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Staines Town deactivate while club’s fans turn to support newly named team for the town

Staines Town deactivate their socials and website while the club’s fans turn to support a newly named team rebranded for the town.

Judging by the recent changes, deleting the official club’s Twitter account which had over 11,000 followers, and taking down their website, Staines Town are potentially no more.

Friday the 1st of July 2022 saw them left out of the entrants list for the upcoming cup competition, also a nail in the coffin.

The same day, Staines Lammas became Staines & Lammas (Middlesex) FC – “The all new and united football club for the town of Staines has just arrived and we have teamed up with local rivals Staines Lammas to form a Staines ‘super club’! As one door closes, another one opens! A new beginning where love will replace corruption. We are now finally free!!!”

The revamped club is not only going to benefit from Staines Town supporters switching over ahead of the 2022/23 season, but from all the publicity generated by the conduct of Joe Dixon.

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A few months ago you saw @StainesTownFC accuse their landlords of funding slavery and murder. Then you saw them admit they don’t own their own penalty area. It’s time we asked (again): “What in the actual hell is going on at Staines Town Football Club?”

By now you’ve surely seen the incredible statements published by Staines. They were the talk of the football world for 15 incredible minutes and then everything, well, went rather quiet. What happened?

In preparation for this thread – I sat and read through Staines’ lengthy evidence in order to answer the question “Do Staines have a point?” because I hadn’t actually seen anyone properly consider it.

Spoilers: No, their evidence is utter nonsense. But don’t let that stop you from reading on. It’s a wild ride.

A short recap from our earlier thread: Staines’ former owner, Alan Boon passed away after years of successful custodianship. He leaves the club in a healthy state and bequeaths ownership to his son, who can’t support the same level of expenditure. The club is put up for sale.

Around the same time of Alan Boon’s passing, just 20 miles away a man called Joe Dixon joins the West Ham development squad. Young Joe is desperate to earn a professional contract. He fails to make a mark at the Boleyn Ground, but his journey is just beginning.

Joe takes part in trials all over Europe in pursuit of that lucrative pro contract. It’s possible, but unconfirmed, that he paid for these opportunities. Notably, he had a trial at Levski Sofia. We’ll return to that later.

Realising he probably wasn’t going to make the cut as a pro, Joe settled into his professional life as… well we don’t know. He certainly has some, possibly quite loose, connection to the financial world but in what capacity we’re unsure.

He is, or was, based in the US at some point. We found an address for him, a small house in the middle of American suburbia. Nothing hugely fancy or indicative of substantial wealth. No judgement, just interesting given what’s to come.

In 2018, Joe is part of a consortium that buys Staines from the Boon family. He immediately says the club will reach the Football League under their tenure.

Now it’s important to note that the ground that Staines play in has the main stand built into the side of a gym and leisure centre called The Thames Club. The Thames Club is owned by Downing LLP (That Staines accused of funding murder. Those ones.)

Now STFC and the Thames Club had a tolerable, if sometimes cold, relationship. The football club sold the freehold back in the 80s to raise funds. The gym came later. At one end of the pitch, the land behind the goal was owned by a gentleman who kept a field of ponies.

More than one source told me that when Joe arrived at Staines, he was more interested in the legal issues than putting a team on the pitch. An attempt to buy the freehold back came to nought. The relationship between Joe and the Thames Club soured dramatically.

It does seem that the Thames Club weren’t blameless here. While the building was technically there’s to do with as they pleased, they did impose sough tough conditions on Staines, removing their board room to use as a dance studio, moving toilet access etc etc.

Joe clearly did have some decent connections. Here he is pictured in 2018 with Sheikh Khalid Fahad Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah (we think) in a meeting at Ascot Race Course, posted to the ‘Kuwaiti Ruling Family’ Instagram. The relationship remains unclear.

On the pitch, Staines sunk like a stone. A series of terrible managerial choices (not you Chico Ramos, nice work) saw the club plummet. In fairness, Staines were second in the season that was curtailed by Covid, but otherwise conceded goals for fun.

Here we go. Strap in. Anyway, while Staines were enjoying life being the whipping boys of Surrey, Dixon announced a £250m takeover bid of Levski Sofia, Bulgaria’s biggest club. As you do, yano?

The announcement didn’t gain much press in England but the Bulgarian coverage and the press conference where Joe was paraded in front of the media, slouched, in a scruffy tie, often looking slightly confused, is incredible.

Joe announced that, backed by US-based investment, he was going to build a new stadium for Levski Sofia. Back in England Joe was struggling to keep a small lower division club afloat but that wasn’t a problem.

Joe’s US consortium takeover didn’t succeed, obviously, and just sort of fizzled out. Clear of distractions, Joe could finally pave the path to success for Staines, right?

But earlier this year, Joe finally lost his mind. Staines announced a “Travellers Tournament” when members of the travelling community would play in a series of games on the Staines pitch. 7 days a week. For months.

It was suggested by plenty of Staines fans that the move was designed more to antagonise the Thames Club than genuine community outreach. Neighbours were concerned. As usual with Joe’s plans: nothing happened.

It was March 2022 when Staines first accused Downing LLP, owner of their landlord The Thames Club, of funding slavery and murder.

The statement was global news for a short while, and the club said they would refuse to play in the stadium until a full investigation was carried out. Accompanying the statement were several lengthy documents spelling out their concerns.

It took me 20 minutes of reading and fact-checking to label the concerns as ‘total bollocks’ and I’m being fairly generous.

And trust me, it takes a fair bit for me to side with the hedge funds, but Downing LLP has done nothing wrong other than invest, perfectly legally, in some admittedly shitty companies.

The evidence, basically, is this: A small part of Downing LLP bought public shares in some crappy companies that in the past have done bad things. Millions of people do the same every day. This is not a breach of the Slavery Act.

Staines’ understanding of the Slavery Act is also wholly inaccurate. The statement says that because of “third party breaches of Section 54 of The Modern Slavery Act 2015” they are “forced to temporarily suspend all primary operations”

S54 of the Slavery Act determines which companies have to publish an annual slavery statement. That’s it. Nobody broke that. It certainly wasn’t worth shutting the club over.

To top it off, Staines recently announced that “actually lads – we don’t own our penalty area” or words to that effect in another of Staines’ incredible attention-seeking statements.

I’ve had multiple sources question the accuracy of that assessment. The history of the land at Staines Town *does* get complicated but the issue has been raised, and successfully fought, for several decades.

If anything, it seems like Dixon has finally given up fighting the Thames Club with solicitors, and just handed it over. He’s killed the club anyway, so what’s the problem…?

What many missed though, is the fairly disgusting homophobic slur at the bottom, disguised as some weird quip about horoscopes. The latin motto tops it all off quite nicely.

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion that Dixon is a meaningless chancer who killed a club because his mouth wrote cheques that he just can’t cash. I hope he proves me wrong. He won’t. Staines are a dead club now, unfortunately.

But hang on, because just the other day it was revealed that Dixon is no longer a Person of Significant Control at Staines – it would appear Staines have new owners… (don’t get excited)

Staines have published nothing ahead of this season despite a pledge several months ago to continue. No announcements, no confirmation of league placings, nothing.

And that’s the story so far. Maybe it ends here for Staines, maybe it won’t. I suspect no one other than Joe Dixon knows for sure.


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