Croydon businessman in court over Pakistan cricket scam

Croydon businessman Mazhar Majeed will appear before City of Westminster magistrates today in connection with the cricket spot-fixing inquiry, along with the three Pakistani Test players under suspicion, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

As well as working as the trio’s agent, Majeed’s other sporting interest was Croydon Athletic football club, where his family were, until four months ago, the controlling shareholders.

After Majeed’s withdrawal, together with the funding that had helped the club win promotion last season, the coaching staff and many of its players quit the club, complaining of being unpaid.

Dean Fisher, the club’s chairman before Majeed’s involvement, was jailed last July for a £500,000 fraud in which he diverted his employers’ cash in to the club’s funds. Then in October, Croydon Athletic’s chairman, David Le Cluse, committed suicide.

Croydon Athletic are now second from bottom in the Ryman Premier League, and they have been investigated by the Football Association for alleged financial irregularities.

The new 51 per cent owners are a Danish consortium, Fodboldselskabet. The consortium  chairman, Palle Katring-Rasmussen, was Denmark’s Mr Universe in 2008.

“The main reason our shareholders are involved in Fodboldselskabet is their sincere interest and admiration for English football,” a spokesman for the consortium, told The Guardian.

“Croydon Athletic offers a great opportunity for growth through an economically responsible business plan and co-operation with the local community and fans.”

It remains unclear how, or how much, the Danes have paid for the club. The other 49 per cent belongs to Majeed’s sister-in-law, Jenna Manji.

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