ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE ADMISSION PRICES 2018/9 SEASON – THE FULL LIST

tower

Tower Hamlets is the cheapest place to watch ESL football

One of our most read features last season was our guide to the admission prices in the Essex Senior League so as a service to non-league footie fans we’ve done it again for 2018/9.
We’re pleased to report that of the 16 clubs that were in the ESL last season and are still in now, just 1 has put up their prices, by £1.
Indeed one club – Tower Hamlets – has cut their admission costs. The average adult price was £6.28. A majority of clubs offer free entry for children, too.
It was just as difficult to track down admission prices as it was last season. Most clubs don’t list theirs on their website and social media, and many don’t reply to emails, tweets and Facebook messages.
And the issue of concessions is still a minefield. Most clubs don’t list who qualifies as a concession, so perhaps best to try to contact them direct with any queries.

Leyton Athletic
£8 adults £4 conc

Southend Manor
£7 adults £5 conc Free under 16s

St Margaretsbury 
£7 adults £5 conc

Hoddesdon Town
£7 adults £4 conc

Saffron Walden Town
£7 adults £4 conc

Walthamstow
£7 adults £4 conc Free under 14s

Sawbridgeworth Town
£7 adults £4 conc Free under 16s

Takeley 
£7 adults £3 conc Free under 16s
Free programme

Clapton FC
£6.50 adults £3 conc £1 under 18s Free under 10s

Redbridge
£6 adults £4 conc Free under 16s

Enfield FC
£6 adults £3 conc £3 under 16s

Sporting Bengal 
£6 adults £3 conc £3 under 16s

Woodford Town
£6 adults £3 conc £1 under 16s

Stanway Rovers
£6 adults £3 conc Free under 12s

Hullbridge Sports
£6 adults £3 conc Free under 16s

Ilford
£6 adults £3 conc Free under 16s

West Essex
£5 adults £3 conc Free under 16s

Stansted 
£5 adults £3 conc Free under 14s
Free programme

Barkingside
£5 adults £3 conc Free under 16s
Free programme

Tower Hamlets
£5 adults £2 conc Free under 16s

If we have got something wrong, drop us an email claptonfcnews@gmail.com or tweet us and we’ll correct it.

We can’t take any responsibility for these prices being correct at the time of your visit.

If you want to use our research in your own articles, feel free to do so but please give us a credit.

Finally, we probably don’t need to remind East London and Essex football fans that we, along with all other Tons fan groups. are still urging a boycott of Clapton FC home games due to the actions being taken by its chief executive.

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CLAPTON YOUTH TEAMS QUIT AND MOVE TO HACKNEY WICK

Clapton’s under 18s in action in the Ingilby Cup semi-final, losing on penalties to Buckhurst Hill

Clapton is without any  youth system after both its current teams decided to quit the Old Spotted Dog after just one year.

Clapton U16 and U18 teams were resurrected last season, having been axed by chief executive Vince McBean the year before.

However, this time it’s the youth teams who have decided to depart, and will now play under the Hackney Wick FC name with games at Mabley Green in Hackney.

A statement from the coaches, to confirm the news, said: “With great regret the youth section will not be at Clapton next year and all our teams and officers will be leaving to another club.”

The coaches’ new set-up at Hackney Wick is being expanded and will feature boys’ U11s, U15s, U16s and U18s teams and a girls’ U17s team.

The statement added: “Speaking to the parents and most importantly the boys, who play and train week in, week out during the season, we all believe we should continue growing away from Clapton.”

In Clapton U18s’ only season they won one cup, reached another cup semi-final, and finished runners-up in the league, the Eastern Junior Alliance.

Some of the youth players stepped up to make their debut in the Tons’ first team. One of them, highly-rated full-back Max Henry, is believed to have been given the chance to join the first team squad.

Several of the Clapton youth team games attracted substantial crowds and the coaches added: “We would like to say thank you to the fans who were wonderful to us during matches, the boys loved it!  I don’t think the EJA has ever had that much fans at a league game.”

The ‘Clapton FC Youth’ Twitter account is already no more, having been renamed Hackney Wick Youth Academy today, but still features some highlights of the past season.

