The Clapton Ultras ended their boycott of home games on Wednesday after seven matches standing outside the Old Spotted Dog, when an agreement on prices was reached with the club’s board.
Similar statements were posted at the same time on the Ultras’ and Club’s websites to announce an agreement on new prices, reasonable security and regular meetings.
The boycott was first called in November after fans were suddenly met at the turnstiles with an unannounced price rise and new invasive security policy.
During the walkout attendances plummeted, down from an average of 366 to low double figures.
A brief hiatus was called during this period when 418 fans turned out at a ‘pay what you want’ day for a top of the table clash with rivals Barking.
Talks between Clapton CEO, Vince McBean, and fans were slow to start, after the Club initially declined to open a dialogue. A meeting was finally sought in January as the Club continued to record very low crowds.
Further negotiations followed and a new price structure was eventually agreed last week.
The new prices agreed:
Under 10s – full rollback from £1 to free.
Pensioners – full rollback from £4 to £3.
Students – full rollback from £4 to £3.
Adults – 50p reduction from £7 to £6.50. Not a full rollback to £6 however…
Changes to concession policy means that many more fans not receiving a full wage will no longer have to pay the full adult price:
Unemployed – a new concession at £3. A big reduction on the £7 adult charge.
Refugees – another new concession at £3. A new recognition from the club.
Fans with disabilities – another new concession with free entry.
16 and 17 year olds have also now classed as ‘kids’, meaning they only pay £1 instead of the £7 adult charge (or the £4 student charge if they were in education)
10 to 15 year olds -the only fans whose price hasn’t dropped, it remains at £1.
It should be pointed out that often unemployed and disabled fans were often not charge full adult price but this agreement formalises this rather than leaves it to the discretion of the turnstile operator.
Unfortunately for Clapton fans, they will now have wait nearly 3 weeks for normal service to resume.
Saturday’s scheduled home fixture with Sawbridgeworth Town was pulled earlier this week to allow ground-sharers, London Bari, a chance to play a re-arranged fixture.
The gesture to forgo the Sawbo game means Clapton will now face the Hertfordshire club on Tuesday 28th February.