Croydon Athletic have been given another stay of execution, with a deadline of noon today to assure the organisers of the Isthmian League that the club will be able to fulfil its fixture and financial commitments through the rest of the season.The club has been in meltdown for the past month, ever since its owner Mazhar Majeed was seen shuffling piles of cash on the News of the World’s secret filming of its Pakistan spot-betting sting.
Majeed was arrested last month on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers and money laundering. The club’s finances have in the meantime been frozen, the tax man has delved deep into the accounts, and the expensively (by non-League standards) acquired coaching and playing staff have walked out, after not being paid for three weeks.
The Ryman-sponsored Isthmian League originally gave the shellshocked Rams board until close of business yesterday to demonstrate that they will be able to continue as a viable team in the Ryman Premier League by depositing a financial bond.
A source told Inside Croydon this morning that “the club has done a lot of things” to satisfy the Ryman League organisers, persuading them to extend the deadline, although Alan Turvey, the chairman of the league, was not immediately available for comment.
Croydon Council, despite widespread cuts elsewhere, seems prepared to waive about £28,000 in unpaid rent on Croydon Athletic’s council-owned ground to help the club’s plight.
Croydon Athletic have not played since September 4, when Tim O’Shea, the manager, and his players left, with local games against Tooting & Mitcham and Sutton United since postponed.
If given clearance today, Croydon Athletic may be expected to play their next league game on Friday.