Palace chairman: Buying £27m Benteke was ‘madness’

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish admits that he initially thought spending £27m on Christian Benteke was “madness”.

Benteke cost Liverpool £32m in the summer of 2015 but then scored just nine Premier League goals as he lost his place under Jurgen Klopp.

The signing has shattered Palace’s transfer record, but Parish is a convert after speaking to the Belgian.

“I thought it was madness,” he said. “They [the investors] have more money than me! But they looked seriously at buying Aston Villa before and so he was a player that was familiar to them and they wanted to do it.

“You do wrap your head around it, but looking at it now, I don’t think it was outrageous. To sign a striker with that track record, there aren’t many of them around.

“I watched him at Liverpool and he still did okay. They probably didn’t suit him as well, with the way they are playing – he needs to get crosses in for him.

“Any doubts that I may have had evaporated as soon as I met him.

“He is a player that cares and he wanted to come to the football club and I have great faith also that he will get goals.”