American Josh Harris in £100million swoop for Crystal Palace
Harris and partner David Blitzer are close to taking full control and could be officially unveiled early next week, following months of discussions with the club, who have all but secured safety after a great run of results under Alan Pardew.
The American businessman, who also owns NBA franchise Philadelphia 76ers and NHL side New Jersey Devils, is confident of striking a deal within the next 48 hours and is already targeting a major redevelopment of Selhurst Park.
Harris will also support Pardew in the summer with transfer funds and is said to be hugely impressed with the change in mood created by the club’s former midfielder, who replaced Neil Warnock in January.
Steve Parish, the Palace co-chairman, is expected to stay on for an “indefinite period” and concentrate on the day-to-day running of the club. He has been determined to ensure any potential buyers have the interests of Palace at heart and Harris has impressed with his vision for the future of the club.
Harris first approached Palace in the summer and was initially hopeful of concluding the takeover in time for the January transfer window.
However, the Premier League’s strict rules on ownership - namely the fit and proper persons test - has prolonged negotiations and it is only now that the finishing touches to the sale are in the hands of Harris’s lawyers.
Sources close to Harris believe the takeover could be done by Tuesday, barring any unexpected late hitches.
Harris will spend much of his time in the United States but has been intent on buying an English club for years.
He had considered Aston Villa but the initial £200million asking price sought by Randy Lerner led to his interest waning early last year.