0 The show must go on

Last Saturday's match against Bolton Wanderers may have been a goalless draw, but for some of the staff at Selhurst Park prior to the match, they certainly would have had a winning feeling inside them.

A number of games were postponed because of heavy snowfall around the country, and with the cold weather refusing to go away, Palace fans may have feared the worst ahead of the game.

But a strong team assembled by the club's head groundsman Mark Perrin made sure that was not the case, as up to 20 people got stuck in to make sure Selhurst Park was in the right shape.

"There are five groundsmen, including myself, and the maintenance team and general ground staff also helped out, so there was probably at least dozen of us on the Friday," Perrin told Advertiser Sport.

"We worked until 7pm, and on the Saturday we managed to utilise some of the matchday staff from 8am.

"We had already started an hour before, so we had an extra 20 bodies helping on the ground, which was pretty good.

"The snow arrived right on cue last Friday, but we knew there was a certain amount we could clear fairly quickly.

"It was bit soul-destroying as the snow kept falling pretty heavily, but our thinking was to just clear the original snow at least so we didn't have so much to do on the Saturday morning."

Perrin admitted he wasn't worried too much about the game being called off and revealed it was vital they made a start the day before.

"I was reasonably confident the game against Bolton would have gone ahead," he said.

"We've dealt with similar situations before and it was all down to the amount of snow we got.

"If we got six inches of snow on the Friday, we would not have been able to clear it in that amount of time before the game.

"Another inch had fallen overnight, but we were able to clear it by 11am. Even though it's worrying when snow falls, we've definitely had worse at Selhurst."

Meanwhile, the first team management were aware of events in SE25 constantly, while Perrin says all efforts were, and always are, made around the stadium for supporters to get to their seats.

"Ian Holloway and Keith Millen were kept informed of the situation and it's important you keep that line of communication going," he said.

"If they think the game might be off, their heads might not be in the right place or something. And then suddenly if it's on, it could be a shock.

"The referee did arrive early and had a look at 9am, but he was happy with what we'd done and we were always in control.

See the rest of the article on the following link:-Croydon Today

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