Croydon branded as ‘a sad suburb’ in French newspaper

An artist's rendition of Croydon in 2020. Pic: Croydon Council

An artist’s rendition of Croydon in 2020. Pic: Croydon Council

A newspaper in France branded Croydon a ‘dull and monotonous’ suburb after its journalists were sent there to cover the games of their national team in the Rugby World Cup.

The report in Metro News described Croydon as ‘a sad suburb’, suggesting that it is not worthy of hosting the French national rugby team. The report also contained unflattering photographs of the south London suburb.

Commenting on the town’s regeneration after the 2011 riots, the author of the article wrote: “Since those nights of fire, calm has returned obviously in this corner of south London, which enjoys a large investment program starting to bear fruit.

“But no miracle, Croydon remains dull and monotonous, especially in its northern part, much more urbanized than the south.”

However, Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of the Croydon Business Improvement District, defended his beloved town. He said: “This is a time to rejoice as Croydon transforms itself with the arrival of Westfield and Hammerson, the likes of Boxpark Croydon, a shift towards innovative festivals and events such as Ambition held in July and the focus on culture and the arts with galleries such as RISE opening in the past year.

“Taking into account the blossoming Croydon Tech City, our borough has much to offer both in the here and now and in the future.”

French journalist Clémentine Sarlat came under fire from the British press because one of her Tweets was posted alongside the original article. She is not, however, the author of the piece and has since claimed that she loves the town on Twitter and that British journalists simply did not understand the situation.

UPDATE: Chris Philp, Croydon South’s MP expressed his disapproval of the harsh judgments. He said: I absolutely disagree with this judgement of Croydon. Croydon is a borough rich in culture and wonderfully diverse.

“It is an economic powerhouse with a town centre currently going through a very exciting regeneration as well as a beautiful leafy border with Surrey. Many of our green spaces in Croydon are proud holders of prestigious Green Flag awards.”

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