West Ham United undertook a full investigation into the crowd issues
immediately after Saturday's game with Watford and today held a productive
meeting with stadium owners E20.
Whilst West Ham United do not hold the Safety Certificate (this is held by
LS185) or control the security at the stadium, the Club is doing everything
possible within its jurisdiction to help provide a safe and enjoyable
environment for all supporters.
It is important that we recognise the vast majority who have attended the
first five fixtures played at London Stadium have been outstanding with
their behaviour and support. They, like all at West Ham United, do not want
their reputation or the Club's to be tarnished by the minority.
Today, the Club have insisted that E20 guarantee a police presence in the
In addition, the Club have also specified a number of essential important
improvements to match day operations moving forward, including the need for
LS185 to bolster the stewarding and security operation in terms of numbers,
but also in terms of the level training and experience they have dealing
with Premier League football matches.
E20 confirmed today that immediate action is being taken on the issues
raised. The Club will work tirelessly with them to ensure London Stadium
continues to be the inclusive and family-friendly environment that all
parties have worked so hard to achieve.
This includes a more robust and secure line of segregation between the home
and visiting fans as specified by the Club. We have been assured this will
be in place ahead of the next match.
The Club has already taken action to improve all match day elements within
their control, including the relocation of young children and families from
areas where the fans are more vociferous and the issuing of season long bans
for supporters engaging in antisocial behaviour.
The Club is working hard to move likeminded supporters into areas to enhance
their match day experience. This process commenced ahead of the Watford game
and has already proved successful in key areas. The Club will continue
prioritising this approach around the stadium.
In relation to Saturday's match against Watford:
• 10 individuals were ejected from the Stadium.
• No arrests were made.
• The Club received seven complaints in relation to standing, although 40
reports were received in relation to the antisocial behaviour in the stands.
The Club would appeal to supporters to report any incidents directly to the
Club, as all reported complaints and incidents are fully investigated, in
conjunction with a full review of CCTV footage from the day, with a view to
issuing further bans where appropriate.
Supporters are requested to provide as much information as possible, as the
more intelligence the Club have the more proactive and focused all efforts
to clamp down on antisocial behaviour will be. The Club will act on every
piece of evidence all of which will be collated and treated in the strictest
The Club now appeals to all supporters to come together and support West Ham
in the famous way we have historically been so proud of.
Manager on Monday
Slaven Bilic insists West Ham United have not become a bad side overnight.
The Hammers have lost three of their first four Premier League matches and
sit in the lower reaches of the table following a 4-2 home defeat by Watford
on Saturday. Manager Bilic is refusing to panic, though, and says his squad
still have the qualities which helped them mount a sustained challenge for a
top-four finish last season. "We have a team that did so well last year and
had leaders and pace and tactical discipline and everything," he said. "Now,
we aren't going to say that the same team is missing leaders and all that.
We will get together, work hard and turn this situation around. "There's no
point in talking about leadership on the pitch or moving grounds and all
that, because it didn't stop us beating Bournemouth."
Reflecting on Saturday's loss to the Hornets, which saw Walter Mazzarri's
side come from two goals down to win at London Stadium, Bilic said Watford's
two goals in five minutes before half-time drained the confidence from his
players. West Ham looked set to make it two home wins from two when Michail
Antonio headed in a pair of Dimitri Payet crosses, only for defensive lapses
to enable Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney to level things up.
With the Hammers struggling to regain their composure, Watford scored twice
more through Etienne Capoue and Jose Holebas to complete what Bilic
described as a 'difficult' afternoon.
"We had a difficult afternoon on Saturday," he confirmed. "We started really
well and had five chances in the first 20 minutes, and to be fair they had
two as well. After that it was all us until the last five minutes of the
first half, when they scored two goals. "We had the game under complete
control and they didn't hurt us. We were good and created even more chances,
but then from our point of view, we conceded two goals which were far too
easy for them to score. I am concerned by the defending because we couldn't
cope. "You can't win many games in the Premier League if you defend like
While Bilic conceded that conceding two quickfire goals before half-time had
drained confidence from his team, he is eager that the same situation not
happen again. "Obviously the players were in shock at half-time and we tried
to ease them down. OK, it was 2-2 but we still had 45 minutes, but it was
because of those two goals at the end of the first half that some players
lost their confidence. "Sometimes I can understand that happening, but not
on Saturday. The level of some players' confidence depends on the scoreline
– they are OK when they are 2-0 up or something but, as soon as the opponent
scores a couple of goals like happened on Saturday, it drops. "On the one
hand it's understandable, but on the other hand it can't happen."
