On the eve of the club’s “A23 derby” lunchtime kick-off against Brighton at Selhurst Park today, a Wall Street news agency is reporting that Crystal Palace’s American owners are looking to sell their stake in the club.
According to Bloomberg last night, the NHL and NBA franchise owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer want to unload their shares in the Premier League football club, and they have held talks with at least one American-based financial firm about buying the team.
Harris and Blitzer were unveiled by club co-chairman Steve Parish as new co-owners in December 2015. Parish continued as chairman alongside Harris and Blitzer as general partners, with company accounts showing that Palace Holdco LP (a limited partnership registered in Delaware, where ownership details do not have to be declared) having a 67.5 per cent stake in the club.
Harris and Blitzer also hold controlling interests basketball’s Philadelphia 76ers, ice hockey’s New Jersey Devils, and they own the Prudential Center in Newark, where the Devils play.
Bloomberg suggests that Harris and Blitzer had been attracted to south London by the chance to hit the jackpot of Premier League television revenues.
“Harris and Blitzer had been among the owners who unsuccessfully sought to keep an even share of the league’s international TV money. Bigger clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal won the right to get a bigger share, saying their international popularity drives viewership,” the agency reported last night.
Palace recently sought, and acquired, planning approval for a £100million vast new stand which would modernise the century-old Selhurst Park by adding many new, US sport-style corporate hospitality boxes, though little in the way of addition capacity at the 26,000-seater ground.
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