Aki Riihilahti comes to terms with leaving Crystal Palace

Aki Riihilahti’s articles haven’t been that regular recently, partly because his quality control is much higher than mine. But I just noticed he wrote something in January, and I felt obliged to share it with anyone who might have missed it.

I have always Palace

Change is inevitable. I was privileged and worked hard to stay in the club longer than two sets of furniture. I am sure I would have still survived another sofa setting as I did over hundred team mates, ten physioterapists, seven managers, around 200 games, a promotion and relegation during my time at the club. Just to make the record straight, I always got an indication from the Chairman that I would be part of his club next season too but I expressed my wish to leave early on not to make any disturbance for our promotion campaign back then. It was an extremely hard decision, and even if in my last season I had some issues on and off the pitch the deciding factors to leave were personal reasons. I had come to a point I needed to move from London and I couldn’t even think of playing for another English club then so I left UK. I hope people understand and respect this now as well as the Chairman did. I have been told a lot of things about him, but as far as I’m concerned, apart from his lousy banter and dress sense he is good as gold for Palace and we always respected each other personally and professionally. He even described me in his column as committed, hardworking, totally engaging and completely bonkers. That was one of the best reviews and compliments I received in England and I am sure he can mirror those adjectives to himself. I wish him all the best in football and in life, plus that he would get rid of that hair style.

I hope Aki continues to write next season, as this stuff is pure gold. He should try to ignore the fact that Colin is now in charge of his beloved Eagles, anyway. That thought would be too distressing.

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