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John Textor appoints Raine Group to sell 45 per cent stake in Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor has confirmed he is looking to sell his 45 per cent stake in the South London football club.

Textor, who runs Eagle Football Holdings, also has majority stakes in Brazilian side Botafogo, Belgian outfit RWD Molenbeek and Ligue 1 club Lyon.

He must sell his stake in the Eagles before making any formal approach to Everton. 

Textor initaly invested £87.5million into Crystal Palace in 2021 to take control of 40 per cent of the club. The 58-year-old increased his shareholding by five per cent after investing a further £30m into the Eagles.

The Raine Group have been involved in the selling of Chelsea to Todd Bohely and Clearlake Capital Group. The merchant bak also helped facilitate Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion bid to buy a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

In a statement to The Athletic, Textor said: “Eagle Football Holdings today announced its engagement of Raine Group to solicit and interview prospective buyers of Eagle Football’s interest in Crystal Palace Football Club.

“I am extremely proud of our contribution to Crystal Palace…and am overjoyed with the improved form and heightened ambitions of the club. As a lover of pure football, at the academy level, I am also delighted to have been able to support Steve Parish’s vision for the completion of the Palace academy.

“The academy is so important to the future of South London and to the club. I am also proud to have supported the multi-year transformation of the squad, invited by Dougie and Steve to share ideas as this current squad was built, player by player.

“Finally, in this last year, I was pleased to see total unity in ownership as we transitioned in coaching leadership that brought a new style of play that fits perfectly with the power and pace that we are known for at Palace.

“So, why would we sell, just when things are getting so good? Well, Eagle Football is known to employ a highly integrated sporting model across its football clubs, with an unprecedented amount of scouting collaboration and player movement within the family of clubs.

“Our model of collaboration has led to considerable turn-around success at Olympique Lyonnais in France, where we quickly have returned to Europa League competition, and at Botafogo in Brazil, where we have resurrected a historic club from bankruptcy in the 2nd division to fight for championships at the top of Serie A.

“We are also excited about our work-in-progress in Belgium, which resulted in a quick championship and historic promotion in our first year, which we must fight again to reclaim next year.

“As proud as we are to have been a part of the resurgence of Crystal Palace, it remains true that Crystal Palace is an independent club, run by a man with a steady hand, who has achieved a level of sustainability that is incredibly uncommon in today’s Premier League. An integrated sporting model, such as ours at Eagle, is simply not a perfect fit for Crystal Palace.

“Simply based on early reaction to the process we have begun with Raine Group, it’s obvious that the momentum at Crystal Palace has not gone unnoticed. I feel extremely confident that a good number of prospective partners will jump at the chance to be a part of this promising future.

“Of course, these processes do take time, however we believe the summer of 2024 is the right time to run such a process, with a goal to identify a successful bidder and future Palace supporter before our focus returns to football games in the Fall.

“We will keep you posted. Until then, Up the Palace!”

The American businessman has also admitted to beginning preliminary discussions over a potential deal to buy Premier League rivals Everton.

“Yes (I’ve had conversations around buying Everton),” Textor told The Athletic. “With the existing constituents – different groups, different lenders, different equity holders.

“I’ve asked them, ‘is there a way to solve all this confusion and address everyone’s problems?’ I’m very open-minded to it but I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m not really welcome.

“I’m watching it but 777 still has a contract. There are people that are close to the club who care a lot about it who are also investing.

“There’s the guy running it (Moshiri) who’s still calling the shots. Maybe we’re uniquely positioned to solve a lot of problems for people but we’re just watching it right now because there are other people who already own pieces of that club who also want to figure it out. I’m looking at that but it’s quite confusing and some things have to clean up.”

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