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.

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WHO WILL BE IN THE NEW EASTERN SENIOR LEAGUE? THE CLUBS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE ESL2 DIVISION FOR ESSEX

UPDATED: 18/05/18 More details of the new Step 6 league for Essex have been revealed…

Here’s what we understand so far…

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 mainly 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 Felixstowe & Walton or 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 all of Essex, with Thurlow Nunn and Eastern Senior League North more of a East Anglia only set-up.

There will be 16 clubs in the Eastern Senior League North and South, which means that midweek league games won’t be needed unless there are lots of postponements.

So who will be in the Eastern Senior League South?

We still don’t know the full make-up of the league yet, but there’s been no shortage of clubs applying, from as low as Step 12, six divisions below, and some clubs that aren’t in the pyramid.

We’re going to go through all the clubs we think could be in the new Step 6 league.

 

Clubs promoted from lower leagues

These clubs applied for promotion to the new ESL South from the Essex Olympian League, and are not included in the EOFL leagues for next season, therefore are assumed to have been successful…

Benfleet – Essex Olympian League Div 2 (Step 9)
May & Baker – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7
Newbury Forest – Essex Olympian League Div 1 (Step 8)
White Ensign – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)

These clubs are also believed to have been approved…

Coggleshall United – Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier (Step 7)
Felixstowe & Walton Reserves – Thurlow Nunn Reserve League (non-pyramid)
Harwich & Parkeston – Essex & Suffolk Border League (Step 7)

These club are believed to have been turned down…
Frenford – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Laindon Orient – Southend Borough Combination (non-pyramid)
Rayleigh Town – Essex Olympian League Premier (Step 7)
Southend Sports – Essex Olympian League Div 4 (Step 11)

These club are believed to be possibles…
AEK London – Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8)
Brightlingsea Regent Reserves – Thurlow Nunn Reserve League (non-pyramid)
Fire United Christian – Middlesex County League Div 1 (Step 8)
Hashtag United–  YouTube club (non-pyramid)
Lopes Tavares London – Essex Alliance League Premier (Step 12)
Sporting Hackney – Middlesex County League Premier (Step 7)
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: AEK London are a club set up by Greek refugees from Turkey who play in Edmonton; Fire United Christian 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 play at West Ham Memorial Park in Plaistow.

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There could 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.

Meanwhile Benfleet play at Conference South side Canvey Island’s home, Braintree Town Reserves at the Conference South club’s stadium, Holland FC at FC Clacton’s home, Laindon Orient at Bostik North side Bowers & Pitsea’s home, and Newbury Forest at Redbridge FC’s Oakside Stadium.

Clubs relegated from the Essex Senior League

At the start of the 2017/8 season, it was announced ‘up to 4 clubs’ would be relegated from the Essex Senior League. For most of the season, however, it was assumed it would 3 at the most, with Eton Manor, ‘non-playing members’ at the moment, expected to be automatically relegated.

However, in early May after the end of the season, the Essex Senior League announced that the bottom four had been relegated, subject to appeals. They are all expected to be placed in the Eastern Senior League.

Hackney Wick
Burnham Ramblers
Wadham Lodge
Stansted

Clubs in Eastern Counties League in the North Essex area

At least some of these seem highly to be in the new Eastern Senior League South…

AFC Sudbury Reserves
Braintree Town Reserves
Cornard United
Holland FC
Halstead Town
Little Oakley
Wivenhoe Town

So we think these 16 could be the line-up

Benfleet
Braintree Town Reserves
Burnham Ramblers
Coggleshall United
Felixstowe & Walton Reserves
Hackney Wick
Halstead Town
Harwich & Parkeston
Holland FC

Little Oakley
May & Baker

Newbury Forest
Stansted
Wadham Lodge
White Ensign
Wivenhoe Town

This would cover a large footprint from Little Oakley to the north, down to Benfleet at Canvey Island to the south. Journeys would be up to 120 mile round trips.

