The future of Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park stadium is safe despite the club’s financial crisis, Croydon Council has pledged.

Fans have long feared the ground could be bought by developers and demolished to make way for more a profitable housing project, forcing The Eagles out of the stadium they have called home since 1924.

Concerns have been rife about the club’s future since it was forced into administration a fortnight ago, but Croydon Council has moved to quash the possibility of developers tearing down Selhurst Park as part of any buyout.

The stadium is owned separately from the football club by property magnate Paul Kemsley, whose £500m empire is also being dismantled by administrators.

Croydon Council’s current planning policy obliges any developer to keep the ground as a football stadium unless they are able to provide an alternative “within or close to the borough”.

If an owner decided to build a new ground for Crystal Palace, the council also expects an area of space equivalent to the current pitch to be retained on the site as ‘Local Open Land’.

Councillor Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning and conservation, said: “Because Crystal Palace is so important to our borough the council wants to do everything in its powers to ensure the future existence of the club at Selhurst Park.

“Our existing planning policies restrict the use of Selhurst Park, and policy that’s emerging through the new local development framework will offer at very least the same level of protection.

“The council wants to make it clear to anyone considering a financial stake in the club that the future of the ground is non-negotiable.

“As far as the council is concerned, Selhurst Park is a sports venue and it will remain that way. It’s not a plot of land that someone can buy and then seek to turn into a housing estate.

“I hope this sends a very clear message that the council wants to encourage only serious bidders who have the long term interests of Crystal Palace Football Club uppermost in mind.”

Selhurst Park is expected to sell for several million pounds if a suitable buyer can be found - a marked increase from when the former brickfield was bought for £2,750 from the Brighton Railway Company in 1922.

Section 6.57 of Croydon Council’s Unitary Development Plan states: The presence of a Premier/Football League Club within Croydon brings many economic, social and cultural benefits.

It is therefore important to protect the facilities that are considered necessary for the retention of such a club. These include the pitch, stands, clubhouse and car park.

There may be circumstances where a new stadium can be provided elsewhere, in which case the redevelopment of the site may be considered.

However, the new stadium should be within or close to the Borough in order to retain the historic link with Croydon.