Irish Daily Mail

New Palace co-owner helps club splash out

- By IAN HERBERT and ADRIAN KAJUMBA

CRYSTAL PALACE have financed potentiall­y their boldest summer in the transfer market by making a wealthy American entreprene­ur the club’s fourth co-owner. The arrival of John Textor allows Palace to reduce their debt by £50million, but an additional £40m raised through Textor and existing shareholde­rs is helping them reshape their squad. Knowledge that the investment was coming has seen Palace spend £23.3m on Marc Guehi and nearly £17.5m on Joachim Andersen — both central defenders — but the club are still thought to want a striker and a winger. They have not been banking on money raised from the sale of Wilfried Zaha (right), who is still at Selhurst Park with their opening Premier League fixture at Chelsea two days away. Palace are realistic about Zaha’s ambition, but they would love him to stay and there is hope that their summer investment­s might make the idea more appealing to him. Textor was initially thought to have wanted to buy Palace outright, but the club’s existing owners — Steve Parish, Josh Harris and David Blitzer — wanted to explore how he could help them spend a higher percentage of the club’s income and spread the financial risk more widely. Harris and Blitzer remain committed to working with chairman Parish at Selhurst Park. Textor’s investment has allowed Palace to complete work on the academy. The reduction of debt will also make it easier to find finance to develop Selhurst Park — a key part of Parish’s vision for his boyhood club, which he rescued from financial oblivion 11 years ago. Though Palace’s appointmen­t of Patrick Vieira as manager is widely seen as proof of a commitment to youth, there is an acceptance at the club that results are most important. It has been a challengin­g summer, with around 10 players out of contract and Andros Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, James McCarthy and Gary Cahill leaving. Textor founded hologram company Facebank and bought out fuboTV, a US-based sports streaming business, when it was in trouble.

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