Troubled Croydon Athletic FC has had to release two more players this week, and although a new signing was revealed, the club is still struggling both on and off the pitch.
Defender Danny Dudley, and striker Charlie Sharman are the latest to leave the Keith Tuckey Stadium, with the latter telling supporters in a club statement that he had to “concentrate on work matters”.
The high rate of players leaving the club has made new signings even more vital. Former Tooting and Mitcham player Charlie Sharman was one of the many new signings since the club’s inadvertent role in the Pakistani match-fixing scandal.
Chairman Mazhar Majeed was at the centre of allegations of illegal spot-fixing, leaving the club unable to pay wages and on the brink of administration. Just two weeks later the club’s chairman, David le Cluse was found dead after a suspected suicide in his home in Surrey, days after speaking about his concerns over the controversy.
Since the club’s finances have deteriorated, the team has undergone complete upheaval, giving opportunities to players from other clubs who were not getting a chance to play.
Manager Dave Garland said he was, “full of praise for them”. However, Garland, who has recently only regained his position after losing his job in 1998, added: “Unfortunately it’s money that gets you forwards and forwards that get you goals.”
The club’s off-field problems have had a damaging impact on results, as Croydon sit bottom of the Rymans league after 18 games, with a minus goal difference of 24.
Some fans are feeling deflated by developments. Harry Watler, 29, who is a waiter, living in New Cross, and who has supported the Rams since he was young, said: “It’s incredible to think of how different the team are. Considering what has happened it’s just good that were still here.”
Vicky Lewis, 24, from Thornton Heath said: “The team have been really unlucky, and no-one is to blame but the chairman.”