Terry Duffelen, at twofootedtackle.com, has posted a grim assessment of Croydon Athletic’s chances of survival.
Yesterday, the Ryman League allowed the postponement of the Thornton Heath-based club’s next two fixtures, while its place in the FA Cup had to be relinquished, the club unable to fulfil this Saturday’s fixture.
But without a new investor within the fortnight, the club will lose its place in the league.In his piece, Duffelen says that he questioned the financial status of the club a year ago, when watching them trounce Ryman League 1S opposition 7-0.
“I think it was after the fourth or fifth goal that I started to rethink this scenario. Looking around there were only a handful of supporters populating the home end and a half full grandstand.
“I’m no judge of a crowd size but it was hard to believe that there was much more than 100 paying supporters. Where were they getting the money from to pay for these players… many of whom were clearly capable of playing in a higher league?”
Now, with the club’s finances frozen pending police and Revenue & Customs investigations into the Rams’ co-owner, Mazhar Majeed‘s role in the Pakistani cricket spot-fixing allegations, any sort of operation, even on a normal, Ryman League club budget, may be rendered administratively impossible.
But without a playing and coaching staff, the football club faces more fundamental problems.
“The immediate future for Croydon Athletic looks grim. The Ryman League have agreed to postpone the next two league matches … while the club try to find the money, players and coaches to fulfil their fixtures. A difficult task, especially during a recession.
“Whether Croydon Athletic survive or not, it is most likely that the glory days are behind them. Without additional funds the club will almost certainly have to sustain itself on gate receipts and from its facilities. While not being an expert on non-league club finances, it is hard to see how the Rams existed this far up the pyramid if at all. It may well be incumbent on the fans to find a way through this mess, perhaps with the help of Supporters Direct.”