Ground deal paves way for Palace rescue

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LONDON - Crystal Palace appeared to have been saved from collapse after their prospective purchasers agreed the outline of a deal on Tuesday to buy the Championship club's Selhurst Park home.

CPFC 2010, a group headed by London businessmen who wanted to buy the club, had made the purchase of the stadium in south London a condition of going ahead with the deal.

The stadium deal had run into a last-minute hitch and the club, founded in 1905, had faced the prospect of going into liquidation on Tuesday if no agreement had been reached.

Many of the club's financial problems stem from more than a decade ago when the ownership of the club and the stadium were separated under the terms of an earlier takeover.

Both the club and the former stadium owners had gone into administration in recent weeks - making a deal more complicated.

"PWC has reached an agreement in principle with CPFC 2010 in relation to the sale of Selhurst Park. This enables the consortium to go ahead with the purchase of both the Crystal Palace Football Club and Selhurst Park," banking group Lloyds said in a statement.

PWC are the administrators to the stadium, while Lloyds, via its Bank of Scotland arm, was the main creditor to Selhurst Park.

"We can now confirm that there are no material differences between ourselves and the Bank of Scotland regarding the sale of Selhurst Park," CPFC 2010 said in a statement on the club's website.

"Whilst it is not 100 percent done, we are confident that all the main barriers have been removed."

More than 100 Palace supporters had demonstrated outside Lloyds offices in central London earlier on Tuesday to press for a resolution. More than a thousand took part in a demonstration at the ground on Monday.

Palace have had four spells in the Premier League but have never been able to maintain a place in the top flight in recent seasons.

Their best days were two decades ago when, inspired by strikers Ian Wright and Mark Bright, the club reached the 1990 FA Cup final losing to Manchester United in a replay and finished third in the the top division the following season.

Hampered by a 10-point deduction, the club escaped relegation to the third tier of English football on the final day of last season.

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