Entertainment

Stormzy set to become owner of AFC Croydon with footballer Wilfried Zaha

Stormzy is set to become joint owner of non-League club AFC Croydon (Ian West/PA)
Stormzy is set to become joint owner of non-League club AFC Croydon (Ian West/PA) Stormzy is set to become joint owner of non-League club AFC Croydon (Ian West/PA)

Stormzy is set to become an owner of AFC Croydon alongside football player Wilfried Zaha.

The pair are part of a three-man consortium, along with former Crystal Palace head of player care Danny Young, that has agreed a deal to acquire the assets of the south London side.

The non-league team plays in the Combined Counties Football League Premier South Division – the ninth tier of English football.

Croydon announced contracts had been exchanged with the existing ownership and the consortium “will own, operate and develop their childhood hometown football club”.

A statement added: “Whilst completion is subject to legislative and governance procedures, 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.”

Stormzy hails from Croydon and has a long-standing friendship with Zaha.

Last year, the 29-year-old grime star launched a football programme with Adidas to improve diversity in the sport by helping young black people secure roles off the pitch.

#Merky FC is also a collaboration with partners such as Manchester United and Sky Sports.

Stormzy
Stormzy Stormzy is a passionate football fan (Will Matthews/PA)

It was announced in November to address the lack of diversity in positions such as team managers, coaches and behind the scenes by providing access to multi-year, paid professional placements.

He also has his charity #Merky Foundation and #Merky Books, a collaboration with publisher Penguin Random House and since 2018 has provided scholarships for black students at Cambridge university.

Zaha was born in Ivory Coast but raised in the borough of Croydon.

The 30-year-old Crystal Palace forward is already involved in community projects in the area through his own charitable foundation and an academy.

Zaha tweeted: “May the journey begin.”