Last night Croydon Athletic FC escaped death by a whisker as the financial bond requested by the Ryman League and Football Association was paid before the midnight deadline, but in a statement the club made it clear that its future was far from secure: “Negotiations continue regarding the administration of the club and the paperwork required to take the club forward. A further statement will follow later on Wednesday evening when hopefully we can confirm Friday’s fixture will take place as arranged.”
That fixture is the Rams first since the beginning of September when club owner Mazhar Majeed was arrested after becoming embroiled in the international cricket match-fixing scandal. He had been given until midnight last night to provide the Ryman League and FA 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 , and the club is likely to go out of business.
The club has been given some hope of surmounting its troubles as landlord Croydon Council indicates it may waive £28,000 of debt arrears accrued on the Keith Tuckey stadium in Thornton Heath after Majeed’s assets were frozen, and a couple of investors are said to be interested in saving the club. A campaign has been mounted by Croydon Athletic supporters the Rams Army.
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.
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