Antonio & Martinez take monthly awards
Michail Antonio named whufc.com Player of the Month after outstanding August
Winger took 57 percent of the fan vote
Youngster Antonio Martinez wins Goal of the Month for stunning strike at
Michail Antonio and Antonio Martinez are the Hammers' first Player and Goal
of the Month award winners of the season. The pair were both clear winners
in the fan votes for August on whufc.com, with Antonio taking 57 percent of
the vote for Player of the Month and Martinez 44 percent in the Goal of the
Month poll for his stunner in the Checkatrade Trophy tie at Coventry City.
Antonio's honour was richly deserved after the 26-year-old made a huge
impact in August, scoring the Club's first Premier League goal at London
Stadium – and a late winner at that against AFC Bournemouth – and heading
home from Arthur Masuaku's cross at Manchester City. His form was also
recognised by new England manager Sam Allardyce, who called him up for the
Three Lions for the first time as they took on Slovakia in a FIFA World Cup
Antonio beat left-back Masuaku in to second place, after the Frenchman
polled 26 percent in his first month as a Hammer. Cheikhou Kouyate rounded
out the top three. In the Goal of the Month vote, Spanish youngster
Martinez's superb volley at the Ricoh Arena clinched the top prize. In
second was James Collins' fierce strike in the Premier League opener at
Chelsea – with 29 percent of the vote – while Sofiane Feghouli was third
with his strike against NK Domzale.
Noble - We have to stay positive
West Ham United captain Mark Noble insists the players have got to stay
positive and make amends for the disappointing home defeat against Watford
on Saturday. The Hammers were in pole position to win the game after Michail
Antonio had scored a brace in the opening 33 minutes. But Watford managed to
score two late goals in the first half to draw level and then went on to win
the game comfortably in the second half. Despite the disappointment, Noble
says the players will be doing everything to get straight back on the
winning trail and hopes the return of key players such as Dimitri Payet and
Manuel Lanzini can help them get another positive result when they travel to
play West Brom on Saturday. Noble said: "That is the best we have played for
a long while, in the first half. A couple of mistakes have cost us and we
couldn't recover. "If we can go in 2-0 up at half-time it is a different
game, but the mistakes have cost us in the end. "There is a long way to go
and we have to stay positive. "We got punished and have to learn our
lessons. We have still got new players coming in learning the league and we
have a lot of players in their second season "We have got players coming
back from injury like Manu and Dimi. We have got to take the positives and
played fantastic in the first half, but we conceded silly goals."
Five Talking Points
Michail Antonio's goalscoring, Dimitri Payet's return and Simone Zaza's
debut are among today's topics for discussion...
While he ended up on the losing side, there is no doubt that Dimitri Payet's
return made West Ham United into a far more potent attacking force. The
France international set up both of Michail Antonio's first-half goals – the
second with an outrageous Rabona – and made six key passes overall. Payet
also touched the ball 91 times – 19 more than any other player on the pitch
– put in a team-high eight crosses and unleashed five shots on the Watford
goal. If that type of output continues, the No27 will undoubtedly keep
creating and start scoring goals going forward.
Michail's using his head (again)
Michail Antonio is by no means a giant of a man, but his goalscoring record
since his arrival at West Ham United suggests he is the best header of the
ball in the Premier League.
The No30 has nodded in ten goals since the start of the 2015/16 season,
three ahead of Arsenal's Olivier Giroud and five more than teammate Andy
Carroll. Antonio's athleticism and spring give him an advantage over many
defenders, but it is his anticipation, movement and willingness to come off
his wing to get inside the far post to attack crosses that set him apart
from his fellow Premier League widemen. The Londoner's start to the season
suggest his scoring ratio from last season is sustainable, so long as he
keeps using his head!