 

 

Over recent years Clapton has axed its reserve team, U18s, U17s, U16s, U15s, U14s and U13s, as well as its women’s football section, before the U18s and U16s’ brief revival.

The move means Clapton currently fields only a first team.

Clapton FC News would like to thank all the players who served the Tons so well last season. All the best for the future. 

We have approached the club for comment but they have a policy of refusing to speak to us.

WHO WILL BE IN THE NEW EASTERN SENIOR LEAGUE? THE CLUBS IN THE NEW STEP 6 DIVISION FOR ESSEX

UPDATED: 10/07/18

The 20 clubs who are in the new Eastern Senior League South

The new Step 6 league is made of up of

  • 4 clubs relegated from Step 5
  • 4 transferred sideways from another Step 6 league
  • 6 clubs elevated up from Step 7 (one promotion)
  • 2 clubs elevated up from Step 8 (two promotions)
  • 1 club elevated up from Step 9 (three promotions)
  • 1 club elevated up from Step 12 (six promotions)
  • 2 clubs completely new to the football pyramid

Benfleet – Essex Olympian League Div 2 (Step 9)
Braintree Town Reserves – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Brightlingsea Regent Reserves
– non-pyramid
Burnham Ramblers – Essex Senior League (Step 5)
Coggleshall United – Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier (Step 7)
Fire United –
Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8)
Frenford – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Hackney Wick
– Essex Senior League (Step 5)
Halstead Town 
– Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Harwich & Parkeston – Essex & Suffolk Border League (Step 7)
Hashtag United –  non-pyramid
Holland FC – Eastern Counties League (Step 6) 
Little Oakley – Eastern Counties League (Step 6)
Lopes Tavares – Essex Alliance League Premier (Step 12)
May & Baker
– Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Newbury Forest
– Essex Olympian League Div 1 (Step 8)
Wadham Lodge – Essex Senior League (Step 5)
White Ensign – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Wivenhoe Town – Eastern Counties League (Step 5)
Wormley Rovers – Herts Senior County League Premier (Step 7)

Most of the clubs should be self-explanatory but here’s a bit more information about the clubs without a place name in their title: Fire United are a Brazilian church club who play at the Terence McMillan in Plaistow; Hashtag United are a team who play behind-closed-doors friendlies at New River Stadium in Haringey for a YouTube audience; Lopes Tavares London are a Brazilian club who were playing at West Ham Memorial Park in Plaistow. It’s unclear where they will move to now.

There will be some interesting stadiums in the new league – Harwich & Parkeston’s is a beauty as you can see from the Flickr gallery from when Clapton visited for a friendly in 2013.

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Meanwhile Benfleet play at Isthmian League side Canvey Island’s home, Braintree Town Reserves at the Conference South club’s stadium, Holland FC have a new ground in Clacton; and Newbury Forest share Redbridge FC’s Oakside Stadium.

So who else was rumoured to be in the Eastern Senior League South?

AEK London – Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8) side.
AFC Sudbury Reserves
Cornard United
Eton Manor
– historic former Essex Senior League club who folded last year had been allocated a place at Step 6 but it hasn’t happened
Felixstowe & Walton Reserves – are entering the Eastern Senior League North instead
Laindon Orient
– Southend Borough Combination (non-pyramid) side were hoping to join but instead have joined the Essex Olympian League at Step 11
Rayleigh Town – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7) side
Southend Sports – Essex Olympian League Div 4 (Step 11) side
Stansted – given a reprieve from relegation from the Essex Senior League
Sporting Hackney – Middlesex County League Premier (Step 7)

Here’s how we understand the league will work

We have referred to the league as Essex Senior League Division Two in the past, but it will actually be called the Eastern Senior League.

The new Step 6 league is a collaboration between two existing Step 5 leagues – the ESL and the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League, which covers North Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. In fact we believe the league is going to be run by the existing Eastern Counties League officials.

The Eastern Senior League will feature a north and south division, with the geographical split being roughly at Ipswich. So what we have been called ESL Division 2 before is really the Eastern Senior League South.

Over the coming years, any Essex-based clubs currently playing in the Thurlow Nunn League set-up will more than likely end up in the Essex Senior League or Eastern Senior League South.

