Eagles can fly again

Image: Ron Noades: Optimistic

Ron Noades told Sky Sports News that Crystal Palace can have a bright future - but not under his ownership.

Dark days can herald new start, says Noades

Ron Noades told Sky Sports News that Crystal Palace can have a bright future despite their fincial troubles - but not under his ownership. The businessman was in charge at Selhurst Park during the dizzy days of the late 1980s and early 1990s which saw Palace finish third in the top flight and reach an FA Cup final. Noades has been linked with a return to south London following the announcement that the cash-strapped Eagles have entered administration for the first time since Simon Jordan's takeover in 2000. But despite taking an active interest in the Eagles' future - including an attempt to persuade new West Ham owner David Gold to bring his know-how to Palace instead - Noades will not be buying the club for a second time. He said: "Would I like to be involved? I would. "I suppose I'm conceited enough to think I could do it without putting the club in trouble again, which I suppose I proved over 17 years there. (But) I wouldn't make a bid." Noades believes there will be plenty of interest in Palace now that whoever takes them on will not have to deal with their debts. He said: "We are in the stockbroker belt. There's a lot of averagely wealthy, reasonably wealthy people here - I'm talking about people with a few million rather than £300m/400m - and there's probably 10-12 people with a few million who would probably be interested in becoming a director of Crystal Palace and putting something in. "On the other hand you may find that someone comes in with plenty of money and a business behind him who does want to be a chairman and owner. Either way I think the club's got a good opportunity - it'll get a fresh start with no debts." The priority for the new owner, according to Noades, must be the purchase of the freehold for their Selhurst Park home, which Palace are currently renting. The freehold is under the control of separate administrators following the collapse of the company which bought it from Noades. He said: "We have to get PriceWaterhouse and the banks to let the club purchase or take a long lease on the freehold so the club's got a future. When I left Crystal Palace they had a 99-year lease which is as good as a freehold."

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