A promising debut
He might not have scored, and picked up a unique booking for slapping the
ball into the face of his marker, but Simone Zaza's debut was still a
promising one. The Italy striker had one shot, made three key passes and
touched the ball 34 times, while his willingness to run the channels, link
up play with his pack to goal and work hard to regain possession were
appreciated by the Claret and Blue Army. Zaza's chemistry with the creative
forces behind him will only improve with game-time, too.
Whenever your team loses a football match, supporters demand an inquest into
what went wrong and, more often than not, changes to the team. With players
returning from injury and full internationals manning the substitutes' bench
during the 4-2 Premier League defeat by Watford, Slaven Bilic certainly has
the option of shaking up his starting XI for Saturday's trip to West
Bromwich Albion. Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph, Italy
centre-half Angelo Ogbonna and Norway defensive midfielder Havard Nordtveit
went unused against the Hornets as Bilic sent on attacking replacements as
West Ham chased the game. All three could be called upon at The Hawthorns,
where Bilic could be tempted to play a less attack-minded team from the
start. Alternatively, the manager insisted his team have not lost the
ability and confidence they showed last season, and he may therefore choose
to keep faith with those who started the game so well on Saturday.
Last season, West Ham United lost two of their opening three Premier League
matches, but bounced back to spend virtually the whole season in the top
half of the table. The Hammers were beaten on home turf by Leicester City
and AFC Bournemouth, but did not panic and bounced back to win five and draw
two of their next seven league matches. That run started with a 3-0 win at
Liverpool so why, with a stronger squad on paper than a year ago, can't West
Ham pull off a similarly impressive result at West Bromwich Albion this
weekend and start another unbeaten run? Having won 3-0 at The Hawthorns as
recently as 30 April, too, the Hammers will have fond memories of their last
trip to face the Baggies. The underlying message is – don't panic!
A host of Hammers made appearances for their on-loan clubs this weekend
Reece Burke made his Wigan Athletic debut in the Championship on Saturday
Enner Valencia could make his Everton debut at Sunderland on Monday evening
Four West Ham United youngesters featured for their respective loan clubs in
the English Football League over the weekend.
Reece Burke made his Wigan Athletic debut on Saturday when the Latics lost
2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship. The 20-year-old centre-back
completed the full 90 minutes as Fernando Forestieri scored a second-half
winner to secure three points for the Owls. Kyle Knoyle is also on loan at
Wigan, but did not feature in the defeat as he continues his recovery from
After returning from duty with the Norway senior squad over the
international break, Martin Samuelsen came on as a late substitute as
Blackburn Rovers earned just their second point of the season with a 1-1
draw at Queens Park Rangers. Tjaronn Chery gave Rangers the lead in their
Championship clash at Loftus Road with an exquisite free-kick before Sam
Gallagher netted a late equaliser to earn a valuable point for Rovers.
Josh Cullen played his part once again as Bradford City maintained their
unbeaten start to their League One season with a 1-1 draw at Gillingham in
League One. Cody McDonald scored early on for the Gills, but Jordy
Hiwula-Mayifuila equalised for the Bantams at the Priestfield Stadium.
Another Hammers loanee featured in the match – Josh Pask, who's with
Gillingham, came on as a late substitute for McDonald.
Also in League One, left-back Lewis Page played just over an hour for
Coventry City as they drew 1-1 at Millwall, where Lions striker Aiden
O'Brien cancelled out Marvin Sordell's strike with 20 minutes to play.
Elsewhere, George Dobson was an unused substitute as Walsall lost 2-0 away
at Northampton Town.
Meanwhile, Luka Belic and Doneill Henry both did not feature for their new
clubs. Belic's Motherwell drew 1-1 at Ross County in the Scottish
Premiership, while Henry's new Danish side AC Horsens won 4-2 away at Viborg
in the Super League.
Looking ahead, Enner Valencia could make his Everton debut on Monday evening
when they face Sunderland in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports.
From the Terraces
Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday's game against Watford…
After the well-timed international break, Slaven Bilic and his players were
mostly fit and raring to go against Watford in the second Premier League
game at the London Stadium.
However, a shocking thirty minutes saw us throw away a two-goal lead where
we were completely in control.
