Tag: Croydon Athletic

100 Owners: Number 94 – Mazhar Majeed (Croydon Athletic)

It is very seldom that a non-league football club makes the headlines of a national newspaper for any reason other than a surprise result in the FA Cup, but at the start of the 2010/11 season exactly this happened to Croydon Athletic of the Ryman League Premier Division when The News Of The World reported a covertly recorded interview, beginning a chain of events that would end in death, imprisonment and the closure of the club. But how did a previously anonymous football club from the southern suburbs of London come to get involved in this story, and what did the experiences of Croydon Athletic have to teach us about the dangers of that very anonymity? The summer of 2010 was a time of celebration for Croydon Athletic. At the end of the previous season, the club – which had been founded in 1986 – had win Division One South of the Ryman League, taking it to its highest ever level of football. The club had been owned by Mazhar Majeed, a British-based agent, property developer and bookmaker in his mid-thirties, since 2008 and Majeed had been spending lavishly on the team to ensure promotion. As the new season started, however, footballing concerns would become amongst the last things on the mind of anybody at the club. On the twenty-eighth of August 2010, The News Of The World reported a story that would...

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Tales From The Deep End: Non-League Football’s Difficult Start To 2012

This year has been a difficult year so far for several of our non-league clubs. Mike Bayly has a round-up of what has been going on at the foot of football’s food chain.  By any measure of austerity, it’s been a fairly turbulent week in the world of non-league football. On Sunday evening, the main stand at Rossendale United’s vacant Dark Lane ground was completely destroyed in what police are treating as a suspected arson attack. The fire was just one in a long line of depressing incidents at the ground over the last couple of years. In June 2011, the programme sellers hut was burnt out following an “arson incident” with other acts of theft and vandalism causing significant damage to the troubled venue. Coupled with accusations that the club was being mismanaged and left to stagnate, the Lancashire side were expelled from the North West Counties League at the end of last season after failing to pay their membership fees. There had been talk of a Phoenix Club – Rossendale FC – reforming in the near future, though whether their intention was to play at the Dark Lane ground which is still owned by Rossendale United’s former chairman Andrew Connolly is unclear. As an epitaph, there was a macabre inevitability about it all. Set against the backdrop of a gloomy windswept housing estate, the club struggled for long periods...

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Is The End Nigh For Croydon Athletic?

It was a story that started almost a year and a half ago in a blaze of publicity which involved a major newspaper, allegations of corruption in another sport, a non-league football club and suicide. Now, with the half-way point in the following season fast approaching, it seems almost certain that the final chapter to play out in the life of Croydon Athletic Football Club will end in the collapse of a club which found itself thrust into the front page of newspapers around the world and, as the authorities pick over the carcass of this club over the next few weeks and months, a question well worth asking will be that of how nobody came to recognise the signs that there was something terribly, horribly wrong at this club earlier than it was. Croydon Athletic gave a very familiar death rattle last week, when they were unable to field a team for their Ryman League match at Ramsgate. This followed the award of a ten point deduction and a £7,500 fine against the club for financial irregularities stemming from its ownership at the hands of Mazhar Majeed, whose world had started to come tumbling down during the summer of 2010. Twenty-five charges of misconduct had been levied against the club by the FA relating to Majeed’s ownership of the club, during which time it was promoted from Division...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week

For those of you viewing Twohundredpercent on our mobile site, you will be able to view this post better by clicking here. It’s time, then, to wind down with our weekly selections of non-league highlights from the last seven days. Our first match this evening comes from Twerton Park, and it’s the Blue Square Premier match between Bath City and Wimbledon. Wimbledon are still chasing a place in the Football League and needed three points from their trip to the west country from this match. Bath, however, may still harbour hopes of a place in the play-offs at the end of the season and provided a stiff test for the team that has spent much of the last few months at the top of the table. Our second match comes from the Premier Division of the Ryman League. Croydon Athletic have had about as dramatic a season as any team could possibly imagine, and are sitting near the foot of the table. They would have one of their most difficult matches of the season on Saturday against Bury Town, who are in second place in the table and are still chasing the coat-tails of the league leaders Sutton United. Our final match comes from the Premier Division of the Zamaretto League and is between Cambridge City and Brackley Town. Cambridge managed to get themselves an extension on their Milton...

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The Danes Are Back, And Croydon Should Be Wary

In their last league match, Chester FC beat Skelmserdale United by four goals to nil to stay top of the Evostik League Division One North. It was their fifth successive league win and was watched by a crowd of over 2,700 people. By any measure that we choose to use, the work of City Fans United, who rebuilt the club after the death of Chester City earlier this year, has to be regarded as an enormous success. It shouldn’t, be forgotten that there was a period during which the possibility of the trust taking over the running of the club was in considerable doubt, thanks to the unwanted intervention of the Danish group Fodboldselskabet A/S, who first attempted to buy Chester City and then tried to secure the lease for The Deva Stadium ahead of CFU. Anybody that thought that this Danish group might have learnt some lessons from this will probably get the chance to find out over the coming months after the group bought a fifty-one per cent share in Ryman League Premier Division club Croydon Athletic. Croydon made headlines themselves earlier this year after their owner, Mazhar Majeed, was caught by a hidden camera stating that he had laundered millions of pounds earned from global betting scams through Croydon Athletic’s accounts. Majeed’s assets were frozen by HMRC and the club’s manager, Tim O’Shea, left the club...

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