Sport

Crystal Palace sell £87.5million stake to American businessman John Textor to help fund Patrick Vieira rebuild

AMERICAN virtual reality bigwig John Textor has pumped nearly £90million into Crystal Palace to help fund new boss Patrick Vieira’s rebuilding job.

Textor bought a minority stake in the Premier League club this summer.

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He joins chairman Steve Parish and fellow Americans Josh Harris and David Blitzer on the board.

Textor is the Florida-based founder of virtual entertainment company Facebank.

And he has already helped Vieira land midfielder Michael Olise plus defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen.

Their combined transfer fees total more than £40m.

Parish said: “We have been looking for the right investor for a while.

“I’m delighted that search led us to John, who has invested significant sums, helping to facilitate the rejuvenation of the squad, bolster the balance sheet and enable the club to finalise the academy.”

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Textor was close to buying shares in Portuguese club Benfica until president Luis Filipe Vieira was placed under house arrest over allegations of tax fraud and money laundering.

He said: “I have looked at many opportunities across European football in which to invest so I could follow my passion for football and have a meaningful stake in a club.

“Over the past six months, I’ve also developed a real affinity to Crystal Palace, its history, the staff and the supporters.”

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