It may seem difficult to find any positives in Saturday afternoon's clash,
especially because we were in complete control in the opening exchanges. But
the Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is far better to iron
out these issues in the first few weeks of the campaign.
After receiving his first England call up, Michail Antonio was raring to go
and nodded home from a Dimitri Payet corner after just five minutes. The
winger has scored more headed goals in the past year than anyone else in the
league, and added yet another shortly after.
This time, we were treated to an outrageous, audacious piece of skill from
Payet on his return, as his rabona cross floated perfectly for Antonio to
head home at the back post.
Result aside, it is amazing to see Payet back in Claret and Blue, and if he
can provide more assists for Antonio, the new England recruit should finally
get on the pitch for Sam Allardyce's side in the next set of internationals.
Manuel Lanzini was full of energy as usual, as he almost scored a goal with
a similar bit of skill to Payet's cross, but it bobbled wide. Simone Zaza
showed off some impressive hold-up play on his debut, just a month after
scoring here when Juventus visited in pre season.
As we approached half time however, everything seemed to fall apart and
Watford bagged two in quick succession, one an unfortunate mix-up between
James Collins and Adrian.
Having conceded two just before the break, we came back out a little jaded,
and Watford capitalised, scoring two more and leaving east London with all
There is no hiding the fact that Saturday was a frustrating, disappointing
day in many ways, but as all of us Hammers do, we must find the positives
and rally behind our men for the trip to West Brom next week.
Many of our injured men are back and perhaps this loss will be a huge
wake-up call and push us on to do better. After such a great season last
year, we will now realise that this year is completely different.
With Payet back, Antonio the league's top scorer and a number of others
looking good, we just need to shore up the defence, which has been changing
since day one because of injuries.
Some may want to forget Saturday ever happened, but the best thing to do is
keep hold of that result, the way we are capable of playing, evident from
the opening half an hour, and use it to drive us on to three points at West
For more West Ham fan views or to join the conversation visit www.90min.com
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those
of West Ham United
From the Newsroom
Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour believes the Hammers will enjoy
another successful season, despite their surprise 4-2 home defeat against
Gilmour was at the Club's training ground to interview Adrian on Monday and
can see there is enough quality in the squad for Slaven Bilic's side to
enjoy another top half finish.....
The result on Saturday surprised me considering the Hammers had gone 2-0 up
and with the quality they had on show.
Watford have struggled so far under Walter Mazzarri and have not been
picking up results and you were starting to fear for them.
When you see West Ham are 2-0 up you believe there is only going to be one
winner in that game. Nobody could have envisaged how the scoreline ended up.
That was a huge surprise, especially with Payet back in the team as that
would have given them a major lift as well.
We have spoken to a few West Ham players over the last few weeks and asked
them if it will be tougher this season following the success they had last
season, as teams will know they are in for a game and have stepped up their
I interviewed Adrian on Monday at the Club's training ground and asked him
about the second goal following the mix-up with James Collins.
He said there was a call and they did everything right, but the
communication got lost with the crowd noise.
If you look at the season Adrian had last year, he has steadily improved
over his time here and is getting better and better.
I still think West Ham will enjoy another good season and when everyone is
fit they have a really good team.
I think it will be tougher this season based on the fact teams will raise
their game against them, but they should still finish in top half.
It is another tough game for them this weekend when they play West Brom as
they have only conceded one goal this season.
I know a lot about the defence as I cover Northern Ireland and know all
about Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans and they have got a lot of experience
and are so well organised.
You need to be very patient when you are playing against them because Tony
Pulis will have them well drilled and disciplined.
But the Hammers have Payet back in the team and he showed against Watford
with that outrageous piece of skill what he is capable of.
It might take something like that to get through that defence because they
are stubborn opposition.
