Local businessman and lifelong Crystal Palace fan Mark Smith has agreed a five year deal with the club that will see a significant investment directly in to the academy, hugely enhancing the investment the club already makes in developing Crystal Palace players of the future. Mark will work with the club to support other local charitable organisations over the five year term.
Mark said: “I recognise the commitment the owners of CPFC have made over the last couple of years since they saved the club and I am absolutely delighted to be able to help them by investing in the development of the Academy at Crystal Palace, which is close to mine and many other Palace fans hearts.”
Crystal Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett was obviously delighted with the news and commented: “The board are delighted that Mark has agreed to support the Youth Academy and we thank him wholeheartedly for his support of the club and for the investment he has made in backing our academy for the next five years.”
Head of Commercial at Palace, Chris Powlson said: ‘It’s great that we have reached an agreement with Mark. It is a unique deal that sees the club’s Academy benefit straight away from the investment, and in addition some of the rights of the agreement will be used to benefit local charities and community groups and assist their fundraising efforts. So this really is a huge win not only for the club but for the local community as well, and something I am very proud to be part of.”
The deal will run to the end of the 2017/18 season and support the ongoing objectives of the club’s academy. Crystal Palace F.C. is committed to developing young exceptional players to represent the club at first team level. These players will hopefully follow in the footsteps of recent academy graduates Wilfried Zaha and Jonny Williams to name just a couple.
Crystal Palace is also thoroughly committed to improving all aspects of the Youth Academy, especially in providing the very best facilities both in football and education.