A POPULAR website dedicated to Weymouth Football Club has shut down because its editors have received abuse from fans over the Fred Davies affair.
But Steve Dadd, who helps to run the club’s unofficial website with Paul O’Reilly, has today assured Terras’ supporters that it will be back online within the next few weeks.
Fred Davies was sacked as Terras’ director of Football two weeks ago in a dramatic shake-up at the Dr Martens Premier Division’s second-placed club.
A week before his departure, the website conducted a straw poll asking fans whether Davies and player-boss Andy Mason should stay or go.
Mr Dadd said some fans took this as an indication that the website operators wanted the pair booted out because of the club’s recent performance, something he has strongly denied.
He said some fans sent abusive emails to the site and had claimed Davies’ downfall was due to the website poll.
The club said that due to family commitments, Davies had been relieved of his duties.
The results of the website poll were never published, but it actually came out in favour of Mason and Davies, said Mr Dadd.
Fans logging on to the website this week were met with a grim message from Mr O’Reilly, announcing that he was shutting down the site he launched three years ago.
It is understood that lifelong Terras’ fan Mr O’Reilly, who lives in Birmingham, will re-launch the site again soon.
He explains to fans on the site that he never wanted to ‘stir things up’ or sway fans’ views on issues connected with the club.
He says: “One of our recent features, which was never intended to create havoc within the club or its fans, is being blamed for the departure of Fred Davies and the club’s recent performances on the pitch.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when it extends to harassing the family of contributors to the site I feel it is time to call it a day.
“Maybe it’s just being touchy after a family bereavement but I really could not be bothered with spending all my family time on this PC, updating this site, for it and its contributors to be a constant target of abuse.”
Mr O’Reilly did not want to comment further but Mr Dadd, 41, who works as a decorator in Weymouth, said: “As the webmaster, Paul spends 15 to 20 hours a week putting the information on the site together but he’s a family man and has a full-time job.
Basically, he needs time to reflect, he was knocked for six by the death of a close family member.”
He added: “Some people thought we were trying to oust Fred but that’s not true at all, we just wanted to gauge opinion. The poll came out in favour of Andy, and Fred, to a lesser degree.
“Some people have approached me at the ground and on the street to tell me what they think of me.
“And someone did make a fairly innocuous remark to my wife.
“They think the website was out to make trouble but it’s there to support Weymouth FC.”
The website receives up to 1,000 hits a week from Terras’ fans all over the world.
“It includes match statistics, videos, club shop and a chat room.
Club director James Murphy, who is also the supporters’ club chairman, said he respected the decision of the website operators but hoped to see it online again soon.
“It’s an invaluable resource, people from all over keep up to date with club news through the website,” he said.
Mr Murphy added: “The website poll didn’t have the slightest influence on the decision. We have more important things to worry about.”