Croydon Athletic fined and docked ten points by FA
CROYDON Athletic has been fined £7,500 and docked ten points by the Football Association (FA) for financial irregularities.
An independent regulatory commission today found the Rams had committed 24 breaches of FA regulation E1(b), relating to payments to players under contract.
The charges relate to the 2009-10 season when the Rams won the Ryman League Division One South.
A statement on the FA's official website said the club had been warned about its future conduct.
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The points deduction takes immediate effect and leaves Athletic at the bottom of the Ryman League Division One South, 11 points from safety.
The club had already admitted the charges but officials, who were not in charge at the time, had sought a personal hearing.
In a statement on the Rams' website, chairman Chris Roots said: "We were happy that we received a fair hearing and thank the FA and the panel for its consideration.
"Our immediate focus remains securing new ownership for the football club so that we can start to look forward."
The fine and points deduction comes a month after former owner Mahzar Majeed – whose period at the club covers the season in question – was jailed for his part in the cricket spot-fixing scandal.
Majeed, arrested in August 2010, was sentenced to a jail term of 32 months for offering three Pakistan cricketers money to bowl no-balls, following an investigation by the now closed News of the World.
The future of the club was thrown into doubt in September 2010, with bills, staff and players going unpaid.
Tim O'Shea and Neil Smith, the management duo who steered the team to promotion, left soon after, as did most of the players. Bob Langford and Dave Garland took over managing the first team.
The club was able to resume the league season after Majeed paid a bond, understood to be £10,000, to the Ryman League last September, guaranteeing they would fulfil their fixtures.
In October 2010, David Le Cluse, who had become chairman, took his own life, an inquest later decided.
Last December, a Danish Company, Fodboldselskabet A/S – known as The Football Company – paid an undisclosed sum for a 51 per cent stake in the club to give it new investment.
But in March the firm folded, and control of the club reverted to Majeed's sister-in-law Jenna Manji, who remains the registered owner.
Chris Roots stepped up from chief executive to chairman and declared the club were "financially secure" with "debts the lowest they have been for a number of years".
Despite valiant attempts to keep them up, the Rams suffered relegation back to the Ryman League Division One South in April.