For instance if a Thurlow Nunn club like FC Clacton were promoted to the Isthmian League but later relegated again, they would be placed in the ESL not go back to the Thurlow Nunn. Likewise if they are relegated from the Thurlow Nunn, they would be relegated to the Eastern Counties League South.

In short, the Essex Senior League and Eastern Senior League South are going to be covering Essex, with Thurlow Nunn and Eastern Senior League North more of a East Anglia only set-up.

The debut season covers a large footprint from Little Oakley to the north, down to Benfleet at Canvey Island to the south. A round trip of 120 miles.

 

FOUR ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE CLUBS RECORD HIGHEST ATTENDANCE EVER AS TONS COME TO OWN – ANALYSING FIGURES DURING CLAPTON FANS’ BOYCOTT

An empty Scaffold stand as Clapton take on local rivals Ilford during the fans’ boycott – a game that has attracted crowds over 750 in recent years

Anyone who has caught a glimpse of Clapton’s paltry home crowds this season due to the fans’ boycott might be wondering how the fanbase is holding up.

Quick reminder: the boycott was called by fans’ group Real Clapton, and backed by Clapton Ultras, at the start of the season chiefly due to the club chief executive attempting to liquidate the charity running the Old Spotted Dog, putting our 130-year-old home in peril.

Seven gruelling months later, the case still hasn’t been resolved, and therefore the boycott still stands.

But is the boycott holding firm or are attendances creeping up? Once people get out of the habit of going to home games, have they just drifted away from the club completely? We took a look at the stats.

Home games

At Old Spotted Dog games this season, boycotted by the Clapton Ultras and other fan groups, the average officially declared attendance is 45.

That figure almost entirely consists of away fans, officials, players’ friends and relatives as the Scaffold stand lies empty and forlorn week after week.

Even this low figure of 45 often appears exaggerated. Head counts of people inside the Old Spotted Dog is routinely much lower than the total declared by the club. (Clapton officials insist there is an automated counting device attached to the turnstiles and their figures are correct, despite head counts).

What’s more, analysing the stats week by week, there is no upward creep during the season. In fact one of the last home games, against fellow Old Spotted Dog tenants Hackney Wick, attracted just 18 people. The reverse fixture, not boycotted by Tons fans, saw 785 people turn up.

The average attendance at unboycotted games last season was 383, In other words, the boycott has led to an 88% drop in attendances – even if you take this seasons’s fishy figures as accurate.

Such a powerful fan protest is unprecedented in the British game. 25% of Liverpool’s crowd walked out last season in the 77th minute over prices, something heralded as perhaps the most impressive fans’ protest in recent years. For Clapton fans to sustain a near total boycott for nearly a full season is astonishing.

From boasting the biggest crowds in the ESL last season – nearly five times higher than the next highest club – Clapton are now in 10th spot.

Away games

It’s clear from the above figures that home attendances have shrunk by phenomenal levels, but how about away games? Have fans just stopped going to Clapton games completely, including away games?

The list of away attendances makes impressive reading…

  • Hackney Wick 785 – season best / best in history
  • Tower Hamlets 468 – season best / best in history
  • Basildon United 281 – season best
  • Barkingside 273 – season best
  • Wadham Lodge 248 – season best / best in history
  • FC Clacton (cup) 208 – season best
  • Waltham Forest 208 – season best
  • London Lions (cup) 197 – season best / best in history
  • Sporting Bengal 180 – season best
  • Redbridge 160 – season best
  • Enfield 146 – season best
  • Takeley (league) 145 – season best
  • Woodford Town (league) 133 – season best
  • Wadham Lodge (cup) 133 – season best (beaten by league game later)
  • Stansted 122 – season best
  • Takeley (cup) 114 – season best
  • Ilford 103 – season best
  • Hullbridge Sports 86 – season best
  • Woodford Town (cup) 73 – season best (beaten by league game later)
  • West Essex 70
  • FC Romania 68 – season best
  • Burnham Ramblers 65 – season best
  • Sawbridgeworth Town 38

That makes the average at Clapton away games a fairly substantial 187, though that fluctuates depending on whether it’s Saturday or midweek, whether it’s a London game or a far-flung area of Essex, and the accessibility of the ground by public transport.

