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November 18, 2015

Reports: Sixers owner to invest in English soccer team

Harris buying ownership stake in Crystal Palace club

Sixers owner Joshua Harris is throwing his money into another sports franchise. Don't worry, though, it's not another Philly division rival from Newark.

Instead, it's an English soccer club. Along with David Blitzer, who co-owns the Sixers as well as the New Jersey Devils, Harris is close to purchasing 18 percent of the Premier League's Crystal Palace club, ESPN reports.

Co-chairman of the team Steve Parish, who is looking to redevelop Crystal Palace's South London home stadium, is looking for outside investors to expand the club's reach after saving it from bankrupcy in 2010.

He was also at the Sixers' home loss to the Dallas Mavericks with Harris Monday night:

According to the BBC, three fellow co-owners of the team will diminish their 25 percent shares to 18.33 percent in order to accommodate Harris and Blitzer.

It's hard to imagine that a helicopter-riding billionaire -- who happens to own your local basketball franchise -- purchasing part of a soccer (ahem, "football") team in England will get anybody into the sport.

But just in case the abysmal state of Philly sports has you yearning for some new fandom, here's the skinny on Crystal Palace. 

They've only been in England's top tier of football since 2013 after an eight year absence. The last two seasons, they've finished eleventh and tenth in the Premier League.

This season, however, they're currently eighth and only two points out of the automatic qualifier spot in the Europa League, Europe's second tier football tournmanet, and only five points out of a guaranteed spot in the Champions League, Europe's top tier football tournament.

If all of that confuses you, you can check out this handy explanatory guide to how European leagues work.