Rapper Stormzy & Premier League’s Wilfried Zaha Team Up To Buy English Football Club

"I'm so London, I'm so south."

Rapper Stormzy & Premier League’s Wilfried Zaha Team Up To Buy English Football Club

A three-person consortium led by British grime artist Stormzy, Premier League footballer Wilfried Zaha and former Crystal Palace employee Danny Young is set to take over AFC Croydon Athletic, a non-league side based in South London.

Just a short drive from Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, you’ll find Mayfield Stadium, a local 3000-capacity football ground. It’s a far cry from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, boasting a modest 300 seats and a small clubhouse for a drink after the weekend’s football action.

It’s also the home of non-league side AFC Croydon Athletic: a relative minnow in the English football pyramid, compared to some of the bigger clubs that call this part of London home, sitting nine tiers below the lofty heights of the English Premier League. But now, attention turns to the South London club with the recent news that a consortium led by one of the UK’s biggest artists is set to take over ahead of the new season.

It’s a homecoming for the Club’s new owners, who both grew up in the local area, but the acquisition of Croydon Athletic represents the latest in a string of celebrity football fans purchasing majority shares in local clubs, and fans will surely hope that with incoming star power, Croydon could go on a similar Wrexham-style journey and earn promotion up the English football pyramid.

In a statement released by the South London Club, “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.”

Adult season tickets for AFC Croydon Athletic’s 2023/24 are currently at £90 ($171 AUD) and kids can go free. For comparison, five Premier League clubs have surpassed the £1000 mark ahead of next season and Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal both charge north of £2000.

Can AFC Croydon Athletic play in the Premier League?

In short, yes. AFC Croydon Athletic currently play in Combined Counties Football League Premier Division South, nine tiers below the Premier League.

Should the South London Club gain promotion next season, they’ll be required to invest heavily in their stadium to reach the next division, the Isthmian League, but the pathway exists in the English football league system for Stormzy’s new side to play Premier League football, one day.

When Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over Welsh side Wrexham AFC in 2021, their intentions were clear; the aim for the ambitious pair was to be playing Premier League football in “eight to ten years” and whilst Stormzy and Zaha are focusing on local investment and growth, I’m sure they’d be lying if they said the prospect of gracing England’s top tier hadn’t crossed their minds…