For the next week, FC Cincinnati GM and President Jeff Berding will share his thoughts, activities and photos from his trip to Europe through a daily blog. Check back daily for new blog posts.
Saturday was a tremendous day as Lindsay and I were hosted generously by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for their match versus Liverpool.
Phil Alexander, Palace Chief Executive, & majority owner Steve Parish, welcomed us to our first EPL match with a pregame tour, dinner in the Board Room and seats in the Director's Box. At halftime, I was interviewed on the field by Palace TV, which they showed live on the stadium videoboard. During the interview, they included highlights of our summer friendly. FC Cincinnati received a warm welcome from the Palace fans. During the match, I met with an official from Liverpool and discussed FCC. This experience was not only much fun, but a tremendous opportunity to promote our club here in England.
I had the occasion to meet other minority owners of Palace, several from the U.S., and to talk for some time with Palace official Mark Bright, who I had meet during the Palace visit to Cincinnati. After the match, a tough 4-2 loss to a high-quality Liverpool side, we saw Alan Pardew in the Board Room and had a brief chat with him. I will see Alan more at a Palace training session on Monday.
The experience of a live EPL match was every bit as fast-paced and exciting as expected. The match environment was incredible. The Palace fans were loud with songs and chants throughout, but I have to acknowledge Liverpool traveled well with a full section of supporters behind their club and making plenty of noise. I know our supporters in the Bailey are every bit as appreciated by our club as supporter groups are here in England. It was quite a show and I am certainly blessed for the opportunity to share in the excitement of the world's sport.