West Ham want London Stadium police presence after crowd trouble
West Ham have asked E20, which owns the club's London Stadium home, to
ensure there is a police presence in the ground after recent trouble. The
Hammers moved to the venue at the start of the season, but there have been
unsavoury incidents involving their fans at the past three matches. The club
confirmed that 10 fans were ejected from the stadium during the 4-2 defeat
by Watford on Saturday. West Ham have also requested more experienced
Stewarding at the stadium is provided by LS185. At the first Premier League
match at the venue - against Bournemouth last month - some fans arrived with
tickets for seats that did not exist, while fighting broke out between rival
supporters outside the stadium. Some of the disturbances are believed to be
over persistent standing during matches and West Ham confirmed they had
received seven complaints about standing following Saturday's game against
Watford "E20 confirmed that immediate action is being taken on the issues
raised," said a West Ham club statement. "The club will work tirelessly with
them to ensure London Stadium continues to be the inclusive and
family-friendly environment that all parties have worked so hard to achieve.
"This includes a more robust and secure line of segregation between the home
and visiting fans as specified by the club. We have been assured this will
be in place ahead of the next match."
The Hammers have also appealed to supporters to report any incidents to the
club. "A blame game is now developing over the violent scenes at West Ham's
new home. "The club says the stadium's owners and matchday operator need to
bolster policing, stewarding & segregation. "However, it has also been
suggested that West Ham could have done more to plan segregated family and
singing sections, rather than prioritising the sale of season tickets, with
the mix of traditional supporters and thousands of new fans thought to have
led to tension."
Another game, no improvements says steward
Filed: Monday, 12th September 2016
By: Staff Writer
Another Olympic Stadium match day official has contacted KUMB.com to
register their disapproval at the standard of stewarding at the arena.
Last week, several stewards contacted KUMB to express their concerns
regarding the ability of stadium operators LS185 and security group OCS to
effectively police the ground, following a series of incidents in the first
four matches staged at the OS.
And despite LS185 having suggested to KUMB last week that improvements had
been put in place for the Watford match, there was no cessation in the
number of unsavoury incidents witrnessed inside the ground - whilst the only
additional staff noted inside the ground were match day security who have
since been accused of being "heavy handed".
The situation prompted yet another disenchanted employee to step forward and
register their concerns with KUMB. "After more than 15 years of working at
West Ham, I wasn't going to the London Stadium expecting it to be the same,"
the steward, who asked to remain anonymous, told us.
"What I was expecting however was to work with people who had been trained
in a professional manner and wanted to do a job in keeping with ground
regulations and crowd safety.
"At the Watford game I tried to engage with some of the new SIA-qualified
stewards. I introduced myself but they didn't want to engage with me. When a
colleague of mine asked staff to conduct a sweep in a unified way, the new
staff commented and asked if he was trying to earn three stripes!
"I appreciate this isn't a well-paid job but it still requires the standard
of training I received at Upton Park. This lack of training has resulted,
for example, in bags not being searched correctly on entry. This, and other
shortcomings, could seriously endanger supporters' safety.
"The majority of Boleyn Ground stewards had full time jobs and also worked
on match days because they felt a sense of loyalty to the supporters they
had gotten to know over the years - and for the love of the club and
"I sympathise with all the season tickets holders and apologise to my
supporters from the Boleyn Ground, but I feel like the 'old' stewards are
fighting a lost battle. Already I;ve discovered that another two of my
colleagues won't be returning."
Tomorrow a meeting between LS185 and West Ham's vice chairman Karren Brady -
who was booed by some sections of the Olympic Stadium crowd during the
Watford match when her image was flashed on the giant screens - will take
place with view to ironing out some of the issues that has emerged as a
result of the sub-standard stewarding at the stadium.
Meanwhile Newham Council's Safety Advisory Group have called for West Ham to
prepare a report into the Watford match, which West Ham lost 4-2.
Hammers fans views sought ahead of OS meeting
Filed: Monday, 12th September 2016
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United season ticket holders are being encouraged to contact
Football Supporters' Federation representative Amanda Jacks with their
experiences of the Olympic Stadium.
Next week Ms Jacks will meet with Westfield, the Newham Safety Advisory
Group and a representative from West Ham with view to resolving issues that
have arisen since the club's move from Upton Park - issues such as crowd
control, supporter safety and LS185's stewarding policy.
And she is hoping to represent the many concerns of Hammers fans who have
had cause for complaint since the club relocated to E20 this summer.
"There are a good number of thoughtful, intelligent and astute posts on KUMB
and twitter," Ms Jacks told us. "I'd like to let supporters know I have this
meeting and would encourage them to contact me directly.
