Premier League star Wilfried Zaha, along with British rapper Stormzy, is among the consortium that purchased lower-level team AFC Croydon. The club is currently in the ninth tier of English soccer. The duo teamed up with former Crystal Palace employee Danny Young to purchase the Rams.
Although born in the Ivory Coast, Zaha moved with his family to Croydon when he was young. Stormzy grew up in the area as well. Croydon, a borough of southern London, also produced players like Emile Smith Rowe and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Zaha and Stormzy running childhood club Croydon
The club issued an official statement on the new ownership on Tuesday. “The consortium will own, operate, and develop their childhood hometown football club,” read the statement.
“Whilst completion is subject to legislative and governance procedures, the three consortium members are excited about developing a community asset in the borough that gave them their own opportunities. They hope to take the entire community on this exciting journey with them.”
The move may remind some fans in the United States of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s purchase of Wrexham. The Hollywood duo took over the lower-level Welsh side in late 2020. Since then, the relatively small club has garnered huge interest from across the pond. The new Croydon owners can hope that their club will receive a boost in curiosity and possibly move up the ranks.
Ivory Coast forward set for new playing opportunity
Zaha has purchased Croydon while his playing career is set for a major change. The forward’s current contract at Palace is about to expire and he will most likely move on to another club. According to Fabrizio Romano, Palace previously offered their star a financial package worth over $250,000 per week. However, Zaha has not accepted the deal.
Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr has reportedly offered Zaha a massive contract as well, but the player supposedly prefers to remain in Europe. Lazio, Marseille, and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the 30-year-old forward.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sebastien Frej
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