Crystal Palace could face takeover from Chinese sports company

Selhurst Park, home to Premier League’s Crystal Palace        Credit: Mr Bootle

Crystal Palace could be in for an overhaul with a Chinese marketing company looking to invest in the Croydon-based club.

The club has been struggling close to the bottom of the English Premier League for the majority of 2016-2017 season.

Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang and his company Double-Edged Sports, which already owns the Spanish football team Granada, reportedly want to invest in Crystal Palace whose ground is Selhurst Park, South Norwood.

Double-Edged Sports (Desports) recently appointed Arsenal legend Tony Adams as the manager of Granada but the team were relegated from the Spanish league La Liga.

Lizhang is reportedly looking to buy shares of Crystal Palace from the current American directors David Blitzer and Josh Harris who own a combined 26 per cent share.

Blitzer and Harris, who are experienced in managing sporting franchises such as the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, invested in Crystal Palace FC in 2015.

However, it is believed that the American duo do not intend to sell their shares to the Chinese company.

The trend of Chinese investment in clubs is growing with the increasing influence of the Chinese Super League and the subsequent money that it draws to football. The recent takeover of Midlands side West Bromwich Albion has strengthened Chinese investment rumours.

It is thought that major Chinese investors are also eyeing up Southampton FC.

Having picked up three points in their wins against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, Palace have been lifted to 16th position in the table and also look to have secured another season in the Premier League with just three fixtures remaining.

They will play against both Manchester clubs – away from home – split by a crucial match against Hull City at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace will have to make major changes to their team if they hope to avoid replicating their disappointing performance this season.

Manager Sam Allardyce has admitted they will need to bring in new recruits for the next season. Palace would also like to make Mamadou Sakho’s loan move a permanent deal.

Crystal Palace are looking to strengthen their squad this summer       Credit: SteHLiverpool

The Chinese company – if selected to take over the club – may be able to generate the funds for such transfers.

With players such as Wilfried Zaha attracting interest from Tottenham, Palace will be looking to bring in players to replace as well as strengthen their squad.

A Crystal Palace spokesperson, when asked about the rumours, told Eastlondonlines: “The Club are not making a comment.”

In an interview after Palace’s home loss to Burnley, club president Steve Parish denied the rumours and said that he was not aware of any sale taking place.

Although he denied the reports, the club is looking to expand its seating capacity by renovating the stands and strengthen their squad by adding the likes of Sakho, which could see the club breaking their own transfer records once again.

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