Crystal Palace have five owners with a significant interest in the control of the Eagles. Steve Parish is also the longest-serving member of the Selhurst Park natives’ ownership, which includes John Textor.
The English businessman saved the south London outfit from extinction in June 2010 when his CPFC 2010 consortium struck a deal. Parish oversaw a rescue act as Crystal Palace entered administration to endure a 10-point deduction. The Eagles also lost their best players and manager, Neil Warnock.
Yet Parish’s tenure as the Eagles’ owner and chairman has seen Crystal Palace solidify a place in the Premier League. The Selhurst Park club have also welcomed further investment from many sources since. Josh Harris, David Blitzer and Textor also now each boast significant shares in Crystal Palace.
When did Parish, Textor and co become the owners of Crystal Palace?
Crystal Palace recognise five individuals as owners holding a significant interest in the control of the Premier League team. The Eagles list their owners as Steve Parish, Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Robert Franco and John Textor. Each individual named on the club’s website has a varying share in the club.
Textor is understood to own more than 40% of the shares in Crystal Palace, making the American the Eagles’ majority owner. Although his stake is controlled through Eagle Football, which boasts further investors. Parish, Harris, Blitzer and Franco own their shares in the south London natives individually.
Harris and Blitzer are both the second-largest shareholders in Crystal Palace as the pair each control stakes of 18%. While Parish has retained a shareholding of slightly over 10% since his CPFC 2010 – initially alongside Martin Long, Stephen Browett and Jeremy Hosking – rescued the Eagles in 2010.
Franco has the smallest shareholding among the majority owners of Crystal Palace at around 5%. The South African businessman first invested in the south London outfit in March 2020. But he injected further funds during March 2021 to help finance upgrades to Crystal Palace’s training ground.
His later investment saw Franco become an owner with a significant interest in the control of Crystal Palace. While Harris and Blitzer secured their shares in December 2015 with their initial £50m cash injection. The deal saw Long, Browett and Hosking all agree to reduce their ownership in the Eagles.
Textor was the last of Crystal Palace’s five owners to join the structure in August 2021. He bought a majority share in the Selhurst Park outfit for £87.5m after failing in an attempt to gain total control. While the Eagles used part of his investment to reduce the club’s debts and redevelop Selhurst Park.
What have Crystal Palace won with Parish, Textor and co as their owners?
The Eagles are yet to add a major title to Crystal Palace’s trophy cabinet since Parish, Textor, Harris, Blitzer or Franco became owners in the club. But Parish’s tenure as an owner and the Selhurst Park natives’ chairman has turned the once-financially-crippled team’s future around in terms of status.
Parish’s CPFC 2010 consortium saved Crystal Palace from collapse. It beat the administrator in control of the club’s June 1, 2010 deadline on the day the Eagles faced closing shop for good with its beyond-the-eleventh-hour deal to buy Selhurst Park for £4m off the Bank of Scotland through last-gasp talks.
Crystal Palace had just finished the 2009/10 Championship campaign in 21st place having staved off relegation by two points. The Football League’s 10-point deduction in January 2010 after the Eagles entered administration left the south London natives staring down the barrel at life in League One.
Parish’s takeover gave Crystal Palace a platform to rebuild from and the Eagles slowly edged clear of the relegation zone. Ian Holloway’s arrival in November 2012 as the third manager at Selhurst Park that term then saw Crystal Palace go on to win promotion after beating Watford 1-0 in the play-off final.
What other sports franchises do Parish, Textor and co own?
Parish is not the owner of any other sporting teams other than Crystal Palace. He made his wealth in computer graphics before investing in Adplates Ltd, which he later renamed as Tag Worldwide. While Williams Lea would later buy the production company from Parish after agreeing a deal in July 2011.
Textor owns a number of other sports franchises alongside Crystal Palace, however. He added RWD Molenbeek to his portfolio during January 2022. The football club played in the Belgian second tier at the time of his investment. But they secured promotion into the Pro League for the 2023/24 season.
Additionally, Textor’s Eagle Football group bought a 77.5% ownership stake in Ligue 1 giants Lyon in December 2022. Textor paid the Parc Olympique Lyonnais natives’ previous owner Jean-Michel Aulas $846m (£658m) for the club. He also agreed to provide a further $91m (£70) set aside for transfers.
Eagle Football also controls 90% of the shares in the Brazilian Serie A side Botafogo. Textor’s group bought the club in February 2022, despite his background being in virtual reality and visual effects. He also founded the human technology company Facebank and invested in a streaming service, FuboTV.
Like Textor, Blitzer also owns a football club from Belgian. The Crystal Palace chief is a shareholder in Waasland-Beveren through his Bolt Football Holdings. While the group even owns minority stakes in the German Bundesliga team FC Augsburg and the Dutch Eredivisie outfit ADO Den Haag, as well.
Harris and Blitzer have combined to buy several sports franchises
Blitzer’s interests in sport also extend outside of football and being a co-owner of Crystal Palace. The American private equity investor also owns shares in the NBA outfit Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL side New Jersey Devils. Blitzer even bought Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake in January 2022.
MLS chose Blitzer’s consortium, containing Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and private equity company Arctos Sports Partners, as its preferred buyer for Real Salt Lake. The league took control of the sales process. Blitzer is the controlling owner in Real Salt Lake, which ultimately sold for $400m (£310m).
The Cleveland Guardians also feature amongst Blitzer’s portfolio of sports franchises having bought into the MLB team in June 2022. His investment group bought an initial 25% stake in the franchise with a further 10% to follow in 2024. The sales agreement also gives Blitzer an option for the other 65%.
Harris, meanwhile, led a consortium including Blitzer in buying the Philadelphia 76ers in July 2011 for $280m (£217m). They also worked together to buy the New Jersey Devils in August 2013 for $320m (£248m). Harris and Blitzer would later agree to merge all of their interests during September 2017.
Crystal Palace co-owner Harris’ portfolio continues to grow
The Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment group also owns the 76ers-affiliated NBA G League team Delaware Blue Coats and the Devils-linked American Hockey League side Utica Comets. It also owns the esports team Dignitas and controls a minority stake in the Nascar team Joe Gibbs Racing, too.
NFL owners also unanimously approved the sale of the Washington Commanders to a group led by Harris in July 2023. The Harris Group agreed to pay $6bn (£4.6bn) for the FedEx Field franchise – a new record fee for any sports team in North America. Dan Synder had owned the team since 1999.
As for Franco, the South African is not the owner of another sports franchise than Crystal Palace. He made his wealth by founding Kloof Capital, whilst sitting on the board of Texton Property Fund Ltd since November 2019. Franco also continues to work as the chief financial officer of SteeleHarbour.
How much is Parish worth? What is Textor’s net worth?
No reputable publication cites the net worth of Crystal Palace co-owner Parish. But The Sun quoted a reported net worth of £45m as of May 2022. Similarly, Newcastle World only cited the estimated net worth of Textor at less than £1bn as of August 2021. But the amount was before Textor bought Lyon.
Estimates by Forbes, however, cite the net worth of Harris at $6.6bn (£5.1bn) as of July 2023. The UPenn alum’s wealth mainly derives from a 6% stake in Apollo Global Management. He co-founded the alternative investment firm headquartered in New York with Leon Black and Marc Rowan back in 1990.
Additionally, Forbes cites the net worth of fellow Crystal Palace co-owner Blitzer at $1.9bn (£1.4bn) as of July 2023. However, no reputable outlet currently claims or estimates the net worth of Franco.