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Showbusiness stars to rescue cash-strapped football club?

PUBLISHED: 15:20 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:25 12 August 2010

HOPEFUL: An Eagles supporter peers through the locked gates at Selhurst Park.

HOPEFUL: An Eagles supporter peers through the locked gates at Selhurst Park.

A HOLLYWOOD actor is in talks with a mystery contact about investing in a troubled football club. Crystal Palace FC fan, actor and

SUPPORTER: Jim Piddock.

A HOLLYWOOD actor is in talks with a mystery contact about investing in a troubled football club.

Crystal Palace FC fan, actor and producer Jim Piddock, now based in LA, told the Times that he had received a call from someone interested in investing in the club but would not name them.

The club counts among its fans Liam Neeson OBE, comedians Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand, actors Timothy Spall and Bill Nighy - who is also patron of Palace's Disabled Children's Club.

The Independence Day actor and screenwriter, said: "I have fielded a call from someone who is interested in the long haul that will be beneficial to the club. I can't say who it is but it is someone who is involved in show business like I am. I have also talked to a couple of other people, who may be interested in investing together in some sort of consortium. But that kind of thing takes a long time to work out."

Mr Piddock founded the Crystal Palace Supporters Club in 1999 with sportswriter Paul Newman and lawyer Richard House when The Eagles last went into administration.

He said: "I am confident they will find an investor or ideally more than one investor. Football rarely works with a single benefactor."

Piddock put fellow Palace fan Eddie Izzard in touch with the Supporters Trust this week days after news broke that the club was in the hand of administrators. He worked with in What About Dick?at the Ricardo Montalban theatre, Hollywood. The comedian, whose family lived next to the stadium, was the headline act at the comedy night Glad All Over at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon to raise funds for club staff when it last went into administration.

Lesley Palmer, Secretary of Crystal Palace Supporters Trust said: "Eddie Izzard has got in touch and said that he is here if we need him to help with fundraising.

"David 'Kid' Jenson, another of our famous fans, has also said he would compere for us if we do a fundraiser."

The club also counts comedian Jo Brand as a supporter. She was due at the club on Tuesday as a sponsor of the FA Cup replay match on Tuesday against the Wolves.

Ms Palmer added: "Palace does have a lot of comedian supporters - there must be a reason for that!"

Croydon-born James Buckley, of The Inbetweeners, also threw his weight behind his team.

The actor, last seen as Del Boy in BBC1's Rock and Chips, said: "I am genuinely upset about what has happened, if the club didn't exist I would be one of those people that just supported football. I wouldn't have a team. All my family support Crystal Palace, it is a part of my family history and I guess I didn't have much choice in being a fan.

"It is a real shame that everything has gone the way it has with Simon Jordan because I think we were really lucky to have a chairman with really genuine and pure intentions who wanted the club to do well and put money into the youth arm of the club.

"I love Simon Jordan, he is the kind of personality that makes the game more interesting but now the future looks bleak. We are in debt, we can't expand our stadium, I am not sure what anyone can do with Palace.

"Crystal Palace is a true football club with good honest fans. If an investor wants to take a club and genuinely see how it could improve and give it ambition, it would be a great investment.

"I would be more than happy to support any fundraising and help Palace in any way I can.

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