John Textor to sell Crystal Palace stake, eyes Everton purchase

American businessman John Textor said Friday he is trying to sell his stake in Crystal Palace, which he owns 45% of through his company Eagle Football Holdings, and expressed an interest in purchasing Premier League rivals Everton.

Palace are one of four clubs Textor owns, along with majority stakes in French side Lyon, Brazilian first division club Botafogo and Belgian outfit RWD Molenbeek. He has appointed the Raine Group to find a buyer in his Palace stake.

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“As proud as we are to have been part of the resurgence of Crystal Palace, it remains true that Crystal Palace is an independent club run by a man with a steady hand who has achieved a level of sustainability that is incredibly rare in today’s Premier League,” Textor said in a statement.

“An integrated sporting model like ours at Eagle is simply not a perfect fit for Crystal Palace,” added the businessman, who is “proud” of his contribution to the club and is confident that a number of potential partners will step in.

Coach Oliver Glasner has revitalised a young Palace side, lifting them out of the relegation zone and into 10th place in the Premier League this season after replacing Roy Hodgson, which bodes well for their future.

Textor is keen to retain an interest in the Premier League and said Friday that he has held discussions about a potential investment in Everton.

Miami-based 777 Partners reached an agreement with Everton in September to buy out the 94.1% stake of the club majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri. The deal was subject to the approval of English soccer authorities, and it has yet to be finalized by the Premier League eight months later.

“Yes [I’ve had conversations around buying Everton],” Textor told The Athletic. “With the existing constituents — different groups, different lenders, different equity holders.

“I’ve asked them ‘is there a way to solve all this confusion and address everyone’s problems?’ I’m very open-minded to it but I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m not really welcome.

“I’m watching it but 777 still has a contract. There are people that are close to the club who care a lot about it who are also investing.”

The prospective sale has been thrown into doubt because 777 is facing a $600 million fraud lawsuit in a federal court in New York and its Australian airline is grounded. It has raised concerns about the group’s suitability as a soccer club owner and how it could pass the Premier League owners and directors test.

Eagle Football cannot buy another Premier League club without first selling its stake in Palace.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.