Sale of Premier League’s Crystal Palace Likely Despite Apparent Withdrawal of David Blitzer

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New Jersey Devils owners (L_R) Joshua Harris and David Blitzer

 

The takeover of British Premier League club Crystal Palace could be completed in the next month, despite the withdrawal of one of the major investors, The Daily Mirror said.

The Mirror understands that David Blitzer, the business partner of Joshua Harris, is ready to drop his interest in investing in the club, according to the report.

Harris will instead lead a smaller group of investors buying into the south London club and take a 70 per cent stake in the Eagles, The Mirror said.

Asset-management investors Blitzer and Harris are the co-owners of the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team and NBA franchise the Philadelphia 76ers.

Current co-owner Steve Parish is set to retain his 25 per cent and will continue to run the club on a daily basis, while Steve Browett will keep a 5 per cent interest. Fellow CPFC 2010 consortium members Martin Long and Jeremy Hosking are set to be bought out by 49-year-old Harris, with the takeover expected to be announced in early February, the report said.

The Mirror said in October that the prospective new American owners were planning a major redevelopment of the club’s Selhurst Park home, and that Harris and Blitzer hoped to clinch a buyout of Crystal Palace before January.

The pair intended to complete the deal using their US equity fund Blackstone, where Blitzer is senior managing director, the report said, adding that they believed Crystal Palace has huge potential as a London club in a large catchment area with an aging stadium fit for modernization, the report said.

Harris and Blitzer also own the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team and Philadelphia 76ers basketball franchise.

The sale would make Harris the 6th American owner of a Premier League team, NJ.com said in October.

In a related development, Inside World Football said it is clear that soccer’s Americanization is inevitable with U.S. interest in European football growing, although no major takeover deals have taken place over the course of the past 12 months.

In its report on six lessons for 2015 and beyond, the website said it is to be expected that U.S. investors will ultimately want football to take a form closer to that of the American sporting powerhouses such as American football, baseball and basketball.

 

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