Rams back in the game – but for how long?

Supporters are campaigning to save their beleaguered club Photo: Save Croydon Athletic FC

Croydon Athletic FC will play its first Ryman League fixture since the beginning of September this Friday but any victory may feel hollow as the club’s future hangs by a thread tonight.

Club owner Mazhar Majeed, arrested last month after becoming embroiled in the international cricket match-fixing scandal, has been given until midnight tonight to provide the Ryman League and Football Association with proof the Rams can complete their fixtures until the end of the season.

If he does not, the league will not extend their deadline despite the interest of a couple of investors and a big campaign by club supporters the Rams Army, and the club is likely to go out of business.

It was thought the deadline was Friday but Rams spokeswoman Karen Muir told the Elmbridge Guardian: “Midnight tonight is when Mazhar has to get the bond into the Football League which guarantees we can complete our fixtures for the rest of the season.

“He has to come up with that by midnight and if he does not it all falls apart.

“There are a few investors who are interesting in coming in but Maz is still the owner so is pulling all the strings and all the debts are related to him.”

The club had been given some hope of surmounting its troubles when landlord Croydon Council indicated it might waive £28,000 of debt arrears accrued on the Keith Tuckey stadium in Thornton Heath after Majeed’s assets were frozen, but now its future now looks precarious.

“It is unlikely the league will extend the deadline that has been given and that is fully understood by the club and all interested parties” warned Ryman League chairman Alan Turvey. “The club must be able to demonstrate that it will be able to complete the current season and place a financial bond with the league prior to the deadline.”

The away match against Aveley is fixed for Friday 24 September at 7.45pm. The Rams have not played since September 4 when manager Tim O’Shea and some players left having not been paid for three weeks. But supporters, who have been campaigning hard to save their club, are encouraging everyone to come to the game wearing the shirt of their own team and show that this is not just about saving Croydon Athletic, but for standing up for small, local football teams everywhere. They have also set up a Save Croydon Athletic FC facebook page.

Meanwhile, the club was given a boost when Croydon Athletic Academy side played its first fixture in the Football Youth Alliance on Tuesday and won convincingly 3-0 at the KT Stadium with goals from Joshu Eyeoyibo, Danian Ramsamy and Cody Best.

See also on Eastlondonlines

Embattled Rams fight for survival

Leave a Reply