patrick van Aanholt was costing an extra £ 15million. They have a very decent goaltending roster.
“So why would Palace think that occupying the spaces around the bottom six in the division is something they should be happy with?”
The 53-year-old stressed that he is not criticizing the club’s current ownership, but ultimately believes Palace’s long-term ambitions depend on the investment that is made in the team.
“I don’t want to complain about the Palace because it’s my old club and it’s an easy target for people to grab the headlines and say I’m criticizing the current owners – I’m not doing all of that”, Jordan explained.
“It’s a really tough balance to find because they tried to take a chance a few years ago and got close to the top 10.
“The American owners are the ones funding this, and they’ve been involved in relegation challenges every season since then.
“At the end of the season they pulled out because they had some really good guys like [Sam] Allardyce and [Tony] Pulis originally, [Alan] Pardew at one point and obviously Roy.
“But none of these appointments, with all due respect, are upward appointments; they are based on stability, “stay in the divide no matter what”.
“You have to be careful what you want, because if you go there – [Aston] Villa spent £ 100million last year, almost got it wrong and now they’re doing well – it doesn’t always work.