Having had a very successful 2016/17 season, finishing as ESL League runners up, the Tons have worked hard both on and off the pitch to prepare for the start of the new season. We have a lot of work ahead to achieve the promotion we are seeking, but the players, coaching and management teams are committed to working toward achieving this goal.

It was, therefore, with great disappointment to see that certain sections of “supporters” are putting their energies in being disruptive, with the aim, it seems to continually attack the club.

Having only played 3 matches so far (2 league and the extra prelim of the FA Cup), these have been marred with the letting off of flares (an action that we have consistently asked supporters to stop doing as it, not only is against the rules, is very dangerous and is guaranteed to lead to hefty sanctions against the club), and offensive and derogatory chants against myself (and therefore, the club that they are supposedly supporting).

The main reason for this communication is that, we have now been asked to respond to the fact that flares were let off at the Ilford match.

The communication from the Essex FA clearly says:

“We are in receipt of the email [below]from The FA, relating to a twitter post from last week’s fixture. The FA have requested
we investigate the incident…A response is required to be received by…”

Clapton’s response is attached here.

We do not apologise for the hard line as the series of events that a small group are hell bent on taking is threatening the club and the inclusive nature we have created. Not only that, it is diverting our attention away from focussing on playing football and moving forward.

Please be warned if you are identified as one of these persons, letting off flares, singing these songs, or making threats or unacceptable comments on the internet, you will be banned from coming into the Old Spotted Dog Ground and if needs be we will make an application that you are not allowed to attend our away matches also.

We have our first home match this Saturday (12th) and the suggestion of playing behind closed doors is already being made.  Not for the first time, we were contacted by the police on Monday (7th), who are concerned about developments and the possible increase in anti social behaviour at the ground.

Unfortunately, due to the action of a few, what is certain is that the increased level of security that supporters have complained about in the past, is being forced upon us again.  All future home matches will see an increase in the enforcement of the Club’s Ground Rules. No exceptions.

We fully acknowledge the positive impact that the vast majority of Clapton supporters are making. Let’s not make a few destroy that! If you are a supporter that is with the club then fine, let’s work together. However,  if you hate the regime that much then we suggest you stay away.