The actions of Clapton FC chief exec Vince McBean, which have sparked the long-running home fans boycott, have had consequences for other clubs too.
To be clear there is no boycott called on Clapton FC league away games – feel free to go to any of the matches on the road.
You won’t put anyone’s nose out of joint and there are some really warm and welcoming clubs in the Essex Senior League, most notably West Essex, Stansted and Barkingside.
Realistically, though, this season most Tons have thrown their weight into supporting Clapton Community FC, run by members in line with what Clapton FC’s constitution says it should be operated. And it’s hard to juggle two teams.
So away attendances have also been affected… as the figures show.
2019 attendance vs 2018 attendances
13 clubs saw falls in attendances in their game vs Clapton FC this season compared to the same game last season.
Tower Hamlets 82 vs 468 (384 down)
Leyton Athletic 29 vs 248 (219 down)
Barkingside 135 vs 273 (138 down)
Sporting Bengal United 79 vs 210 (131 down)
Walthamstow 88 vs 208 (120 down)
Takeley 42 vs 145 (103 down)
Woodford Town 35 vs 133 (98 down)
Redbridge 63 vs 160 (97 down)
Enfield 67 vs 146 (79 down)
Stansted 62 vs 122 (60 down)
Ilford 48 vs 101 (53 down)
West Essex 26 vs 70 (44 down)
Sawbridgeworth Town 37 vs 38 (1 down)
One club actually increased their attendance. Strugglers last year but title challengers this year, Hullbridge have seen home crowds soar, more than making up for the loss of Tons fans.
Hullbridge Sports 97 vs 81 (16 up)
We’ve omitted one club which banned away fans in both the league and cup last season. If there’s one club we’re not in a hurry to give cash to again, it’s these.
Southend Manor 44 vs 45 (1 down)
That leaves four clubs from last season who aren’t in the division this season. We’ve added up last season’s attendances at those clubs and compared it to the four new clubs for a rough comparison. However, there is the outlier of Hackney Wick away, which drew in 785 and skews the figures somewhat.
Hackney Wick, Basildon United, FC Romania & Burnham Ramblers vs Hoddesdon Town, Stanway Rovers, Saffron Walden, St Margaretsbury 1199 vs 377 (822 down)
When you add up the away attendances last season versus this season, there are now 2,336 fewer people attending.
With the Essex Senior League average ticket price at £6.28, that equates to up to £14,670 of income lost to its clubs due to the actions of Mr McBean.
And this is not just a one-off amount. That is the likely loss every season while Mr McBean clings on to power.
Perhaps something the Essex Senior League and its member clubs may wish to ponder.