Steve Parish on FYP Podcast

I was pleasantly surprised

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Steve Parish was a guest on the Five Year Plan podcast this week. Was this going to be a sycophantic interview or a decent listen?

I’m the first to admit that in the past I have been critical of Steve Parish and of the Five Year Plan (FYP) podcast but credit where credit is due, the FYP podcast with Steve Parish as a guest was a pretty decent listen.

My thoughts on Five Year Plan

In the past, my criticism of FYP hasn’t been aimed at their content, it’s been with a couple of the people involved in the production who I’ve encountered here and there and that on occasion their Twitter account has been a little juvenile.

I have also taken issue with the use of the word ‘fanzine’. This isn’t something exclusive to FYP that I’ve taken umbrage with. I feel there are too many publications, podcasts and YouTube channels are calling themselves ‘fanzines’ or ‘fan whatever’ when they are far from impartial as they are in cahoots with the Palace hierarchy in order to survive.

A fanzine in the truest sense of the word is anti-establishment and independent. Can you ever be truly independent and critical of someone who you rely on to produce content and survive?

My thoughts on Steve Parish

 

Up to and including May 2016 I staunchly defended Steve Parish, and even Alan Pardew, because I felt both came under unfair criticism. I frequently argued with fans on Facebook and Twitter before I took The Expat Eagle identity because I believe in being fair and honest when criticising people. It doesn’t matter if it is Steve Parish, a manager or the players, people deserve credit where it’s due and criticism if it is warranted.

However, during the summer of 2016, I felt certain decisions were made that warranted criticism and since then Steve Parish hasn’t learnt from his mistakes. I feel Parish contradicts himself too many times in interviews and some decisions he’s made have been detrimental to our progress on the field. These are things I have gone into in the past this post isn’t about those issues so I won’t go through them again.

I have never doubted Parish’s ability as a businessman or his ability to run a football club as a business. I do have some doubts about his ability to run a football club as a football club and his choice of people to help him do that.

It seems he is sometimes too sentimental when it comes to old players and prefers ‘yes men’ to people with their own minds. Compare Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce to Alan Pardew and Dougie Freedman.

The interview

Maybe interview is the wrong word? Steve Parish was a guest on the podcast and spoke about some aspects of the club and answered some questions sent in by fans. It wasn’t a straight interview but there isn’t a better word that springs to mind right now.

For the most part, I thought Parish answered the questions very well, spoke sense and came across well. He was a little silly at the beginning but I’ll put that down to nerves…

In particular the first question, when host Jim Daly asked if there was a contingency plan in place in case Roy Hodgson decides to not continue as manager at the end of the season. I thought it was a valid question and one I have thought about.

For the record, when Roy was appointed I thought it would only be until the end of the season and the length of his contract was a token gesture, but that’s a different story.

In answer to the question, Parish said it was like asking if he had a contingency plan for if his wife left him, which was a bit of an idiotic thing to say. I think a club like ours should always have a contingency plan in place which evolves as time goes on. You can’t compare a wife to the manager of our football club.

Common sense says that Roy isn’t getting any younger and it is a real possibility he, like Sam Allardyce, might say at the end of the season that he wants to walk away, especially if we do well. It is something we should be thinking about because Parish was caught on the hop last May.

This is one of my main problems with Parish, he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. We didn’t have a contingency plan when Pulis left even though he’d been making noises in the press. The same can be said for when Allardyce, it came as a big surprise. Both situations cost us in different ways.

Just to be clear, I don’t mean we should have a shortlist of managers but it should be something that is on the back burner with the situation being monitored.

After Parish answered the question podcast host, Jim Daly, apologised for asking it in a half-joking kind of way. My immediate thought was ‘here we go, it’s going to be that kind of interview’ but, much to my surprise, it wasn’t.

Whenever I’ve listened to Parish being interviewed before on Holmesdale Radio it is an utter cringefest. They seem to fall over themselves to kiss his arse and practically any answer Parish gives results in them metaphorically patting him on the back and saying ‘fair point’ even if it was nowhere near being a fair point.

Kevin Day

I’ll be honest and say I like Kevin. He is the main reason I listen to FYP podcasts these days but that isn’t to say I agree with everything he says because I don’t. However, he is the kind of guy you can disagree with but come away respecting his opinion even though it differs from your own.

If you talk to someone whose opinion differs from your own, even if you are only listening to them on a podcast, it is important you don’t feel like they are talking down to you. There is nothing worse than listening to someone who thinks that their morals, attitude, opinion and beliefs are superior to yours. I don’t get that vibe from Kevin.

For me the interview with Parish turned out the way it did because Kevin was in attendance. He asked a couple of, what could be described as, difficult questions and did so in a respectful way because he knew they needed to be asked. He then didn’t just accept whatever answer came his way but followed it up with a question.

This is exactly what I feel Holmesdale Radio lacks. I completely agree that as a guest, Parish shouldn’t be beaten over the head, metaphorically or literally, however, he shouldn’t be handled with kid gloves either.

Parish volunteers to go on podcasts so he should absolutely be treated with respect but that does not mean shy away from difficult questions and ask a follow-up question if the first answer made no sense or contradicted a previous statement.

One such question was when Kevin asked Steve Parish what Freeman does all day, albeit the question was asked in a much politer way than I just phrased it. Even so, it needed to be asked and it was asked in the correct manner even if Parish’s answer was a little bit of puff.

For me, Kevin acted as the voice of the fans in the interview because he sits with the fans. It’s difficult to get a feel for how the average fan thinks when you sit in the bubble that is the press box.That isn’t a dig at anyone, it is making an observation.

What else did he say?

There wasn’t anything revelationary. We’re not going to spend silly money in either transfer window, the new (old) stand will have higher season ticket prices and so on. I thoroughly recommend that you have a listen for yourself.

All in all Steve Parish and the FYP podcast went up in my estimation and that can only be a good thing. Can’t it?

You can find the podcast on the Five Year Plan website by clicking here.

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