Football: Goldberg gets a stay of execution

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The Independent Online
CRYSTAL PALACE'S chairman, Mark Goldberg, was yesterday given seven weeks to find some way of avoiding bankruptcy. Goldberg has personal debts of more than pounds 5m, owed mainly to the former Palace owner Ron Noades and to the Allied Commercial Bank. He appeared at Croydon County Court yesterday to ask a judge for more time to pay his creditors and, after a private hearing, the judge gave Goldberg until 28 June to find a solution to his problems.

"I've got a few things bubbling about and need time to put things into place," Goldberg said afterwards. Asked how his financial situation might affect the future of Palace, he said: "I think I've done enough talking, don't you?"

Goldberg bought the club from Noades for pounds 23m last year and still owes Noades some pounds 4.5m. Palace are in administration with net debts of pounds 9m. The club's administrators are hoping to find new backers to save it, but none have publicly come forward so far. If Goldberg is declared bankrupt, the possibility of a new owner coming in to take the club over for virtually nothing will increase, as would the prospect of a Noades return.

The Republic of Ireland's European Championship qualifier with Yugoslavia will go ahead as planned on 5 June at Lansdowne Road, Dublin.

Uefa, the governing body of European football, announced yesterday that a special task force set up to deal with the current situation in Yugoslavia had decided that the country be allowed to stay in Euro 2000.

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