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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When is a ban not a ban.......


Some people love the purveyors of semantics, you know the type, and so do we; there’s an almost universal revulsion of these snake oil salesmen and quite rightly so, they’re usually given as wide a berth as possible.

Conversely, there’s been a tremendous response to the plight of Richard Knights; hundreds if not thousands of people have empathised with the lifelong Evertonian, a fifty season veteran, who believes he is the victim of a malicious and vexatious harassment campaign whose clear aim is to silence his criticism of the Everton charity’s involvement in the Government’s Free School Programme.

Whilst not everyone agrees with his campaign, it’s refreshing that almost everybody recognises his right to express his opinion and they’re appalled at not only the treatment he’s received but the attempted demonization of an Evertonian which, as many have pointed out, isn’t the first such incident involving the attempted misrepresentation of an Evertonian, who can forget the unsavoury incident in Thailand involving the assault of a young Evertonian and the people who were involved in that?

Due to a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission [IPCC] being upheld and the ongoing police investigation, KEIOC has been advised not to discuss the specific allegations, however, we feel obliged to repeat that this is not about Richard’s alleged harassment of anybody; this is about the blatant misuse of legislation designed to protect vulnerable people through misleading the police, which means that the real issue here is freedom of speech and the right to express an opinion without fear of reprisal.

It has been seen that companies employ individuals to cast them in a good light, to protect them from criticism by fair means or foul, they all attempt to do the same job.

Indeed, the exultant tone of the letter Richard received, the letter in which Richard’s season ticket was revoked, particularly in the two most relevant paragraphs, provides a fascinating insight into the true reason for removing Richard’s season ticket:

“In addition, the Club has formed the view that your conduct over several months, being such as to require a Police Warning Notice and threat of civil injunction, amounts to inappropriate behaviour as referred to in our Match Ticket / Season Ticket Terms and conditions. Consequently I hereby inform you that as of today’s date, your season ticket has been cancelled and the club intends to exercise its entitlement under our Ground Regulations to refuse you admission to Goodison Park

“As you are no longer the holder of a season ticket and do not have a customer number, Everton will not communicate with you under our Customer Charter provisions, as it is no longer part of our statutory obligations. For the avoidance of doubt, if you attempt to contact any members of Everton Free School, Everton Football Club or Everton in the Community in future they will be instructed not to respond to you. Any attempted communication will be considered further harassment in light of the warning provided to you to date not to make further contact and the Police and our Solicitors will be contacted with a view to protecting our staff.

Yours sincerely

Paul Tyrrell

Director of Communications”

Sir Walter Scott was right and of course the wriggling has begun, the stories are being straightened, the spin is being spun and the gullible are already swallowing the explanations; in short, the deckchairs are being well and truly shuffled.

So, when is a ban not a ban? Apparently when it's an intention to "exercise its entitlement under our Ground Regulations to refuse you admission to Goodison Park" so that's okay then; glad we cleared that one up, nobody has received a ban this season; semantics.....don't you just love them?

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