Dear True Clapton Supporter…
Not many of you may realise that Clapton FC has an official website on which, other than incorrect fixtures for the club, you can find a blog. We have never given too much importance to what’s been written there, partly because we haven’t wanted to draw attention to a place where it’s difficult to find informative content.
There came a moment though, where the boundaries of decency have been crossed to attack and spread lies about Clapton Ultras (and generally Clapton Supporters) which is driven by the need to defend the one who’s destroying OUR Football Club, blatantly posting lies and false accusations.
We are used to these kind of attacks both from the official website of Clapton FC and others online, so we know we can always have a laugh about it, but we do want to use the opportunity offered by a recent post which comes in the form of a ‘True Supporter’ however, to update you all on what’s going on behind the scenes and to reiterate we aren’t going to back down on our stance.
You can find the True Supporter’s email here: http://claptonfc.com/dear-real-clapton-supporters/ or here: http://archive.is/B8uJV
An email received on Monday 6 November 2017:
Dear Real Clapton Supporters,
I really don’t know where to start, but our football club is being ruined by a bunch of people claiming to be Clapton fans. A lot of us came to this club based on the atmosphere when we first arrived, three years ago. Since those happy days some have been hell bent on causing as much disruption as possible. When you read between the lines it’s nothing more than opportunist. So what are they doing firstly, discrediting and bringing down the management by the information put out, letting off flares at other grounds so that the club has to pay the fines.
First of all, we’re glad the “True Clapton Supporter” acknowledges the work done by the supporters and Ultras. The atmosphere has been nothing but the result of our work, our commitment, our engagement in social, political and local issues. What has changed since then? We haven’t: we just had to respond to the attacks of Clapton FC Chairman and Board and we had to come to a point in which we needed to expose what they were doing to our Club.
The information we have shared is based on facts and from legal documents available to the public – we and our comrades at Real Clapton have just helped inform those who care to read about the activities of the CEO and Board. They are not made of false allegation, forged documents or fake letters. If these facts are ‘discrediting…the management’ as stated, then what can we do about that? WIth respect to bringing down the management, lets hope this is sooner rather than later!
Our behaviour is so bad one club decided that they only want “Home Supporters” when they play us. How times have changed. The FA, the county and the league are all looking at ways to stop this pathetic behaviour. Someone has to say it but you people don’t represent Clapton Football Club.
The use of flares and our “behaviour” has changed over the years. We found out the FA started treating the use of pyro more seriously, threatening to fine hosting clubs even for the use of SPARKLERS at a halloween weekend game. and it’s not true that Clapton FC would be fined for that even if we use them away.
We support non-league football, we appreciate how difficult it is to run some of the clubs in our league, clubs that don’t have massive attendance and we had to ask ourselves a question: is it really worth putting clubs at risk of massive fines by the FA? Since this, we have worked to establish relationships with all clubs we’ve been visiting and so far we are pleased that all of them have been enthusiastic and pleased to host us and we have had a great time at their grounds. We don’t think we are being overly bold in saying most clubs would love to have a group like us supporting and representing their club.
You’ve done everything you can against the club and nothing to promote the club. We are all getting fed up of hearing about Vince McBean and the management are doing all these dodgy things and as a result the ground is in liquidation, the club is in danger and we are going to lose the ground.
This is an interesting point. Who started working on social projects, engaging with schools, local associations, promoted Football VS Homophobia, International Women’s Day, organised foodbanks, activities for the kids, a yearly tournament of Antifascist supporters, designed fanzines, recorded podcasts, got interviewed on international football blogs and magazines?
Was it the club or the Ultras? How much information and promotion arrived from Clapton FC channels to attract more supporters to come watch OUR team?
Maybe our “fellow Supporter” should take a look at the facts presented in this article by Clapton FC News – it’s pretty easy to see the correlation between the arrival of the Ultras, the growth of attendances and the results on the pitch.
We are not going to lose the ground, and our club is in a strong position. We are 5th in the league, although we didn’t get all the players we wanted because people spread the rumour at the beginning of the season that we didn’t have a home pitch, and we can’t play at the Old Spotted Dog, where are we playing now! New supporters have been turned away by our so called Clapton supporters!
We’re glad to hear the Supporters opinion, but sadly it’s not on him or her to decide what will happen to the grounds – that’s with the High Court. We’re waiting on news of a date for the hearing to resolve the case on the liquidation. As we have mentioned in previous communications, this case is known to the Charity Commission, the High Court, the ESL. It happened, it is happening and it’s only thanks to Real Clapton FC who spotted this before it was too late that the Old Spotted Dog isn’t yet lost as the home of this historic club
It’s interesting the Supporter is brave enough to mention the liquidation though, as the Club doesn’t seem to pronounce or read the word anywhere, despite questions and the call for clarifications from the fans.
Are you really sure. If you’re really so annoyed at what’s going on then stay at home drink a Tyskie, bottle of Champagne or smoke a spliff, and enjoy your life. Why come to the ground to cause problems and ruin it for others?
Not much to add on this, but we think it could make a great sticker. Any eager designers out there, get in touch!
All us true supporters are concerned about us finishing within the top three, and we have the possibility to be promoted. That’s what the manager, the management and supporters should be concentrating on not spending time and money on meeting the FA, County league and the requirement of the Health and Safety Executive.
We agree: health and safety and abiding to the rules is such an old concept.
Why fixing the fences? Why removing the piles of rubbish (old toilets, stones and bricks…) from the perimeter of the ground? Why making the Old Spotted Dog a place fit to watch football without risking to get injured?
Maybe the True Supporter should read more about Health and Safety and how they affect the team’s results.
This is totally bonkers! There have never been a set of supporters deliberately trying to stop the club from going forward in all the time I’ve been involved in football.
This is exactly the point: we’re not. We are trying to keep the club going forward (surely in other hands and not the same of Vince McBean and his “board”). We suggest that the True Supporter takes a look at what happened and happens at FC United of Manchester, Leyton Orient, Charlton, Blackpool… as it doesn’t seem to know much about football.
You need to stop this and get behind the club and the regime. You’re not going to bully people into your view, you need to come into the ground and help build the club, or stay away. Standing on boxes looking over the fence looks bloody stupid or alternatively go and meet with the management over a beer with some creditable proposal. don’t go and tell them you want a fan owned club when they saved the club and have been here 20 years.
We always made clear we never wanted to bully anybody. We decided to support the boycott of home games and to stand outside to INFORM people what getting in the ground would have meant. We can’t be responsible for funding McBeans lawyers through our gate receipts when we want the opposition to win. Standing on boxes in the alley isn’t ideal, and we wish we didn’t have to do it but the choice of supporting the boycott was a tough one but essentially, we were pushed by the events and by the choices made by the clubs management. If anyone can be accused of bullying here it’s the Club, who responded to one of our boycotted home games by calling the police on us, filming and taking photos of supporters in an attempt to intimidate and provoke us.
Many tried to talk to the “management” but it seems they never wanted to respond. The only times somebody managed to exchange some words with Clapton FC Chairman we were told it was “all lies”. Not much to talk about a “credible” proposal.
The fact the same people have been in the club for 20 years is not a reason to let them stay and destroy it.
Sorry, management to go on like this but this is really …..ing off a lot of people and someone has to say something. Said my piece see you on Saturday.
True Clapton Supporter
(We played on Friday night the week this was posted)