Outrage amongst football fans as Sainsbury's bid for Crystal Palace ground

Outrage amongst football fans as Sainsbury's bid for Crystal Palace ground


Crystal Palace’s ill-fated football ground, Selhurst Park, is in danger of becoming a supermarket if its creditor, Lloyds TSB, decides to sell it to Sainsbury’s rather than accept the lower bid made by the fan consortium, CPFC 2010. 

Crystal Palace and its home ground Selhurst Park went into separate administrations earlier this year; the football club in January to P&A Partnership and the grounds in February to PricewaterhouseCoopers.


The former vice president of Tottenham Hotspur, Paul Kemsley, whose property empire was once thought to be worth £500 million, owned Selhurst Park until PwC took it into administration.


Kemsley’s assets are diverse; they include the former headquarters of Burberry, now on sale for £20 million, the Regency Arcade in Lemington Spa, and office blocks in New York.


However, despite being listed in The Sundays Times Rich List 2008 with a personal fortune estimated at £180 million, recent times haven’t been quite so prosperous for the property tycoon and he’s been forced to sell some of his assets.


So now with Kemsley out the picture, Lloyds is faced with a dilemma: whether to risk criticism from shareholders – including tax payers – by under selling the club to its fans, (CPFC 2010), or risk upsetting the sporting community and put an end to Crystal Palace all together by selling to developers.


It’s a delicate situation and one which, if mishandled, could risk damaging Lloyds’ already battered reputation. It highlights the complications involved when a bank becomes partially state funded – how do you please the nation?


So far, according to the Telegraph, the fans are offering to buy the park for £3 million, but PwC believe it to be worth £6 million and four other parties are in the running to acquire it – Sainsbury’s being one of them.

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