Given that we’re not exactly flush at the moment, and were seemingly ready to embrace the sartorially-challenged Gold and Sullivan, it would of course be injudicious to take delight in the advert in today’s FT inviting bids for Crystal Palace. But come on. It’s snowing outside, I’ve had a lousy cold (made worse by the effect on the sinuses of short-haul flights), and despite the very welcome news late on Saturday Colchester, Swindon et al are closing the gap on us. We could all use a laugh, the easier the better.
“The club offers many benefits for an investor”. It seems the ad cites a “highly reputable” academy, plus revenue streams from player sell-on clauses and the freehold of the stadium. There is no mention of a consistent record in Premiership campaigns, or a penchant for appalling team strips. Or of the location and condition of said stadium (‘easy commuting to anywhere to make fast getaway from Norwood, except for tortuous journey to SE7; facilities in need of some renovation’). Perhaps the club’s greatest (and uncited) intangible asset is the apparent ability to turn Ambrose from a die-hard loser into a goal-scoring machine.
This could after all be our last chance to wave a fond adieu to a certain Jordan. In a recent Torygraph piece he was doing his best to talk up the price. "The administrator's job now is to save the club. I don't know how he is going to do it. I've seen the cash-flows. He's got a couple of months”. Now that’s salesmanship for you. In the article, which read like a personal valediction, blaming those nasty hedge funds for actually wanting to get their money back, he added "this administration is outrageous and utterly pointless. I felt royally shafted. I felt devastated, humiliated, embarrassed. I have done 10 years of my life and £35 million on Palace.” Not enough on either count might be considered fair comment.
So, just what is the asking price? According to Jordan, "I'm the biggest creditor and I'd like some of my money back. Am I asking for £30 million? No. £20 million? No. £15 million? ....” Well, keep going. The administrator was quoted as saying "I have to take the best offer to creditors. I'm open to offers, I don't have a figure in mind". I do, the only problem is that the postage stamp threatens to double my potential outlay.