Wilfried Zaha and Stormzy agreed to buyoff AFC Croydon Athletic

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The pair have formed a consortium with Danny Young, former Palace player care head, which has exchanged contracts with the current owners of the Combined Counties League Premier South Division team in the ninth tier of the English football pyramid.

“The consortium will own, operate, and develop their childhood hometown football club,” read a Croydon statement. “While completion is subject to legislative and governance procedures, all of the consortium members are excited about developing a community asset in the borough. This gives them their own opportunities.

“They hope to take the entire community on this exciting journey with them.”

Zaha, 30, is set to enter football ownership. He follows Jamie Vardy, who is co-owner of Rochester Rhinos, while Gerard Pique is owner of FC Andorra in La Liga 2.

The Palace winger, who is out of contract this summer, has been friends with Stormzy for years. The Ivory Coast international also owns Espoir Club D’Abengourou in his homeland after buying it with his brother as a co-owner.

Zaha was born in Ivory Coast but raised in Croydon, where he has been involved in community projects through his own charitable foundation and Academy.

His new club was founded in 2012 “after a group of supporters gathered at Selhurst Evangelical Church in South Norwood to form the club”, according to its official website. They were formed following Croydon Athletic FC’s “demise”, after its owner Mazhar Majeed was embroiled in cricket’s spot-fixing scandal.

Zaha tweeted: “May the journey begin.” On his own future, he has been offered another deal at Selhurst Park but is yet to commit. He has been linked with other clubs in the Premier League, elsewhere in Europe and Saudi Arabia.

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