Agreement saves Palace from oblivion

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The Independent Online

Crystal Palace avoided becoming the first English club to be liquidated since 1992 after investors secured an agreement to buy the Championship club's stadium.

The CPFC 2010 consortium met yesterday's mid-afternoon deadline, set by administrators running the indebted south London club, to strike a deal with Bank of Scotland, which is owned by the part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group.

Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers are acting as administrator of the Selhurst Park stadium and said the consortium would pay "an agreed and undisclosed price" for the 26,309-seat ground.

The agreement paves the way for CPFC 2010 to buy the club, but the sale can only go through after the official end of the season and is wholly dependent upon the success of the consortium. "Throughout what has been a very complex administration, we had remained hopeful that we could conclude a deal with a purchaser whose vision for the ground matched that of the community, the football club and its supporters," PWC partner Barry Gilbertson said.

Hundreds of Palace supporters gathered outside Lloyds' central London offices yesterday awaiting the outcome of the talks before the bank issued a statement confirming the agreement.

With reported debts of £30m, Palace narrowly avoided relegation to League One last season after the club was deducted 10 points for going into administration. They ended the campaign in 21st place.

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