'Match-fixer' Majeed's club out of business, fans distraught

Updated: 07 September 2010 18:15 IST

The mansion that Mazhar Majeed owns was often the scene of lavish parties that were sometimes at odds with the rest of this quiet enclave in Croydon.

'Match-fixer' Majeed's club out of business, fans distraught

Croydon (England):

The mansion that Mazhar Majeed owns, worth 1.8 million pounds, was often the scene of lavish parties that were sometimes at odds with the rest of this quiet enclave in Croydon, South London. Now, the intercom at the gate of his two-acre estate, where he lived with his wife, Sheliza, and their two daughters, rings out. Lately, 35-year-old Majeed has been seen only in a series of hidden camera excerpts that present him as the catalyst in one of cricket's most damaging controversies.

Majeed's father moved from Faislabad to the UK in the 60s. Majeed made his fortune five years ago; on record, he owed his accelerated success which included an Aston Martin and a Jaguar, to a large property development business, and a smaller one as an agent for Pakistani cricketers.

But his iterations on tape imply that it was actually his cricket-related finances that brought him the bulk of his fortune. Majeed, chatting to an undercover reporter, boasts of the millions made through match-fixing. He offers three no-balls in the England vs Pakistan test match at Lord's to the reporter. These will prove that he can rig play, he proposes. And then he delivers. The no-balls were delivered to order by bowlers Mohhammed Asif and Mohammed Amir. The Pakistani captain, Salman Butt, is the ring-leader, declares Majeed. The cameras record silently, cueing a scandal that has led to the suspension of Butt, Amir and Asif by the International Cricket Council. There is worse to come, say those investigating the corruption scam.

In 2008, Majeed bought the Croyden Athletic Football Club.  On tape, he virtually confesses to using the club to launder thousands of pounds.  Now, the money has dried up. "The cheque didn't go through last week," says Ben Judge, who plays for the club.  In fact, the cheques issued by Majeed  over the last three weeks to the players have all bounced.

"Everything that's gone on in the past week has affected everybody... we apologise that we can't carry on anymore... we've tried," says Neil Smith, the club's Assistant Manager, to local fans.  A young girl breaks down.

"I knew Maz fairly well. He seemed like a really nice person, but obviously you don't know about people's private lives. It's really sad that it takes one man to rip the heart and soul out of a community club," says a fan.


Topics : Cricket
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