1st Boycott Meeting With Clapton CEO

News

Before Tuesday night’s game with Haringey & Waltham a small group from Clapton Ultras were finally invited to meet with Club Chief Executive Vince McBean. Here are the main points from the meeting.

Security searches

The main objection by supporters to the new security measures is the over top approach taken by SIA doormen – bag searches and bizarre body scans using metal detectors. There is a broad agreement on both sides that people openly carrying alcohol into the ground isn’t acceptable, although this accounts for a relative small amount of incidents and wasn’t the main focus of the new policy. It seems likely an agreement can be reached on this point.

Transparency

Vince McBean claims he has no wires crossed over where money from the additional charge is going and says he was misquoted in the Newham Recorder about payment of fines. He says the club has set forward a strategy for why the extra pound is necessary. Although why this wasn’t communicated before prices were increased and why it is needed on top of what supporters already contribute remains unresolved.

Price Rise

Mr McBean said in the meeting he is not the ‘owner’ of Clapton Football Club and that he has to report to a board, which he insists are unwilling to move on the £7 entry fee. He is confident, however, he could negotiate a reduction in concession pricing.

Vince insists that the club is solvent and in a financial position to withstand the boycott. This again confuses the issue as to why additional revenue is required from supporters, if gate money is not essential to club operational costs. We reiterated to him that we are unhappy with both the price rise and the nature of how it was delivered, that no notice was given.

The meeting was left without agreement but with both sides open to another meeting. As things stand, the club will earn more from one game priced at £6 than an entire season charging £7.

After 5 games outside in the cold the boycott continues in strength, with the total attendance at Clapton’s last home game reaching a new low of just 17. A special thanks to the team and those from other clubs for the support we’ve had throughout.

The position of Clapton Ultras remains the same. That the unannounced mid season price hike is unfair and unnecessary and we will continue our boycott of Clapton home games until this can be resolved.

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