In early September, Clapton FC’s website launched a section called Tons Make Clear, pledging to answer fans’ questions about the current situation on ownership and the supporters’ boycott.
Thousands of words were posted, but one word was curiously absent – ‘liquidation.’ The whole reason that the fans group Real Clapton called for a boycott was because the chief exec of Clapton FC is trying to put the charity running the Old Spotted Dog into voluntary liquidation, putting the club’s historic home in huge peril. Yet this potential catastrophe wasn’t deemed worth a mention.
The section did encourage people to send in their own questions which the club would then answer, so we asked worried Clapton fans what they were concerned about and compiled a list. We submitted those questions by Twitter direct message seven weeks ago, by Facebook five weeks ago then via an online contact form four weeks ago.
In an exchange of emails over the last month, the club have acknowledged receipt and insisted they will answer our questions but have said they have been “too busy” so far. They have also yet to reply to several emails asking for a timescale as to when they may be able to answer any or all of the questions.
It may be the club never answer our questions, or they may be minutes away from posting a full and detailed response online, in which this article is fairly redundant. But for the record, and in case it helps push the process along, here are the questions we posed on behalf of committed Clapton supporters.
The questions the club have declined to answer
Who controls the ground at the moment – the liquidator or yourselves?
How long will the ground be in liquidation for? Is there any end in sight to the court case?
The Charity allegedly has over £200,000 debts, according to your court documents. How has that been accrued, who is it owed to, and will the charity be able to pay that debt back?
Were you pleased that the Clapton fans successfully secured Asset of Community Value on the ground from Newham Council recently to give it some protection from being sold?
What are the targets for the team this season? Is promotion an aim?
What ground improvements need to be completed to meet Isthmian League grading? What is the timescale for putting in planning permission?
Have the enforcement notices on the ground served by Newham Council regarding safety and planning dealt with?
Clapton Football Club is a members club but membership has been closed for restructuring for at least four years. When will it reopen?
How many members of Clapton FC are there? Are the Life Members still members of Clapton Football Club?
What do you like and dislike about the Clapton Ultras? What can and should they do to become the ‘real fans’ you speak about on the website?
Note: we have not included some questions that are no longer valid, including about the coaching set-up which has changed four times since we first submitted the questions.
We will update this article when, or if, our questions are answered.