Lon­don mayor hammers ‘dis­grace­ful’ scenes at West Ham

The New Age (Free State) - - SPORT - LON­DON

MAYOR of Lon­don Sadiq Khan added his voice to the con­dem­na­tion of the ugly scenes when West Ham fans in­vaded the pitch at the Lon­don Sta­dium and hurled mis­siles at the club’s own­ers dur­ing Satur­day’s 3-0 de­feat to Burn­ley.

Co-own­ers David Sul­li­van and David Gold were forced to flee their seats in the direc­tors’ box as fans crowded ag­gres­sively around them with chants of “sack the board” and “you killed our club”.

For­mer West Ham striker and man­ager Sir Trevor Brook­ing con­firmed that a coin had struck Sul­li­van’s glasses prior to him tak­ing shel­ter.

“The dis­tur­bances at the Lon­don Sta­dium were dis­grace­ful and it’s clear that there can­not be a re­peat of the ugly scenes wit­nessed on Satur­day,” a spokesper­son for the Lon­don mayor said.

“It is up to West Ham to carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, to­gether with stake­hold­ers, and take proper ac­tion against those sup­port­ers who misbehaved.”

West Ham said an emer­gency meet­ing had been called with all Lon­don Sta­dium stake­hold­ers, which in­cludes Gold and Sul­li­van, whose de­ci­sion to up­root the club from Up­ton Park to the site that hosted Lon­don’s 2012 Olympic Games has caused re­sent­ment.

Satur­day’s events are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and the Pre­mier League.

West Ham cap­tain Mark No­ble grap­pled one fan to the floor while Burn­ley play­ers and staff al­lowed fright­ened young fans to take shel­ter on their bench.

The lat­est in­ci­dents are not the first scenes of trou­ble since West Ham moved to the Lon­don Sta­dium 18 months ago and have raised fears that the club could be pun­ished by hav­ing to play a fu­ture game be­hind closed doors. West Ham’s next home fix­ture isn’t un­til March 31.

Brook­ing be­lieves stew­ard­ing at the ground is in­ad­e­quate and be­lieves an ex­tra po­lice pres­ence is re­quired to pre­vent what he de­scribed as scenes from “the bad old days” when hooli­gan­ism blighted the English game.

“There weren’t suf­fi­cient stew­ards and they couldn’t re­ally cope with what was some­times go­ing back to the bad old days of 25 years ago,” Brook­ing told BBC Five Live.

“The club are go­ing to have to look at things with the lo­cal po­lice and make sure that trained stew­ards and po­lice are in place – you’re al­most look­ing at it and say­ing, ‘this is out of con­trol’.

“A lot of the stew­ards who are on duty on are not West Ham peo­ple. They’re ac­tu­ally sta­dium peo­ple and some­times un­til they get a job they haven’t had any ex­pe­ri­ence deal­ing with foot­ball crowds.” – AFP


NOT HAPPY: Lon­don mayor Sadiq Khan slammed West Ham fans.

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