"Rest assured I will do my very best to represent their interests and do
what I can to ensure that they are taken seriously.
"If nothing else, I want to leave that meeting assured that the causes of
all the issues are being properly addressed and that is it understood that
looking at supporter behaviour in isolation is far from being the solution."
You may contact Amanda Jacks via email on email@example.com or via
twitter at @FSF_FairCop.
Teething problems - or something more sinister?
Filed: Monday, 12th September 2016
By: Tom Kilbey
Prior to our first game at Stratford, Karren Brady observed that there would
be teething problems with the new stadium, whilst encouraging fans to be the
'eyes and ears' of the board to ensure that the problems were resolved.
As a pragmatic fan who recognised the importance of moving to take us to the
next level I was slightly anxious, but excited, when I walked into the
stadium for the first time for the start of our ill fated Europa League
campaign. Since then, it has become clear that the running of the stadium
until now has been utterly shambolic. So as a fan who has sit through every,
often miserable, minute at our stadium thus far, this is what my eyes and
ears have seen so far. I'm sure Lady Brady will be thrilled to read on.
If you were to make a list of the three most important things to get right
at the stadium, fan safety would certainly feature, and would most likely be
at the top. You may think I am about to head into a rant about standing
supporters, but I am not. Rather, I am sickened at the hypocrisy of the
board towards what they call 'fan safety'. Perhaps the board think that home
and away fans walking through the same turnstiles is 'safe'. Perhaps the
fact that the board are unwilling to pay for a police presence within the
stadium is 'safe'. Just think about that.
Remember at Upton Park? There was always a large police presence standing in
the corner of the East Stand and the Sir Trev Stand. Now there are none. In
fact, police had to be called to the stadium on Saturday following the crowd
trouble. It's almost too ridiculous to be true, but it is. The board are
under a false illusion that their new branding and flashy new stadium is
going to remove the demons we've had in the past with a small section of our
support. It's naïve, and entirely irresponsible, and it's just extremely
lucky that we didn't learn this lesson against Spurs or Chelsea, because it
would not have been pretty.
In light of all of this, the board are apparently paying more attention to
the issue of fans standing at games. I could dedicate an entire article to
this, but what I will say on the matter is what 6,000 fans (of which I am
defiantly one of them) standing in the Bobby Moore Lower has absolutely no
impact on fan safety. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the issue with
standing is not about safety at all, it's about fan enjoyment. The club
unhelpfully making it about safety is ensuring that the debate is happening
on entirely the wrong level. Of course, a supporter standing in an area
where everyone around them is sitting is irresponsible, and the mantra that
"we'll stand where we want" is entirely anti-social and doesn't reflect what
happened at Upton Park.
My point here is not to debate whether fans should be allowed to stand or
not. But to claim that persistent standing, and the safety risk it poses, is
the cause for the 54,000 capacity cap is absolutely ludicrous, as if the
other issues we have (like fans fighting) doesn't impact on this. And while
I am conscious to avoid conspiracy theories, have we seen any evidence
whatsoever that the stadium operators have blamed the fans, and not the
general running of the stadium, for the capacity cap?
All of this is symptomatic of a larger problem. I have never witnessed so
much disunity among our own fans, and this is the most worrying thing for
me. Fans arguing amongst themselves has become entirely commonplace, and
this is not good. I even found myself getting irritated by people around me
who ate their popcorn in silence for 75 minutes before walking out as
Watford's fifth goal went in, only for it to be disallowed and have them
sheepishly returning to their seats.
We have to accept that there are 20,000 new fans in our stadium each game,
and the familiarity of our old stadium will take a while to shake off.
Ultimately it is a good thing for the club to be opened up to supporters,
especially families, that could not afford to attend last season. The issue
is that the running of the stadium until now, and the toxic atmosphere that
I've witnessed a couple of times already, will be deterring those fans who
the board were so eager to move to Stratford to attract.
