After 4.0 upgrade, if sso is enabled, the crowd node in our config.xml looks like this:
<crowd sso-enabled="true"/>. Hence, crowd element does exist, but it only has the sso-enabled parameter and in particular it does not have crowdProperties parameter. Hence, when we try to parse these properties, we NPE.
See https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/FECRU-6532 for details.