Croydon responds to negative press by scathing French sports journalists

The chief executive of Croydon Business District has defended the town after a French newspaper branded it a "dull, grey, sad suburb", after its journalists were sent there to cover the Rugby World Cup.

Croydon: 'transforming itself', according to local business group chief
Croydon: 'transforming itself', according to local business group chief

France's Metro News site has criticised the area - which is hosting the French team during the tournament - as "dull and monotonous" in a story that also referred to unrest in Croydon during the 2011 London riots. Another report joked that France might deliberately lose in order not to spend too much time there.

Matthew Sims, chief executive of the Croydon Business Improvement District, has spoken out in defence of the town.

He said: "Croydon is transforming itself with the arrival of Westfield and Hammerson, the likes of Boxpark Croydon, a shift towards innovative festivals and events such as Ambition held in July and the focus on culture and the arts with galleries such as RISE opening in the past year.

"Taking into account the blossoming Croydon Tech City, our borough has much to offer both in the here and now and in the future."

Croydon has clearly not made a universally bad impression, however, with one French rugby journalist tweeting about her love of the town:

The French rugby team is staying at the Selsdon Park Hotel and Golf Club, Croydon, during the World Cup, which kicks off on Friday.

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