The standing debate has divided us, and the unfamiliar surroundings we find
ourselves in during games make us distrusting. This, again, is certainly not
helped by the board's approach to victimise those fans who stand, socially,
for instance in the BML. At this moment, 'United' is not a word we could use
to describe ourselves. So while the brunt of this article is on the running
of the stadium, the fans themselves, of course, have to take responsibility
Enough on standing, there are plenty of other horrendous problems with the
stadium. Take the stewarding for one. Stewards at Upton Park had largely
been there for several years, and many were West Ham fans. They had
experience of stewarding West Ham games, and they understood the unwritten
rules at the Boleyn. Now we have agency staff who I genuinely feel sorry
for. They face an impossible job trying to carry out their mission of
ensuring everyone sits.
Most of them probably detest football fans and would rather be anywhere but
inside the stadium. They have next to no power to do anything; for instance
they cannot arrest anyone, so even if they remove people from the stadium
who may be fighting, the best they could do in the absence of a police
presence would be to eject them from the stadium, presumably to continue
their scuffle outside. The stadium operators appear to take the view that
stewarding a football game is the same as stewarding a Michael Buble
concert. And while the board might wish the fans were as well behaved,
again, a refusal to acknowledge their blatant delusions is again, entirely
I also note that the method in which tickets have been sold for games has
been entirely counter-intuitive. I would love for someone to explain to me
why there are blocks of seats entirely empty, completely surrounded by
blocks that are full of fans. Who took the decision to not sell those seats?
Why not fill those ones, and make some more empty seats up in the Gods? And
then, in spite of this, why were fans sold tickets in seats that did not
exist? I genuinely wonder if there is anyone at the club who could answer
Finally, and this is perhaps the biggest joke of the lot, I turn my
attention to the roof. The largest roof of its kind in the world, the tax
payer spent a mere £190m to transform the stadium into one where acoustics
would be world leading and every seat would be covered. By a 2014 Daily Mail
estimate, this cost is roughly three times the proposed sale price of the
Boleyn Ground. 17 rows back in the lower tier, I was fully exposed to the
rain. On a windy day, where rain was driving into us, I would have accepted
it. But the rain was hitting me on the back of the head. Plainly the roof
doesn't work. I look forward to the ridicule the club will face when the
rain really comes down in February, and fans are forced to resort to a £5
umbrella to do the job that a £190m roof was supposed to do.
Jack Sullivan recently assured fans that every possible issue is being
looked at. To the board's credit, they have begun remedying some of the
problems, albeit problems that should never have allowed to exist in the
first place. However, this unfortunately does not excuse the board of being
continually guilty of gross negligence on fans' safety, whilst accusing
standing fans for the very same thing. Brady was proved right with her
warning, but there is only so long that these recent events can be called
'teething problems' and not 'plainly shambolic'.
West Ham ask London Stadium owners for police presence at games
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 12/09/16 9:20pm
West Ham have demanded a police presence for games at the London Stadium
after trouble marred Saturday's match against Watford. The Hammers confirmed
on Monday evening that a total of 10 supporters were ejected from the
stadium during the 4-2 Premier League defeat with nearly 50 complaints made
over standing in seated areas and anti-social behaviour. No arrests were
made, but the club has asked fans to report all incidents to the club
directly as they attempt to cut down the level of anti-social behaviour
inside their new home.
A club statement read: "West Ham United undertook a full investigation into
the crowd issues immediately after Saturday's game with Watford and today
held a productive meeting with stadium owners E20. "Whilst West Ham United
do not hold the Safety Certificate (this is held by stadium operators LS185)
or control the security at the stadium, the club is doing everything
possible within its jurisdiction to help provide a safe and enjoyable
environment for all supporters. "It is important that we recognise the vast
majority who have attended the first five fixtures played at London Stadium
have been outstanding with their behaviour and support. They, like all at
West Ham United, do not want their reputation or the club's to be tarnished
by the minority. "Today, the club have insisted that E20 guarantee a police
presence in the Stadium. "In addition, the club have also specified a number
of essential important improvements to match day operations moving forward,
including the need for LS185 to bolster the stewarding and security
operation in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the level training and
experience they have dealing with Premier League football matches. "E20
confirmed today that immediate action is being taken on the issues raised.
The club will work tirelessly with them to ensure London Stadium continues
to be the inclusive and family-friendly environment that all parties have
worked so hard to achieve.
