Football: League probes Palace finances

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The Independent Online
THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE is investigating allegations that pounds 400,000 from the sale of a player from Crystal Palace was never received by the club. It is understood the sum forms part of pounds 2.7m that creditors claim is owed to the First Division club by its former chairman, Mark Goldberg. Palace is in administration with debts of pounds 20m.

Correspondence seen by The Independent reveals that the club's directors and a company owned by its former owner, Ron Noades, have asked the administrator, Simon Paterson, to look at various transactions including the payment of wages for the Yugoslav player Sasa Curcic from the club's bank account that should allegedly have been reimbursed by Mr Goldberg.

It is also alleged that Mr Goldberg agreed to waive his right to 25 per cent of the fee when another player, Neil Emblen, was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for pounds 1.2m to be paid in instalments. According to club documents, the last instalment of pounds 400,000, understood to have been paid by Wolves, never reached the club. All transfer payments between clubs should go via the Football League to ensure transparency.

Peter Rowe, a spokesman for the League, said yesterday: "We are investigating certain transactions brought to our attention by the administrator." He said the League could make no further comment.