Crystal Palace and West Ham to float

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The Independent Online
Two more Premier League clubs are set to join the stock market, even though football shares have fallen sharply since their peak earlier this year.

Crystal Palace, the south London club promoted to the Premier League last season, is finalising plans to float. It is likely to come to the market in November. West Ham, the club's London rival, is also understood to be finalising its own flotation plans, which could value the club at up to pounds 55m. It, too, is believed to be looking to join the stock market in November.

Palace's directors were unavailable for comment yesterday. The club is controlled by Ron Noades, chairman, and his long-time business partner, Bernie Coleman. Mr Noades bought the club for around pounds 600,000 in 1981.

Analysts speculate that Palace's market value could be around pounds 30m, similar to Sunderland's and around the expected valuation of Nottingham Forest, which is floating on the Alternative Investment Market next month.

Crystal Palace recently appointed Mark Goldberg as a director. He runs MSB International, a computer recruitment company with a pounds 100m stock market valuation.

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