At the news that Clapton Community Football Club had been offered a lease on the Old Spotted Dog Ground there was a flurry of internet activity. People sent their congratulations to the club and many members of CCFC were obviously delighted with the freeholders' decision.
Amid this activity was a tweet from Hackney Wick Football Club who have played at the Old Spotted Dog since 2012. They first arrived in Forest Gate in 2012 as London Bari FC and, following a merger in 2017, continued their tenure under the name of Hackney Wick FC.
The tweet, which was posted at 3:43pm on the 17th September 2019 read :
"So we paid £4k for half the season at the OSD where we've been for the last 3 years and since have had to switch our FA Cup ties, costing more money, pay up front for 2 other home matches elsewhere, and now have to pay for a full season at Coles Park. It your face don't fit"
So Hackney Wick handed over £4k, For what, and to whom?
Undoubtedly, HWFC would have been fully aware that the company that previous held the lease of the OSD were in liquidation and thus the ground should be under the control of the liquidator. So why would they pay this money to anyone else?
Despite the liquidation, the recipient of rent from London Bari/Hackney Wick in previous years has been Vincent McBean and/or limited companies under his control. This, of itself, is theft and the dishonesty continues as HWFC have been conned or misled into paying £4,000 for the specific purpose of playing football at the OSD.
HWFC have not yet made it clear whether the payment was in cash or via a bank, or whether it was paid into a personal or company/business account. What is clear is that HWFC have parted with a substantial amount of money and that they are extremely unlikely to get it back. Their options are that they sue, or ask the football authorities to help them.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw that Essex Senior League Chair, Lee Dorling, was present at a meeting called by Vince McBean on Wednesday 18th September. Mr Dorling addressed the meeting in his capacity as ESL chair, expressing unequivocal support for Vince McBean in the matter concerning the lease.
This support was given, not withstanding the con that has been perpetrated on HWFC, a club that until last season, was a member of his League.
Something is very wrong with the priorities and the moral compass of the Essex Senior League and I wonder how much longer the member clubs will continue to allow the 'Dorling charade' to continue in their name.
NB : It has been suggested that HWFC issue legal proceedings to recover the money. Good luck with that. Mr McBean uses false/accommodation addresses, purports to be impecunious and is adept at avoiding bailiffs.