Crystal Palace sell £87.5m stake to US businessman John Textor

Crystal Palace have confirmed that John Textor has become the club’s newest investor and director after paying almost £90m for his stake.

Textor, who failed with an attempt to purchase 25% of Benfica last month, will join his fellow American co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer and the chairman Steve Parish on Palace’s board, despite being understood to have initially hoped to buy the club outright.

“I have looked at many opportunities across European football in which to invest so I could follow my passion for football and have a meaningful stake in a club,” said Textor, who made his fortune through the hologram company Facebank, which has merged with FuboTV. “Over the past six months of discussions, I have also developed a real affinity to Crystal Palace FC, its history, the staff and, of course, most importantly the supporters who create an incredible atmosphere at every game – one I cannot wait to witness again when supporters return to fill Selhurst Park this season. I very much look forward to working with the chairman and the other partners.”

It is hoped that Textor’s investment of £87.5m for what is believed to be a substantial percentage of the club close to Parish’s 18% controlling stake will significantly reduce debts at Selhurst Park and help to redevelop the stadium, with plans for a new main stand yet to progress despite years of planning.

“We have been looking for the right investment for the right investor for a while, both to progress the club and deal with the significant financial challenges of the past 18 months due to Covid,” Parish said. “I’m delighted that search led us to John, who has invested significant sums, helping to facilitate the rejuvenation of the squad, bolster the balance sheet and enable the club to finalise the academy. We all look forward to working with John, who has a strong passion for football and a growing knowledge and affinity to Crystal Palace.”

Palace face Chelsea on Saturday in Patrick Vieira’s first match since succeeding Roy Hodgson as manager, with the former France international having added the defenders Marc Guéhi and Joachim Andersen for more than a combined £35m up front. He is believed to still have significant funds to make more additions after the departures of several regular first-team players, with another left-back and striker likely a priority.

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