Croydon Football Club is asking for donations after its clubhouse and stadium office was “ransacked and burgled” over two consecutive nights leaving the future of the club hanging in a knife-edge.
The club cannot afford to replace thousands of pounds’ worth of damaged or stolen goods and are asking the local community to chip in to save them as they face a race-against time to get facilities ready for a crunch relegation match in the Southern Counties League.
Many valuable and priceless items were stolen or destroyed as thieves made away with laptops, cash, stock and memorabilia.
The club has been part of the community for the last 66 years having started the careers of many professionals and the female section won the FA Cup in the 90s. It boasted former England manager Hope Powell among its players and its partner charity Kinetic Foundation has been a pathway for 30 local footballers to gain opportunities in the professional ranks – https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jan/06/kinetic-academy-football-talent-dreams
Club spokesman James Fotheringham said: “The football club has been on it’s last legs financially and with the now added cost of rebuilding the clubhouse, it is an expense that it simply cannot afford.
The Kinetic Foundation which has earned numerous accolades for the work it does supporting young people across the south London borough had used the site to run it’s community education and sporting programmes. As a result of the incident, Kinetic has had to put on hold sessions for 50 young people from accessing educational services.
“We built a community facility for people in the area last year and that’s what has been picked on. You do things for the right reason and they get kicked down,” James added.
However, James, who also plays at centre half for Croydon FC nicknamed “The Trams” hopes that everything will be back to normal in time for their “huge match this weekend” against Rusthall Football Club.
“What we need more than ever is for the crowds to turn out in numbers to show their support – every extra supporter through the turnstile not only helps the club back on its feet, but hopefully can cheer us on to victory in what is a real six-pointer as we fight to preserve our status in the league,” he said.