Following the news of Josh Harris’ decision to purchase an 18% in Crystal Palace FC, The Guardian’s Steve Brenner has written an extremely informative piece, detailing his successes and failures whilst in charge of the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers; his other two sporting franchises in the US.
This piece offers the best insight yet into Josh Harris as a man, detailing his approach to ownership, both in New Jersey and Philadelphia, whilst also giving us all a sense of the personality that drives him from day to day. It’s a great read.
Whilst the American model for professional sporting organisations differs hugely from our own, with no threat of relegation as a consequence of poor performance, Harris’ approach, particularly in Philadelphia, has made waves across the pond.
Both the Devils and the 76ers were organisations that had fallen down the pecking order of success by the time Harris took control, but as Brenner’s thoughts above prove, his efforts since have been far from what you would expect of a billionaire hedge-fund owner.
Where other articles have failed to grasp a sense of the man behind the name previously, Brenner has managed to tease out a genuine sense of Harris’ personality, as shown through his actions with both clubs. Far removed from the power-hungry image many may have initially feared we’d be dealing with, this paints our new shareholder as a quiet and deeply intelligent man, who is keen to lean towards the potential of long-term glory over a quick fix.
There are bound to be plenty of other questions raised over the personality and ownership style of Harris from Crystal Palace fans in the months and years to come, but for now, the above article gives us the best insight yet into the type of man we now have sitting alongside Steve Parish on the board of directors.
In an era when the likes of Roman Abramovic and Mike Ashley are navigating choppy waters at their own clubs, we appear to have brought an extremely pragmatic and calm man into the mad house of Premier League football; god help him.