Saturday, 28 January 2017

Smoke and Mirrors and the Peeling Veneer.

Once again, I am tempted to return to my blog to discuss recent events at the Old Spotted Dog.  There's plenty to discuss but, for this tome, I shall look specifically at the supporter's boycott and their decision to return for today's match against Barking.

Let me firstly say that I am not one of those who has broken the boycott which I consider to have been an adequate and effective response to the profiteering of those running the club.

I have also been told by one of the playing staff that the 'pay what you can offer' came about at their suggestion and not from Mr McBean or 'the club'.  However, I did smile when I saw that the original offer was amended to state to 'minimum £1', probably through fear of a torrent of copper coins being passed across the turnstile.

So, why am I going to the game on Saturday?
  • I want to support the players who I think have performed very well this season and I miss going to the game.
  • I am going because I am assured that Vince McBean is not going to profit to his accustomed extent.  I shall not buy any of his beer or food or a programme (if he actually produces one).
  • I also think that attending this game will rejuvenate the Clapton support which I hope has not waned as a result of the boycott.  Going to the match can be a habit which is easily broken through absence.  Its important that those who were coming to the games before are there in force on Saturday, if only to protest against McBean.
  • I am also going on the understanding that the Ultras' meetings with McBean relating to the boycott will continue until the demands are met.
    • Entrance fees put back to how they were at the beginning of the season
    • That I am not subjected to unnecessary searches by 'bouncers' at the turnstile.
Vince McBean need not think that he has scored a victory by the relaxation of the boycott as the point behind it remains in force.

Interestingly, the report of the meeting by the Ultras on their website invokes a lot more questions as to who, or what, they are actually dealing with.

As we know, Mr McBean has recently denied to the members of the Ultras that he is the owner of Clapton FC.  This is a welcome admission and long overdue.  However, he is yet to do this publicly and it something that needs clarification.

Furthermore there is mention of a 'Board' at Clapton FC.  This term is usually associated with a Limited Company whereas a 'club' would normally have a committee.  Its bizarre terminology for someone who holds himself out as a businessman.

It all ends up with a 'smoke and mirrors' scenario which would be easily remedied if Vince McBean would care to be straight about things.  Unfortunately, he can't and he won't.

Equally baffling is the re-emergence of John Jackson, in the role of a Trustee.  I am not sure as to actually what body he is a Trustee, but I am aware that he was Clapton FC Chairman at some stage, although I understand that he has since denied this.  He is not presently listed on Vince's website as being an 'Executive Member'.

However, John Jackson was certainly listed as Club Chairman in the club programme for the 2006/7 season. (left)

So, good luck to those negotiating with the 'club' over the price increase and in their attempt to get some kind of truth out of Vince McBean.

My only hope is that Vince McBean will not proclaim that the return of the supporters, even on what I understand to be a temporary basis, is some kind of personal victory.  Its far from that, as the veneer which has previously masked his past wheelings and dealings is now starting to peel away.

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