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In 1995,The Daggers beat Bath City 1-0 at Home in the GM Vauxhall Conference 

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Flag-gate update
by Hardy on 26/10/2017

Following on from a club statement issued today, DiggerDagger has contacted the football club for clarification of what the heck is going on.

Flag-gate update

Following on from a club statement issued today on the issue of an alleged email sent from Steve Thompson to all future league opponents advising them of a ban on certain supporters flags, DiggerDagger has contacted the football club for clarification of what the heck is going on.

The issue was a hot topic in August, and was discussed in an interview with Daggers board member Bave Bennett, here. The Supporters Club felt this was important enough to issue a formal response which is here.

The Club Statement

Thu Oct 26 2017

On Saturday, 21st October, Glyn Hopkin was invited into the Supporters Club Office and handed, by two members of D&RFC Supporters Club Committee and two other individuals, a sheet of A4 paper. Printed on this paper was a photocopy of a purported email that they alleged was sent by our MD, Steve Thompson.

It was claimed that this email had been sent by Mr Thompson to various other National League clubs and our Safety Officer, Tony Payne.

Mr Thompson had previously denied sending out a generic e-mail to all clubs. It was therefore being implied that Mr Thompson had lied.

The purported e-mail has been confirmed to be a clumsy fake by a number of IT specialists, a fact that was pretty obvious to even a non expert.

Presumably the intention was a deliberate attempt to discredit Steve Thompson and by extension Tony Payne, a highly respected retired senior police officer with Essex Police.

Great strides have been made over the past 10 months, particularly by Glyn Hopkin, to try to integrate the Club with its supporters but it would appear that some of our supporters are not willing to move on. It was therefore very disheartening that the Supporters Club should give so much credence, and be duped, by a bogus document without first checking its provenance.

However in an attempt to stop the inevitable rumour mill that normally surrounds such events the club is making this public statement in the hope of drawing a line under what otherwise could become an unseemly and damaging split.

The Supporters Club have once again responded to this statement, and their view can be found here.

Fact checking

DiggerDagger asked for a clarification from Dave Bennett regarding the events surrounding an issue that we had thought had gone quietly into the long grass during what has been a decent season on the pitch so far.

"Following the previous discussion of the flags Glyn and I had a meeting with representatives from the Supporters Club and the owners of the Trump and North Korea flags to try to resolve our differences. Glyn asked that the offending flags no longer be displayed at away games, and stated that they were banned at home matches by him."

"The email that had been allegedly sent by Steve to our future opponents came up once again at this meeting, and despite assurances from Glyn and myself that we had looked into this matter and no such email was sent, the Supporters Club representatives made clear that they did not believe this."

Dave repeated what he told me previously, that an email was sent to AFC Fylde, which was the away trip following Eastleigh, where there was trouble involving our away support, which was copied to Tony Payne, our safety officer, and also one to Maidstone United who we were playing the following midweek. "These were not broadcasts, they were addressed to specific individuals at those clubs, stating that we had banned the Trump and North Korea flags at Victoria Road."

"Since that meeting we have heard very little more on the matter, until on Saturday, Glyn Hopkin was asked to visit the Supporters Club office, which he did after that game. Present there were Russell Elmes, Brenda Monaghan and the two flag owners, one of whom handed Glyn a photo of an email which looked like it had been sent by Steve Thompson, copy Tony Payne, to a guy at Maidstone United, but copied in representatives of the other clubs in the league," Dave told us.

"Glyn took the copy and advised the group that he would look into it and get back to them." Dave went on to say that Glyn was upset by the way this was raised, and felt a little intimidated to be honest. "He told me the atmosphere was triumphant and a little toxic."

So is the email genuine?

"The first issue we had with ot was that it wasn't an actual email, it was a photo of an email. If someone has a copy of it, why would they give us a picture of it, not just send it to us?"

"We looked at the photo in detail after this of course. It has clearly come from the genuine email which was sent to AFC Fylde, and Steve can show from the time it was sent that it doesn't match anything in his 'sent' folder. Tony Payne can also show this from his received folder."

Dave continued, "We have also had a couple of other people who are more IT literate than us look at this and there are a couple of other things that are suspicious and show that it is a cut and paste though.

"The clincher for me is who it is addressed to. The email addresses of the club representatives are genuine, but there are two clubs missing, Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient."

"Hartlepool missing was odd as they were our next away opponent after Maidstone," said Dave. "Then someone pointed out that the two clubs missing were the two relegated from the Football League at the end of 2016/17. If someone had an old copy of the National League handbook, the email addresses for officers of those clubs would be in it, however not those for the relegated teams. It is a fake."

"We had a long board meeting to discuss this and other issues yesterday, and at it we resloved to issue the statement that went out today. We have had enough of it now."


All in all, good grief, what the hell are people trying to achieve here? This is a dopey distraction for everyone.

The flags in question have had their day and are no longer appropriate and this campaign against Steve Thompson is very unlikely to succeed, particularly with such "the dog ate my homework" childishness supported by people that ought to know better, ie. senior people in the Dagenham & Redbridge FC Supporters Club.

It is clear that Glyn Hopkin, who has invested a lot of time and personal money in the club following on from last years' dabacle is getting fed up with being ambushed by these sort of petty issues. We all appreciate having him accessible and involved, and his personal investment can be seen from changes around the clubhouse in particular.

These sort of things could possibly kill the one thing that is a massive positive to come out of the takeover soap opera of last year, which is the takeover of ownership by Glyn Hopkin.

Grow up, move on!

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