What are the Metropolitan Police so afraid of?
It is difficult to imagine exactly what the Metropolitan Police Football Club in East Molesey in Surrey is so worried about. After all, it is unique amongst clubs in the Isthmian Premier League in having ground owners who have their own armoury, helicopters and riot vehicles.
So why is the club suddenly worried by the prospect of a crowd of non-league football fans from Clapton FC, two divisions below them, coming to visit? Why would it not welcome the chance to improve on their season’s average attendance of 130?
Instead, Clapton’s fans have been banned from attending this week’s second-round London Senior Cup match on Wednesday evening. A private statement from the club (at this point, just two days before the fixture, there has been no public notice of this decision) to the Clapton Ultras says “after discussions with various parties involved in the staging of this fixture the Metropolitan Police FC have taken the decision NOT to admit AWAY Fans into the ground for this fixture, which is taking place on property owned by the Metropolitan Police authority.” In response to our asking why this had happened, the club secretary invited us to talk by telephone. But when we called and opened with that question, the club’s official said he wouldn’t discuss this with us and hung up.
The club’s original statement ending awkwardly with the line about who owns the ground seems to imply that the Metropolitan Police, whose New Scotland Yard headquarters is the club’s contact address and who own the Sports Club at Imber Court, has an interest in not allowing Clapton supporters onto its property. We can only assume this is because of the uncompromising radical politics of the Ultras, although the reference to “discussions with various parties” does give a clue to who helped the Met to reach this decision.
The current regime under Vincent McBean is showing once again that he is at war with Clapton’s fans. His lurid allegations against us led to a similar ban by Southend Manor this season but numerous other Essex Senior League clubs have had nothing but praise for our conduct and behaviour.
McBean, however, is more concerned with driving supporters away. He is desperately trying to turn back the clock five years to a time when attendances were barely in double figures, when there was no public scrutiny of his financial irregularities and nobody challenging his mismanagement of the club.
Clapton’s opponents on Wednesday appear to have bought into McBean’s bullshit. In some ways, this isn’t really a surprise.
Using poorly fabricated but otherwise convenient evidence is, after all, something of a speciality for the Metropolitan Police.