Zaha and Stormzy Join Forces to Buy AFC Croydon Athletic

Crystal Palace footballer Wilfried Zaha and British rapper Stormzy, who both grew up in South London, have teamed up with Danny Young, head of player care at Crystal Palace, to acquire AFC Croydon Athletic, a non-league club.

The announcement of the takeover was made by AFC Croydon on social media, expressing their excitement about entering a new era, pending approval from the Football Association and the league. The trio, united in a three-man consortium, will take charge of their hometown football club, overseeing its ownership, operations, and development.

AFC Croydon Athletic, located in Thornton Heath, Croydon, competes in the Combined Counties League Premier South Division, which is the ninth tier of English football. The team, known as The Rams, plays their home matches at the Mayfield Stadium, which can accommodate 3,000 supporters and has 300 seats.

Established in 2012 by fans of the now-defunct Croydon Athletic, AFC Croydon finished 15th in the previous season, avoiding relegation by nine points. The team is managed by Kevin Rayner and Lee Roots.

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Wilfried Zaha took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm for the AFC Croydon takeover, stating, “May the journey begin.” Zaha, who has had a successful career primarily with Crystal Palace and a brief stint at Manchester United, is highly regarded by Crystal Palace fans and is considered one of the club’s greatest players. He recently launched his own academy in 2021 to provide opportunities for young players.

Stormzy, awarded the freedom of Croydon earlier this year, also shared his excitement about the takeover on Instagram through an emoji featuring a house, a football, and a heart. The singer-songwriter expressed his deep connection to Croydon, being born, raised, and educated there, and expressed gratitude for receiving the Freedom of the Borough award.

The AFC Croydon takeover has received widespread praise from football fans on Twitter, with many expressing their support for the local club and wishing them success. Supporters highlighted the positive change and extended well wishes to AFC Croydon and its management.

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