We’ll know the real line-up in the next few weeks.

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

CLAPTON FC’S DODGY DOSSIER ON THEIR OWN FANS WHICH COST NON-LEAGUE CLUBS THOUSANDS

Clapton fans watch the recent away game at Southend Manor from just outside the ground

The two clubs who banned Clapton fans from their games lost a four-figure sum, our calculations reveal. But was it it all based on outdated or misleading information?

To recap, Essex Senior League side Southend Manor banned away fans and groundhoppers twice in a month, with Met Police FC doing the same for a London Senior Cup tie.

Those decisions sparked a wave of negative publicity for Southend, Met Police and Clapton, with hundreds of critical tweets posted along with articles in newspapers and magazines and on blogs and podcasts.

Met Police FC have even taken the extraordinary step of locking their tweets, so the public can no longer view them.

As well as this loss of goodwill from across the footballing world, our calculations suggest there was a big financial hit.

But what really sparked it? Here we unpick the reasons behind those bans including whether a dodgy dossier provided by Clapton FC was to blame.

Southend Manor

Southend Manor announced their two bans, for a cup and league game, were due to fear of ‘fines being invoked against the home club should any pyrotechnics/flares be let off during a game’.

Perhaps that seems understandable, since two Essex Senior League clubs have been threatened with huge fines when ‘pyro’ (coloured smoke) was used by visiting Tons fans early on this season.

It’s documented that such ‘pyro’ was used at two Clapton games in the 30 played so far this season, though never while the game was in play.

However, it should be pointed out there have been no instances of ‘pyro’ at all – before, during or after games – since early October 2017.

This is because fans elected to call a halt due to the threat of fines being levied against cash-strapped clubs. All Essex Senior League clubs were made aware of that decision – including emails to Southend Manor on more than one occasion.

Incidentally, there have been no instances of ‘pyro’ during Clapton games since September 2015, more than two years, due to the threat that refs would stop the match.

In fact, there has been more ‘pyro’ used at Essex Senior League games not involving Clapton than at those involving Clapton.

Fans of five ESL clubs – which we are choosing not to name – have used ‘pyro’ over the last two seasons alone, completely unconnected to Clapton.

We have spoken to several of these clubs privately and they have revealed they were not fined for ‘pyro’ use, It seems the fines only apply when Clapton are involved.

Regardless, Southend Manor publicly announced they feared that Clapton fans would use ‘pyro’, despite being assured by fans it wouldn’t happen.

But why? Perhaps they just didn’t trust the information provided by Clapton Ultras. Or perhaps the conflicting briefing from Clapton FC officials had more sway.

An article posted on the Clapton FC website on December 8th provides a revealing insight into what sort of misinformation the club has been feeding opposition officials.

In an extraordinary and lengthy trashing of the club’s fans, chief executive Vince McBean craftily uses a screenshot of a tweet dated Nov 16th showing ‘pyro’ after a Clapton game.

The clear implication to anyone seeing that would be that it happened a few weeks ago. The truth is this was a tweet from November 16th 2016, over a year ago.

Met Police FC

Mr McBean also admitted in a dossier on the club’s website that Met Police FC’s ban came after discussions with ‘Clapton officials’.

Mr McBean insists Met Police FC phoned him, not the other way round as we suggested in a previous article. We are happy to clarify that, though we’re unsure why that’s significant.

Sometime soon after this discussion, Met Police FC reversed their previous welcome to fans and instead issued a ban and a statement slamming the Ultras’ behaviour as ‘unacceptable’.

In Mr McBean’s article about the Clapton Ultras on his website, he highlights three instances of bad behaviour over the last five years that Met Police FC were made aware of.

Two of these instances took place at away games, where neither Mr McBean nor any other Clapton officials were present.

Two of them also involved people attending one of their first games, so it is clear Mr McBean takes no responsibility for matchday issues himself, pinning everything entirely on the ‘Clapton Ultras’.

