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‘Smart Alec’ Fan Banned

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Taunton Town fan Paul Chandler, the former chairman of the team’s Supporters’ Club, has been banned from attending the non-league team’s ground for the ridiculous reason of being an ‘ass’ and a ‘smart Alec’, in the opinion of the Taunton Town chairman.

The story began last year when Taunton Town’s board met with the Supporters’ Club of which 55-year-old Paul was the then chairman. Town fans had fears over the way their club was being run and raised these legitimate queries with the board who responded by declaring the Supporters’ Club a ‘disgrace’ who had no right to ask any questions. The board then announced that the Supporters’ Club had been disbanded, and Paul has been denied entry to the club ever since.

Taunton had not replied to any of his correspondence before the FSF stepped in on his behalf, and Ken Malley, chair of the FSF’s South West and South Wales Division attended the club’s AGM to question the ban. The club stalled and refused to answer Ken and give their reasons, and so the FSF followed this up in writing to the club, asking for clarification and also for the right of appeal.

In the only correspondence received from the club on the matter, the chairman wrote back to us branding Paul ‘an ass’ and ‘a smart Alec’, with no other reason being given for his ban.

Paul told us “All I wanted from the club was the chance to defend myself. If I’m banned they should at least tell me why and give me the right to appeal. If that makes me an ‘ass’ and ‘a smart Alec’ then who knows what it makes the legal system in the UK where this is a fundamental point of principle.”

Ken Malley described the club’s behaviour as ‘a joke’.

Fans should be able to raise legitimate concerns with their clubs through appropriate channels, and to arbitrarily ban someone from the club with no reason or right to appeal is just not on. Someone’s acting like an ass here, but we don’t think it’s Paul.

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