Thursday, 2 July 2015

Does Silence Mean Assent?

Here I am again!  Since my last post the team played in two cup finals at which, despite the results, they and the supporters acquitted themselves admirably and were a credit to the Clapton name.   I was very pleased to see that both finals went off well and, speaking to a few people unconnected with Clapton after the game, it was clear that a lot of friends were made and, in some cases, a lot of wounds healed.

We then had Vince McBean’s statement on his website “Setting The Record Straight”.  As someone who has been around the club for longer than most, I found this statement to be devoid of fact and laughably inaccurate.

Whilst Vince complains about Andy Barr (who I know personally from his previous involvement at Clapton) allegedly spreading falsehoods about him, he doesn’t actually respond to any of the matters that have been raised.

Are the documents on false or forgeries?  If so, then Vince should say so.

Is it true that he was attempting to sell the lease of the ground whilst the charity/company holding the lease had been struck off?  If not, Vince should have unequivocally denied it.

Is it true that Vince personally wrote to the freeholders to buy the ground from under the club and the charity?  If not, Vince should have unequivocally denied it.

There is a list of allegations which I won’t go through and you can look them up on the aforementioned site.  But, by not addressing any of the specific issues in which supporters are interested, Vince should be made aware that he does not ’Set The Record Straight’ at all.

In fact, by not addressing these issues, he gives further credence to the matters raised.

One glaring piece of misinformation from Vince was that he said Andy Barr had been secretary at the time he took control of the club.  This is factually incorrect as I remember Andy leaving Clapton as Secretary about 1992, about 8 years before the arrival of McBean.  I have no doubt that Andy will have noticed this and he may have asked Vince to amend this inaccuracy.  On the other hand, he might be saving this up for another day and another setting.

There are plenty of other things in Vince’s statement which I am sure could be challenged but I’ll leave that to others, for now.

What is a shame, is that Vince is complaining that supporters are selling scarves and badges etc that are bearing the Clapton badge.  He should be very grateful to those supporters for raising interest in the club and boosting his gate receipts beyond all expectations.  I am no expert in Intellectual Property but Vince has been invited to sue Andy Barr on this and other issues.  By not doing so, it’s not difficult to conclude that he daren’t.  As was said during a recent meeting at which I attended, “Silence is assent”, and by keeping silent and failing to address the real issues that have been raised, Vince credibility falls flat on its face.

So, we are now looking forward to pre-season friendlies and I am particularly keen to meet up again with an ex-Clapton keeper, Ronnie Syrett, who played for the Tons under, team manager, Danny Murphy.  Ronnie, who also lined up against the Tons for the likes of Collier Row and Haringey Borough, is now the Chairman at Cockfosters FC.

At the end of the day, we need to resolve the Clapton / McBean question and Vince needs to be honest.  If the issues cannot be resolved by negotiation, then both sides need to get before a Judge as soon as possible to sort this out and, if it does go to Court, I suspect that Vince will need to do an infinitely better job of "Setting the Record Straight" than he did on his website.

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