Former Inter Milan boss lasted just 77 days in the job but Parish has spent his entire career making tough but correct decisions
FOUR games in charge, four defeats and then the sack — it is safe to say the days of a honeymoon period for managers are long gone.
But while the decision to chop Frank de Boer as Crystal Palace boss was a surprise, I don’t agree that it was a knee-jerk reaction from Steve Parish.
Palace’s co-owner and chairman is a hugely successful businessman and he’s become so by making tough calls at the right time — and he clearly feels that time is now.
What I will say for Steve is he is as good an owner as any football fan could wish for their club.
In my book he’s up there with the likes of Steve Gibson at Middlesbrough and Everton’s Bill Kenwright — the three best chairmen in the league — in doing the right thing for the club.
Yes, I know that’s a cliche, but in Parish’s case — as with the other two — it couldn’t be more true.
In my opinion, a knee-jerk decision would have been sacking Frank on Sunday night.
If Parish, full of frustration and anger at losing at Burnley, had got rid then.
Obviously he will have been thinking about it but he slept on it, let the dust and disappointment settle a little and then decided it was the correct move.
I know De Boer has only been there for five minutes but sometimes you have to accept it isn’t working out — and Steve clearly doesn’t believe it is.
Or, more importantly, he can’t see things changing.
Once it gets to that stage, there is only one outcome, as tough a call as it may be.
I witnessed it when I was at Arsenal. OK, we weren’t in danger of going down under Bruce Rioch but the top brass felt it wasn’t working so he had to go.
Putting aside his feelings as a fan for a second, as a businessman Parish knows that Palace can’t afford to not be in the Premier League.
If that means that, four games into the season, it’s not working then you act now — and stuff what other people think.
And let’s be honest, no one should really be surprised by anything in football any more. Claudio Ranieri is proof of that.
Claudio brought the most incredible title win ever to Leicester, the like of which I’ll be amazed if we ever see again. Nine months later he was out of a job.
Of course, I really feel for Frank — it would be impossible not to — but with all the money in the Premier League nowadays, survival is everything.
If Parish believes getting rid of him gives Palace a greater chance of achieving that survival, then it’s a decision he is prepared to live or die by.
And don’t think this will have been easy for Steve, by the way.
This isn’t an owner who runs the club from thousands of miles away, sitting on a beach in the sun.
This is one who’s in the thick of it as much as any fan, one who hurts every much as them at each defeat and is as delighted as anyone when they win.
But he’s also ready to make the toughest of calls — he showed that when sacking Alan Pardew, a man he loved, because he knew it was best for Palace.
One thing is for sure, the new manager shouldn’t worry about getting the sack at Christmas.
If it doesn’t pick up he might not last that long!
Don’t laugh — this league is that mad it could easily happen.