Football: Goldberg part of new Palace consortium

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The Independent Online
MARK GOLDBERG, the Crystal Palace chairman who faces personal bankruptcy and took the financially troubled First Division club into administration with debts of pounds 20m, was confirmed yesterday as the man behind a consortium of City investors bidding for club.

Goldberg has personal debts of pounds 30m and faces a meeting of his creditors on Monday when they will decide whether to accept a partial payment of the money owed to them. Within the last two days, Goldberg has sent a letter to his creditors, which says: "I have currently put together a consortium to put in a bid to buy the club."

If that bid is successful, he writes, a pounds 3.2m cash deposit held by HSBC as security on the club's debts will be released and he will be in a stronger position financially to pay back his creditors.

The confirmation that Goldberg is behind the City will come as a shock to creditors of the football club. If the City bid is accepted by the Football League as being suitable, it will be put to the creditors for approval. "There is no way in the world that any creditor in their right mind would accept a bid that is linked in any way at all to Mark Goldberg," one creditor told the Independent last night.

Palace's administrator, Simon Paterson of Moore Stephens, has consistently told the Independent that he has no knowledge of any involvement by Goldberg in any bid for the club. The financial director of the League, Chris Griffin, however, confirmed that the League was aware that Goldberg was involved. "But we have been assured that if that [City] bid was successful, on the day of completion Mark Goldberg will not be involved."

On Monday, Paterson will recommend either the City bid or a rival bid, led by Palace director Simon Hume-Kendall, to the League. The League's board will have to approve a bid before it is put to Palace's creditors.

Tycoon on brink, page 30

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