Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

Croydon’s crisis

Posted by John Beech on September 7, 2010

Croydon Athletic are in serious danger of disappearing, as a result of issues surrounding their owner, Mazhar Majeed, who, it is reported, has been arrested by customs officers over claims that he has laundered tens of millions of pounds through Isthmian League Croydon Athletic (1).  Majeed has only been involved with the club since 2008.

In a fast-breaking story which is not well covered by the bigger papers, it appear s that manager Tim O’Shea and his assistant Neil Smith have resigned (2), Martin Eede has changed his mind about taking on the vacant role of Chief Executive (3), players wages have not been paid (4), HMRC officials have paid a visit (5), and matches are now being cancelled (6).  A deeply worrying position for the fans to find the club in.

Whether Majeed is innocent or guilty, and the matter is of course sub judice so I’ll refrain for commenting, it needs to be pointed out that over a year ago there were dire warnings that football clubs were particularly vulnerable to being used as vehicles for money laundering.  In July 2009 I blogged on a report (7) by FATF, an intergovernmental body (8), which drew attention to a number of cases of money laundering which had taken place in the football industry.

Just how slack is financial regulation in the football sector?  Can we really press on without some serious tightening up?

CROYDON UPDATE – 23 September 2010

Croydon Athletic have won the first major survival battle – the Isthmian League is allowing the club to resume playing ‘subject to certain conditions, to which the Club have agreed‘ (A).

4 Responses to “Croydon’s crisis”

  1. Great summary as usual John – worth noting that they have withdrawn from this weekends FA Cup 1st Qualifying round

  2. They were due to play my team Kingstonian in the FA Cup and Ks fans everywhere showed their true feelings of solidarity with their fellow-Isthmians, asking the key question: “Do we still get the prize money?”

    The Rams have also been allowed to postpone their next two league games in an attempt to salvage something from the wreckage.

    Worth noting that headlines such as “Croydon’s crisis” are a touch misleading, as there is a Croydon FC and you might upset some of their fans…who knows, maybe even all seven of them………(light the blue touch paper…& retire…)

  3. Margate play at Croydon Athletic this coming Wednesday. (November 17th) Should I pay a visit?

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