It should be noted that we’ve not had a lot of Saturday away league games this season, which traditionally attract larger crowds than midweek matches.

The average attendance at Essex Senior League games not involving Clapton is 58. So it’s clear the Tons’ presence in the league is boosting attendances massively and giving clubs a much-needed payday.

Indeed several clubs will have enjoyed more than a third of their season’s total attendance in 1 game against Clapton than in their other 19 home games in the season.

There have also been three games where fans were banned, ostensibly over a fear of fines over historic use of ‘pyro’, despite fans’ assurances that none would be used.

Those games saw the following attendances…

  • Southend Manor 41, 45
  • Met Police 28 – season worst

An average of 35.

All three games have also featured large numbers of stewards employed to keep supporters out.

At a time when non-league clubs are desperate for funding, it’s crazy to see two spending good money keeping fans away, based on false or outdated information.

“GUARANTEE OF GOALS”: OUR ARTICLE FOR SAWBRIDGEWORTH TOWN PROGRAMME

The Sawbridgeworth Town programme featuring an article we wrote

We wrote this piece for Sawbridgeworth Town’s match day programme on March 17th 2018, which was postponed but then played on March 20th. The home side won 4-0 as Clapton played a team full of trialists.

Good afternoon all and a big thanks to Sawbridgeworth Town for the invitation to contribute to today’s programme.

I think all Clapton supporters would agree that the spirit of friendship and cooperation extended by the majority of Essex Senior League clubs has really helped put a positive shine on what has otherwise been a gruelling season.

As an awayday, Sawbridgeworth has always been a stand out fixture for us. It’s an easy train ride up from Stratford and must be unique in its pubs to per head of the population ratio.

It’s also the sort of place that if it wasn’t for following non-league (or for those with an interest in antiques), many of us East Londoners may never have discovered.

Our hosts today might not thank us for saying this, but even with its leafy location, Crofters End definitely has a feel reminiscent of our much missed Old Spotted Dog.

That’s not to say, however, that Clapton have found this to be a home away from home, with just one league victory here in the last 5 years.

The article in the programme

Although we’ve often struggled on trips to Hertfordshire, there hasn’t been much to choose between Clapton & Sawbo in terms of league position in recent seasons.

Both clubs have been mainstays in the top half of the table, with 34 goals traded between us since 2012 – 17 apiece!

From a supporters’ point of view, it’s the guarantee of goals in a hard fought fixture that gets the blood pumping on a Saturday.

With our boycott of home matches now in its seventh month, we’ve missed our usual weekends, which makes fixtures like these all the more special.

Clapton Ultras started in 2012 and joined with existing fan group at the time, the Friends of Clapton, in trying to raise the profile of the club.

We have had some fantastic highs over this period, as our attendances went from single figures to the high hundreds, although we find ourselves now at a difficult point.

Clapton aren’t alone in going through a tough time off the field, with a number of non-league clubs from London and the South East struggling through this season.

It’s the community around non-league, however, that has shone through and has demonstrated to everyone how important it is to support each other.

We all wish Sawbridgeworth Town a good game this afternoon and the best of luck for the rest of the season. Expecting another close one.

The inexperienced line-up that played in the game at Sawbo

CLAPTON GROUNDSHARERS HACKNEY WICK TO QUIT THE OLD SPOTTED DOG

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The Old Spotted Dog

Clapton’s ground share partners Hackney Wick have signalled their intent to move away from the Old Spotted Dog next season.

The club announced they are moving to the London Community Track Stadium, next to West Ham’s London Stadium, indicating it will be their home whatever league they are in next season.

The Wickers, who ‘merged’ with London Bari this season to move up to the Essex Senior League, are currently bottom of the table and heading for relegation to the new Step 6 League being set up for next season.

It is unclear who will be the second club to play at the athletics track, which was used as the marathon warm-up for the Olympics and has since been converted including a grass football pitch.

It is currently home to the Newham and Essex Beagles athletic club and, football wise on Saturdays. to Altis FC of the Amateur Football Combination.

