Club talisman, Jerry Jairette has today astonishingly been forced out of Clapton after over ten years’ service for refusing to delete a tweet.
Jerry, who was given a testimonial match by the Tons last summer, publicly criticised two recent opponents who had banned Tons supporters from their respective grounds earlier this month.
The outspoken support for fans by the Club captain seemingly sparked a row with manager Jonny Fowell and chief executive Vince McBean, who suggested Jerry would be fined by the FA and banned for five games if he did not delete the tweet.
Jerry, who is currently injured after again playing in goal when his team found themselves without a recognised ‘keeper, declined to delete the tweet saying it was opinion, but agreed not to repeat it and to cover any fine himself that came the club’s way.
It then emerged that the punishment was being implemented by the club itself, not the FA, and the in-house five-game ban was being delayed until Jerry returned to fitness in January.
This was a particular bitter pill considering the utility man’s lay-off came after he was injured playing out of position in goal, as a favour to manager Fowell. The third time he had agreed to do so this season.
Jerry went public with the row today, announcing that ‘his time at Clapton has come to the end’ after asking to be released due to the club banning him
Eager to get the facts out there, Jerry took to Twitter again to publish his recent Whatsapp conversation with Jonny Fowell regarding the tweet and his future at the club.
There was a huge surge of support within minutes of Jerry’s announcement.
Former Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas, now at Barking, backed Jerry, saying: “He would’ve never got a ‘fine’ or ban for those tweets. His opinion is his opinion and he hasn’t even mentioned a club.”
While Lizzy Matthews, another former member of the Clapton bench, commented: “As much as it angers me to see this happening that’s one loyal person away from the poison inside that club”.
A Clapton Ultras statement said: “We are stunned that McBean’s Clapton have forced out club captain and loyal servant, Jerry Jairette, after he tweeted his dismay with the recent bans imposed on Clapton supporters. This is a new low for this regime.
“We believe these bans on us are hostile and utterly without basis. That McBean’s regime has now made players (and one of its most loyal ever) pay for their sorry approach to running our football club is beyond the pale.”
Clapton FC News contacted the club for comment. They have yet to reply in keeping with their policy not to speak to us. There has also been no social media response or post on their website at the loss of the loyal club captain.
Fowell said he was unable to comment and also declined an opportunity to pay tribute to the departing club hero.