Palace co-owner becomes new owner of Brazilian side Botafogo
It has been announced this week that Crystal Palace’s co-owner John Textor has become the new owner of Brazilian Serie B champions Botafogo. It had been rumoured for a while that he had an interest in investing in a Brazilian football club and now the deal is finalised.
The agreement will see Textor acquire 90% of the club’s shares for a total of £51m. £13m of this amount will be available immediately and with the new season starting in April, it’s a great time for the newly-promoted side to get a cash injection.
It was only last year that he invested in Palace with an £87.5m stake in the club. This made him close to equalling Steve Parish’s 18% controlling stake in the club. Textor has publicly mentioned his love for the beautiful game and this is why he’s busy buying stakes in different clubs around the world.
In fact, also this week it was announced that he has also invested in the Belgian side Molenbeek RWD. His total ownership of this club is said to be around 80%.
With such large majorities in other teams, it makes you think that it’s only a matter of time before he takes a controlling stake in Palace. That’s if the other directors allow that to happen.
Textor’s comments on the deal
“I think when I came to Brazil I was looking for something that I thought would be easy, something I could handle,” Textor told BotafogoTV.
“I’ve led big businesses. I was looking at clubs in the First Division that have very small fan bases because I wanted to come in and rip up the business and organisational practices, market more effectively and build new channels of revenue.”
“When I was looking at these smaller clubs that I thought would be easier to handle, two young men that I worked with kept bringing up Botafogo. “I thought no – it’s like buying Newcastle or Manchester United, nobody buys Botafogo. Nobody should ever own these clubs but it happens that we do.”
“I think an owner is today’s caretaker until I die and this club goes 100 years beyond me.”
When any businessman owns two or more football teams, the question of loaning players between two clubs is always mentioned. This was clearly a question that the Botafogo fans and journalists questioning him had on mind. This is what he had to say:
“No club should ever be a feeder to another club,”
“This is its own country, its own people, they have their own passions and history. I can’t hijack that and say I’m going to take all of your best and send them to Crystal Palace. Why would I do that?
“It’s a rational fear but it’s not a logical fear. When you talk about the collaboration of top-tier clubs I think there is more opportunity to use this global footprint and these shared resources to efficiently access talent.
“For me to pick up the phone as I have several times in the last week to ask the sporting director at Crystal Palace what he thinks of players.”
Whether or not this will change over the following years is yet to see. Who knows, maybe even some of Palace’s players will join Botafogo in their later careers.
He was also adamant that though he has stakes in Crystal Palace, Botafogo are their own entity.
“I think the people in Brazil and the team we intend to strengthen will be very good at identifying top talent in Brazil,”
“They will know who works in the second level and they know who is in the first level and we’re going to have the capital. We’re going to be spending at a time when many clubs in the division won’t be spending, which will give us an advantage on players that are already in the first division transition.”
Palace Major Shareholder Trying to Find Funds to Complete Lyon Takeover
Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor was successful with his bid to take over the French Ligue 1 side, Lyon. However, he’s now in search of the funds as the deal is worth a whopping $799 million.
The American businessman is looking to acquire around 66% of the club’s shares which would obviously make him the majority shareholder. He’s already received investment from Cannae Holdings, which is controlled by Billy Foley who also owns the Nevada-based NHL team, Vegas Golden Knights.
With only two weeks left before the sale deadline, Textor is busy finding investment from people that he knows to get it over the line.
John Textor owns roughly 40% of Crystal Palace along with the other Eagles’ owners, Steve Parish, Josh Harris and David Blitzer. As we’ve reported before, Textor has bought up majority stakes in other football clubs including RWD Molenbeek in Belgium and Brazilian side Botafogo.
If his sports investment company, Eagle Football Holdings LLC, is successful in acquiring 66% of Lyon’s shares then he would have spent well over $1 billion in a short space of time.
Crystal Palace’s academy players are already benefitting from this multi-club approach. For example, Luke Plange is currently on loan at RWD Molenbeek where Textor is a majority shareholder.
There are always arguments against the multi-club system as some of the teams under the same ownership can end up as ‘farms’ for the bigger clubs. Meaning that they will sell the best players to the larger clubs in the group.
John Textor has already come out and said that this isn’t his plan, but we’re likely to see more academy players going out on loan to these other clubs that Textor and Harris, and Bitzer own.
Palace’s September fixtures with Man United & Brighton Postponed
With the Premier League season only six matches in, September is set to be a quiet month for Crystal Palace. Eagles fans already knew that the match with rivals Brighton & Hove Albion on the 17th of September would be cancelled due to another train strike across the country.
Then, the surprise death of Queen Elizabeth II meant that all Premier League matches were called off as a sign of respect. This means that Crystal Palace would have only played one fixture in September, the 1-1 draw away to Newcastle.
Crystal Palace vs Man United Match Postponed
The Crystal Palace fixture with Manchester United was postponed due to the Queen’s death. The two teams were set to face each other on the 12th of September in a Monday night clash at Selhurst Park.
Every other Premier League match was also called off over the weekend and this is why the match didn’t go ahead as a sign of respect. The difficult part now is to find when this game will be played.
Manchester United already have a packed fixture list due to the Europa League group matches and with Palace’s fixture with Brighton also being cancelled it’s going to be hard to reschedule them before the start of the World Cup in November!
Crystal Palace vs Brighton Match Postponed
Crystal Palace’s fixtures for their match against rivals Brighton was postponed due to train strikes on the day of the match. The majority of Palace fans would have got the train from Croydon and this obviously wouldn’t have been possible with the strikes.
The fans and players of both clubs look forward to this fixture each season so for it to be pushed back is disappointing. Brighton will have a new manager when the two teams do end up meeting as Graham Potter left the Seagulls to join Chelsea this month.
We’ll wait to hear when the Premier League finds a new date for this away match against Brighton.
When is Crystal Palace’s next match?
The fact that these two matches were postponed and with the international break taking place due to the Nations League fixtures, Palace’s next match isn’t until 1st October against Chelsea.
Funnily enough, Graham Potter’s first Premier League match with new club Chelsea will be against Palace after he joined from Brighton in September. The players that aren’t involved in the international matches will have some time off although they’ll still be training to keep their match fitness levels up.
This extended break could also mean that injured players like James McArthur, James Tomkins and Jack Butland are fit to return to team training and even feature in the squad.
Crystal Palace Unveil New Away Kit for 22/23 Season
Crystal Palace have released photos of the new away kit and it looks like it’s a hit with the fans. The kit is all white with the club’s famous red and blue colours in the centre of the kit. You can see what it looks like in the image above.
As we reported, Palace have changed the front of shirt sponsor from the betting website W88 to the specialist used cars sales website cinch. As well as this, Macron replaced Puma as the technical kit partner so all three kits will have a different feel to them than in previous years.
You can see more photos from the away kit release photo shoot below.
From the shoot 📸#CPFC— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) June 25, 2022
The release date for the home kit is still not known, but we expect it to look as good, if not better, than the new away kit above.
Palace fans can now preorder the kit via the shop on the club’s website or else it will be for sale in shops from August.
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