However, CFC News understands that Sporting Hackney of the Middlesex League have also shown an interest in moving to the stadium.

It is not known if the ground meets current grading requirements for Step 5 or Step 6 football or if it needs work over the summer.

Sporting Hackney are one of two lower league clubs confirmed to have applied for promotion to the new Step 6 league for Essex, the other being Coggeshall United, a newly formed second team in the town, playing their first season in the Essex Border League.

It means little or nothing of Bari is left after the Hackney Wick merger, with name, management and players all gone and now vacating the Old Spotted Dog where they played since 2012.

So how will this move impact Clapton? At face value it will mean a loss of income of around £10,000 to £12,000 to the landlords, which we understand is the going rate for an ESL club groundshare agreement.

That’s where it gets confusing since the leaseholders Newham Leisure Trust. the charity which runs the Old Spotted Dog, is currently in the hands of a liquidator.

That came about because Clapton’s chief executive Vince McBean tried to put the charity (of which he was also an officer) in liquidation almost a year ago, a move blocked by fans group Real Clapton.

Confusing? Certainly. But even so, with few grounds available in East London after so many have been lost to property developers, it’s likely there will other clubs wanting to move in.

CFC News has heard whispers of at least two other clubs who would be interested in moving to the OSD.

Who they would pay rent to, or even if anyone at all will be able to play at the ground next season, will depend on what happens when the current liquidation case is finally heard in the High Court.

We contacted Clapton FC before publication to see if they wanted to comment.

CLAPTON’S SEASON ON THE PITCH SO FAR

Visiting Clapton fans at Waltham Forest, helping the home side to their highest attendance in decades

We wrote this piece on the season on the pitch so far for Waltham Forest’s brilliant match day programme on January 6th 2018. The home side won 1-0 in front of their biggest crowd in 20 years.

After finishing second last season, 2017/18 was never going to be easy for Clapton.

Missing out on promotion and without a budget, runners-up at Step 5 are always prone to seeing the talent move on.

Sure enough the Tons have had a rotating door with key players and staff moving up the leagues since the summer.

In their place we have a brand new coaching set-up, as well as countless cameos by loanees and trialists.

The squad has also endured a rotten run of serious injuries, and a goalkeeping crisis that you could describe as biblical (six goalkeepers in three games, anyone?)

And yet despite all this, the new-look team has continued to grind out results.

Having overcome some obstacles of our own, Clapton’s supporters have enjoyed some great young talent, a spot of cup heroics and a long winning run.

We have been treated to one of the league’s topscorers in the Sterling-esque Jeff Cobblah – whose 16 goals are more than any of our older fans can remember a Tons striker notching in an entire season.

And through it all, the team is still doggedly, amazingly in touch with the promotion race.

Of course, there has been plenty of drama off the field as well (just visit claptonfcnews.wordpress.com if you need more info).

But you might say that there’s been enough happening on the pitch for this preview to take a leaf out of other ESL commentators’ books/tweets/podcasts and quietly skirt around all that.

That, though, would be a disservice to one man who seems to have paid the price of a conflict not of his making.

Club captain Jerry Jairette is the only player at Clapton to pre-date the Ultras.

Or we should say he was; out of nowhere on 18 December, with Tons awaiting news of Jerry’s return from a nasty injury sustained when deputising in goal, he announced he was leaving the club after 11 and a half years.

He never made a secret of his love for the fans, and the feeling is definitely mutual.

Even throughout the tensions that flared up between the fans and the club in the last 12 months or so, Jerry managed to do right by both parties, giving his all for the shirt and the fans.

When Tons fans were controversially told not to attend two away games within a week, Jairette stood unequivocally by the supporters.

Ultimately this seems to be what led to one of the club’s most loyal servants being a put in a position where he has had to leave the club he loves.

And to be honest, we are all still a bit numb.

As sad as this outcome is, it is amazing it has taken this long for the noise off the field to affect the field of play.

Now all we can say for sure is that, players and fans alike, Clapton will still be adjusting to the post-Jerry era at Wadham Lodge today.

As the man himself says on Twitter, #wewinnsing2geva