"This includes a more robust and secure line of segregation between the home
and visiting fans as specified by the club. We have been assured this will
be in place ahead of the next match. "The club has already taken action to
improve all match day elements within their control, including the
relocation of young children and families from areas where the fans are more
vociferous and the issuing of season long bans for supporters engaging in
anti-social behaviour. "The club is working hard to move like minded
supporters into areas to enhance their match day experience. This process
commenced ahead of the Watford game and has already proved successful in key
areas. The club will continue prioritising this approach around the
Adrián says West Ham did not disrespect Watford players on Saturday
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 12/09/16 3:45pm
Adrián has dismissed Troy Deeney's claim that West Ham tried to "mug us off"
in Watford's 4-2 win on Saturday. Dimitri Payet set up Michail Antonio's
second goal with a 'rabona' cross, while Manuel Lanzini had also attempted a
shot using the same technique. While able to appreciate skill, Deeney seemed
to suggest that such moments only served to fire his side up to come back
from two goals down to win the game but the West Ham goalkeeper said there
was no intention of showing any disrespect to their opponents. "If you can
use skill on the pitch and it gives an advantage then it is great for us,"
he told Sky Sports News HQ. "I don't know if the Watford players were angry
but Lanzini tried his [rabona] because he has more confidence in his other
foot. Nobody can say this is disrespect."
The Spaniard also backed Claudio Bravo after his debut in the Manchester
derby over the weekend and said he believes goalkeepers play in the most
unforgiving position. "I think the goalkeeper position is the most difficult
on the pitch because you have the limits with the risk and mistakes," he
said. "You can make great saves but, if you make one mistake, everyone wants
to remember the mistake and you are alone just in front of the goal. "I
think Bravo's debut, probably he hoped to be much better but they won the
derby so he is probably happy with his debut and also for Joe Hart, it is a
new experience in the Italian league, a new moment for him in his career so
I wish him all the best."
Adrián also said the move to London Stadium is a step in the right direction
for West Ham and is keen to see the side settle there as quickly as
possible. "London Stadium is a massive stadium and if the club wants to grow
it's a great step for us," he said. "If we can settle there as soon as
possible, the players and the fans, we can be happy there." Watch Chelsea v
Liverpool on Friday Night Football, the Ryder Cup and the EFL Cup as part of
our three months' half-price offer.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic vows to 'turn situation around' after third
Premier League loss this season
Slaven Bilic insists West Ham have not become poor team over night
He said: We will get together, work hard and turn this situation around'
West Ham have lost to Chelsea, Manchester City and Watford
Bilic's team threw away two-goal lead at home to lose 4-2 against Hornets
By WILL GRIFFEE FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 11:28, 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:29, 12 September 2016
Slaven Bilic has called for calm after his side's underwhelming start to the
season and promised to change West Ham's fortunes. The manager watched on as
his side capitulated against Watford, throwing away a two-goal advantage to
lose 4-2. It proved to be the third loss of the season for Bilic's team in
the Premier League but he remains confident he can turn it around.
WEST HAM'S NEXT FIVE PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES
September 17 vs West Brom (A)
September 25 vs Southampton (H)
October 1 vs Middlesbrough (H)
October 15 vs Crystal Palace (A)
October 22 vs Sunderland (H)
Bilic told the West Ham website: 'We have a team that did so well last year
and had leaders and pace and tactical discipline and everything. 'Now, we
aren't going to say that the same team is missing leaders and all that. We
will get together, work hard and turn this situation around. 'There's no
point in talking about leadership on the pitch or moving grounds and all
that, because it didn't stop us beating Bournemouth.' After a positive start
against Watford, Bilic criticised the goals conceded by West Ham, feeling
they were soft and could have been defended better. 'We had the game under
complete control and they didn't hurt us. 'We were good and created even
more chances, but then from our point of view, we conceded two goals which
were far too easy for them to score.'I am concerned by the defending because
we couldn't cope. 'You can't win many games in the Premier League if you
defend like that.'
Bilic also noted the change in mentality of his players once they saw the
lead slip away from them. 'Sometimes I can understand that happening, but
not on Saturday. 'The level of some players' confidence depends on the
scoreline. 'On the one hand it's understandable, but on the other hand it