Well documented troubles behind the scenes at Clapton seem to have taken a dire turn this week, with the Essex Senior League and the FA the latest to demand assurances from Club Chief Executive, Vince McBean, over the immediate future of the club.
By taking the extraordinary decision to call in the liquidators for Clapton’s famous Old Spotted Dog ground in March of this year, for reasons as yet unclear, McBean has generated huge uncertainty over where (or if) Clapton will play for the coming 2017/18 season.
Now the Essex Senior League has called on the self styled Chief Exec to clarify the status of the ground as a matter of urgency, with fixtures for the fast approaching season to be finalised following the League AGM this Thursday.
Vince McBean took control at the Spotted Dog back in 2000 and presided over the club as it dropped out of the Isthmian League for the first time since the Tons were founder members back in 1905. Mr McBean’s previous club, Woodford Town, moved to groundshare at The Dog in 1999 following the demise of their own Snakes Lane ground.
With liquidation initiated, Mr McBean must now secure permission from the liquidator to continue playing in Forest Gate or find an alternative venue to host Clapton home matches for the season. With no Club statement on the issue forthcoming, It is unclear whether either option is viable.
This uncertainty couldn’t have come at a worse time for Clapton, following the club’s most successful season in decades. Clapton could be forced to explore the same route taken by Eton Manor, by remaining in the ESL as a ‘non-playing member’ for the season.