A message to supporters

Dear Supporters of Walthamstow FC,

The Board would like to clarify/explain the situation regarding what happened between us and our former manager Ryan Maxwell.

Since late November 2019, the Board has been made aware of allegations of various misdemeanors which we regarded as being very serious, these include bullying, intimidation and threats to opposition players using WhatsApp voice messages.

The board tried to put measures in place to observe whether these allegations were true. But were met with hostility and anger towards the decisions and measures in place. After a month of observation, we decided that we needed to replace Ryan as the first team manager.

On Wednesday, 22nd of January 2020 we called an emergency board meeting to discuss the future of Ryan Maxwell as First Team manager. After two hours we decided that we were going to ask Ryan to resign so it didn’t affect his future career in football.

On Thursday the 23rd at 10:30am our owner called Ryan and asked him to hand in his resignation. Results on the pitch were very good but we felt that the conduct of first team manager wasn’t what we wanted to represent our community football club Walthamstow FC going forward. The conversation was brief but included hostility and blame pointed towards a fellow board member. We asked him to stay away from the players to which he responded, “They are my players, I brought into the club. They only play for the club because of me.”

Later that evening, approximately 7pm we were made aware that all the players had been called to meet Ryan in a pub. We thought it was to say goodbye to the players, so we didn’t object to the players being there. We didn’t think for one minute that the meeting with the players was to fill their heads with poison and untruths.

At 7:30pm our owner received a WhatsApp voice message saying, “Be careful of what you say, you didn’t ask me to resign, I was going to resign myself.”

At 1:30am our owner received another message threatening him and his family. We have also been made aware that one of our players received a similar message.

On Saturday 25th of January 2020 the players, to their credit decided to train. They had a meeting with the owner and they all decided to play against Ilford on the Wednesday night. In the meantime, we were aware that all our players had been contacted on numerous occasions from Ryan Maxwell trying to move them on to different clubs. We know that illegal approaches have been made for our players turning their heads. We feel that Ryan may be behind this. Indeed, this is borne out by a number of Twitter posts we have seen.

We are very reluctant in posting this statement as we just wanted to move on. But we feel that our hand was forced because of the way Ryan has reacted towards the situation and feel that we need to give our point of view.

We feel for the players as they’ve been stuck in the middle and don’t know the whole story which we decided to safeguard them against so they might continue to enjoy their football us, or move on in the knowledge we are proud of what they achieved for the club in getting us into a strong promotion challenging position through their hard work and dedication.

We feel that the club has acted in a professional manner throughout this situation. We will be making an announcement about the new manager shortly.

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