The multi-award-winning musician Stormzy has joined forces with Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and former Palace head of player care Danny Young to buy AFC Croydon. Borned (Stormzy) and raised (Zaha) in the district of Croydon, South London, this is the new owners’ way to give back to their community. Forget the millions of the Premier League, this is another story. Because the AFC Croydon plays in the English 9th division, where professionalism is utopia. But this is nothing like the “Wrexham case.” Let me explain for those who don’t know.
The “Wrexham case”
November 2020, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney buy English 5th division club Wrexham and, from that moment, get massive media attention, 1M followers on Instagram and a docu-series called ‘Welcome to Wrexham’. As the two smart entrepreneurs they are, Reynolds and McElhenney manage to make a local phenomenon become mass. What they understood is that people really like stories of small communities that somehow, in one way or another, make it. And they had absolutely no interest in English amateur football. But for Stormzy and Zaha it’s different.
A New Chapter
In general, there’s a lot of enthusiasm around them leading the club after the hard times. AFC Croydon was indeed formed in 2012 by fans of Croydon Athletic FC after that club withdrew from the Isthmian League during the 2011/2012 season and eventually folded. Now the future seems bright. With Stormzy and Zaha taking ownership, the club will get visibility with a relatively modest financial investment. But this time it’s not like the guys from Hollywood coming in.