Croydon Athletic unlikely to face league expulsion

Your Local Guardian: Uncertain future: Croydon Athletic Uncertain future: Croydon Athletic

Croydon Athletic are unlikely to be thrown out of the Ryman League despite being charged with breaching rules in relation to player payments, the Croydon Guardian understands.

The Rams were charged this week with 24 breaches of Football Association's Rule E1(b) in relation to the 2009-10 season, when former owner Mazhar Majeed, jailed this month as the architect of a cricket spot-fixing ring, was in charge.

The FA has now confirmed those charges relate to payments of players under written contract - while sources inside the club are claiming this has to do with the way Majeed dealt with the club's taxes.

That means the club is likely to be handed a fine or points deduction rather than be chucked out of the league altogether.

They are expected to plead guilty at a personal hearing with the FA next month but will argue that those involved with the club at the time and responsible for the irregularities no longer have any relation to the Rams..

Although the FA will not chuck them out, a fine could force the Rams to close unless they find new investment, according to the club insider.

Owner Jenna Manji, Majeed's sister-in-law, is now thought to want nothing to do with the club and is unlikely to bail them out, the insider said.

A points penalty, similar to ones handed to Boston United and Folkestone Invicta in recent seasons, is also possible and would leave the Rams struggling to avoid relegation from Ryman Division One South.

An FA statement clarifying the charges said: "The charges relate to alleged breaches of the Football Association's rules relating to the payment of players under written contract."

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