Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and rapper Stormzy are close to becoming joint owners of non-league club AFC Croydon Athletic.
The pair are part of a three-man consortium, along with Palace’s former head of player care, Danny Young, that has agreed a deal to acquire the assets of the south London side. The club play in the Combined Counties Football League Premier South Division – the ninth tier of English football. Croydon announced contracts had been exchanged with the existing ownership and the consortium “will own, operate and develop their childhood hometown football club”.
A statement added: “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.”
Zaha, 30, was born in Ivory Coast but raised in the borough of Croydon. He is already involved in community projects in the area through his own charitable foundation and an Academy. Zaha tweeted: “May the journey begin.”
The latest announcement comes at a time of uncertainty over Zaha’s playing future, with his Palace contract expiring at the end of this month. The player has been offered a new deal at Selhurst Park but is yet to commit and has been linked with other clubs in the Premier League, elsewhere in Europe and Saudi Arabia.
Stormzy, 29, also hails from Croydon and has a longstanding friendship with Zaha.