Crystal Palace move closer to finding owner

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Crystal Palace are a step closer to having new owners after 'preferred bidder' status was granted to a consortium of businessmen who want to buy the club.

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who set a deadline for interested parties of last Friday, is satisfied the group, called CPFC 2010, can provide the funds for a takeover.

Palace fan Steve Parish, the chief executive of the TAG Worldwide advertising design company, is believed to be involved.

But any deal is likely to hinge on the purchase of the club's Selhurst Park ground which is in the hands of separate administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Palace entered administration in January and were deducted 10 points to leave them facing relegation from the Coca-Cola Championship.

They travel to fellow strugglers Watford tonight knowing defeat would leave them five points from safety with six games remaining.

Guilfoyle revealed last week the club cannot be financed beyond the end of the season.

Guilfoyle said: "I am very pleased to have granted preferred-bidder status to the CPFC 2010 consortium.

"I am satisfied that they have the finances and the ability to purchase the club and reach agreement with the creditors of the club.

"The key to the proposed sale is the stadium and I am hopeful that the CPFC 2010 consortium can have constructive negotiations with the stadium administrator, Laurie Manson.

"However, time is of the essence, I think everyone knows that I am not currently funded beyond the last game of the 2009/10 season."

Radio presenter David Jensen, the spokesman for CPFC 2010, said: "I am pleased to be assisting the CPFC 2010 consortium who are grateful and privileged to be granted preferred-bidder status.

"Like me, the club is important to them and they have come forward with an offer to save the club from closure.

"The CPFC 2010 consortium is well funded and can complete the transaction, however they want the maximum investment to move the club forward.

"Should anyone be interested in joining the CPFC 2010 Consortium, they should contact the administrators."

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