Clapton FC chairman Mark North has quit the club after little more than 100 days into the role.
On November 20th, however, North tweeted he had left the club and in fact was “officially retiring from football with immediate effect.”
On taking over from a very hands-off predecessor John Murray-Smith, North had told disaffected supporters that he would address the issue of the club’s closed membership issue as ‘one of his first tasks.
Clapton FC is supposed to be a members club, by its official, legal constitution, but it has long been closed for new members. That had caused friction between fans and club owner Vince McBean for years, a rift that came to a head when he tried liquidating the charity that runs the Old Spotted Dog ground, claiming he was owed a six-figure sum.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any progress being made in regards to reopening the membership of the club.
North had indicated that social media would also be a priority, having previously built up 40,000 followers across all channels for United London, a now defunct club he had previously run where fans could choose the team.
Indeed there was a little flurry of online activity, with 8 articles published on the club website in July, an ‘official supporters website’ established and a new Instagram page. Some clips were uploaded to YouTube followed by a vow that games would be filmed.
However, things ground to a halt with the last article on the ‘supporters club’ website appearing on July 19th, the latest YouTube clip on October 2nd and Instagram on October 16th.
Nearly two months on from North’s tweet announcing his departure and there has been no mention of his departure nor word of any replacement on the club website. Curiously, he is still listed as chairman.
We offered North the chance to give a longer statement marking his departure, and he replied…
“I would officially like to thank Vincent, Shirley, Jonny and the players for their welcome and support during my brief spell with the club.
“I can only be impressed with the level of effort and commitment that goes on behind the scenes but sadly, my new job is taking up much more time that I envisaged.
“The club has a long proud history and I believe that it deserves someone who can devote more time to help the club move forward for the local community.
“As a committed family man, any spare time I have will now be spent enjoying watching my young son begin his journey in the sport we all love. I wish the team and the club all the very best for the future”.
We also contacted the club with a similar offer, though readers will be aware that Mr McBean has a policy of not giving any comment or even replying to us.
However, it doesn’t mean they don’t read our emails. Within 23 minutes of us hitting the ‘send’ button, the club tweeted this:
The Essex Senior League website still lists North as chairman and a spokesperson said they were “unaware of any internal changes at the club.”