It was also extraordinary to read Mr McBean describe the organised attack on Clapton fans by far-right hooligans hurling racist abuse as ‘fights between supporters resulting in media coverage.’

Nevertheless, while 99% of games have been incident free, it is a fact that Mr McBean did manage to dredge up three unsavoury incidents from across the last five years.

So does that mean the Met Police FC had a point not to want such incidents at their ground?

Well, maybe. But no level of football takes place without incident, there are issues every week from the Premier League down to Sunday leagues and even parents watching kids’ football.

In all those instances, the individual/s responsible for any inappropriate behaviour are dealt with. They don’t punish every single person who happens to support the same team, like in the case of Southend Manor and Met Police FC.

And while you may assume that the Essex Senior League without Clapton fans is entirely incident-free, given attendances only average around 50, already this season there has been….

* An acid attack threat – reported widely in local and national newspapers
* A ‘huge melee’ of players leading to trouble breaking out among spectators’ – reported in a newspaper
* Anti-Semitic chanting – caught on video and reported to Kick It Out
* A ‘mass ruck’ involving players and fans – reported on social media

Quite a charge sheet in the space of a few months – and nothing at all to do with Clapton Ultras.

At the exact moment we published this article, a London FA official is reporting on Twitter that an Essex Senior League club’s match is abandoned due to a spitting incident sparking a mass disturbance.

Of course these are just incidents that have become public knowledge. Many ESL games are played in front of a mere handful of people, often without a single mention on social media, so who knows what else happens away from the glare.

In contrast, tens of thousands of spectators have seen Clapton play at these hundreds of games over the five-year period, with thousands of tweets covering the fans’ every move, and with virtually no incidents.

A near miss?

A similar situation threatened to develop for the FA Vase game at London Lions in October, we can reveal.

A Clapton Ultras source tells us that the home club were ‘unbelievably welcoming from the moment the draw was made’ but suddenly became nervous the day before the fixture.

It is understood the Lions had received communication from Mr McBean, who massively exaggerated the number of travelling supporters to expect and recommended to prepare for bad behaviour.

The fearful hosts duly drafted in at least six stewards to deal with an invasion of riotous hooligans – only to relax when a fiercely noisy and colourful but brilliantly behaved group turned up.

The home club in fact went so far as to publicly praise the fans, writing: “The ‘Ultras’ did not stop singing and provided a unique element to the day.”

Would anyone have been surprised, however, if London Lions had instead banned visiting supporters based on the similar misinformation they received as Southend Manor and Met Police FC?

Counting the cost

Whatever your opinion of the reasons behind the fan bans, we believe it has cost Southend Manor alone a four-figure sum.

The last two attendances for Southend Manor v Clapton games have been 98 and 93. In contrast, this season’s attendances have been 45 and 41 – a difference of 53 and 52.

Assuming similar numbers of Tons fans had turned up this season, an extra 105 people in total paying £7 admission, and buying just one drink at the bar on average, that’s well over a grand in lost income.

On top of that, the league game saw 6 stewards patrolling the edge of the ground for at least 3 hours. There were at least 3 at the cup game the month earlier too.

At least some of them were hired SIA accredited bouncers, we have been told. That would also have cost the club hundreds of pounds extra in wages.

In the end, around 50 Clapton fans across the two games watched from just outside the perimeter fence for free anyway (and didn’t let off any ‘pyro’ or otherwise behave badly).

Likewise, Met Police FC missed out on hundreds of pounds of gate receipts and shelled out for four stewards outside their Imber Court ground to ensure no visiting fans tried to gain access.

So how much did the outdated and misleading information posted on Clapton’s website sway the opposition clubs’ decisions to ban the club’s fans?

Unfortunately we may never know as Southend Manor and Met Police have declined to reply to any of our emails.

Last month Clapton FC announced a policy not to speak to this website and have not even replied to our last seven emails requesting comment.