Money-laundering and fraud hits the Ryman Premier League
Peter Risdale, Eggert Magnusson, Malcolm Glazer, you are old news. We have a new most-hated club owner.
On Sunday the News of the World newspaper revealed that it had unearthed a betting scandal that may shake the very foundations of cricket. The ripples may be felt within non-league football also.
Mazhar Majeed, the agent accused of taking vast sums of money within the spot-fixing scam, is also the owner of Croydon Athletic of the Ryman League Premier division.
Croydon were a club on the up. They are unbeaten this season and won the Ryman Southern 1st Division last term. They have a talented management partnership in Tim O’Shea and Neil Smith.
The accusations, for the time being, remain so. But if they are proved, then Croydon will suffer. They may struggle to pay players and fulfill fixtures. Without the backing of their owner, they may cease to exist.
There may be many guilty parties and many people may be tried. But there are season ticket holders, supporters and a community who also have to undergo a trial that will involve much pain and suffering, although they are blameless. Their sentence may be emotional destruction.