The Big Interview – Dimitri Payet
West Ham United's French talisman Dimitri Payet talks Rabonas, Russia 2018
and returning to La Reunion...
It was a disappointing result on Saturday, losing 4-2 at home to Watford in
the Premier League, where do you think we went wrong?
"Against Watford, you have to say that we had two very different halves. The
first, apart from the last five minutes, we were playing well and scored two
times. Unfortunately, we let them get back into the game and then in the
second half, they managed to get another. We lost this game and I think we
didn't quite do enough to see the game through and to win it.
For the second goal, it was an incredible bit of skill from you to cross in
for Michail Antonio, how much have you practiced that?
"It was something that came instinctively to me at that time in the game. I
thought that it was the best thing to do at that moment and I did it and it
worked. When it works, the skill becomes even more impressive."
Will we be seeing the Rabona again in the next couple of games?
"If it worked every time, then of course. Unfortunately, it is not a piece
of skill that you can use every time, so we will have to see."
What do you think Saturday's Premier League game at West Bromwich Albion
holds for us?
"We need points and so we need to get our heads down and work hard this
week. We will go there with the right attitude to go and get the win. We
know that every match in this league is difficult, especially away from
home. The key is to work hard and to go there with confidence and do what we
need to do on the day."
You were back with the France national side last week in Belarus, so how are
you feeling and what is the atmosphere like after the Euros?
"It went well for us. We had a great time at the Euros, we just lacked that
little edge to get the win. We have done well until now and we want to press
on with qualification for the World Cup in 2018."
This year has been a great year for you personally, do you feel that you can
continue that form in this new season?
"Of course, I have come back with the same ambitions that I had last season.
I want to do the best I can on the pitch and to perform as I know I can both
with my club and the national side. The World Cup is still two years away so
there is a lot of time and football to be played, however, I know that it is
going to come around very quickly."
You managed to get some time off over the summer at home in La Reunion, but
you had a busy schedule while you were over there, including a ceremony
naming a stadium in your honour at your old club in Saint-Philippe. How was
it to go home and to be welcomed by your fellow islanders?
"It means a lot to me to be received in that way. I feel such a connection
to my island and so to see the way they came out in force and named the
stadium after me, was something incredibly special for me. I try to
publicise and show off La Reunion around the world and so, if that works and
I can offer a positive image of the island, I will continue to do so."
#ImagineBoleyn shortlisted for top award
West Ham United's stunning 360 degree Farewell Boleyn video has been
shortlisted for a 2016 Football Business Award.
The Hammers' entry, entitled #ImagineBoleyn, was produced by Ricoh, West Ham
United's official Information Technology Partner, in collaboration with
virtual reality specialists Immersive VR.
Narrated by star of film and television Ray Winstone, a lifelong Hammers
fan, the three-minute long feature incorporates high quality visuals, while
capturing West Ham's historic home of 112 years in a way never before seen.
The Club was determined to say farewell to the Club's stadium in a fitting
way, giving supporters the chance to continue to connect with the Boleyn
Ground for years to come.
Alongside fans' stories, photographs and memories, West Ham and Ricoh
created a fitting tribute for not only the Claret and Blue Army, but for the
wider football world.
The footage captured took fans to key parts of the Boleyn Ground, including
behind-the-scenes areas that would normally be kept from public view,
including the dressing room and players' tunnel, moments before kick-off.
Supporters were able to follow Hammer of the Year Dimitri Payet out of the
tunnel one final time, all in all-encompassing 360 degree viewing.
To enable the maximum possible number of fans to enjoy the unique film, the
Club produced a trailer promoting it across the Club's website and social
media channels, before launching the full broadcast on the Hammers' and
Ricoh's official Facebook and YouTube channels.
The 360 degree video is one of six shortlisted in the Football Business
Awards 2016 Best/Most Innovative use of Technology by a Club category,
alongside submissions from Cardiff City, Chelsea, Manchester United,
Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
West Ham's plea for police help at London Stadium turned down
Senior officers have turned down a request from West Ham to police their
stadium on matchdays - because the £700m ground does not have a
"satisfactory" radio system. The club requested a police presence in the
ground after crowd trouble. The Hammers only moved to the London Stadium at
the start of the season.
"Until there is comprehensive radio coverage officers will not be routinely
deployed within it," said the Metropolitan Police's Peter Terry. Mr Terry,
who is deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and in
charge of specialist crime and operations, added: "The stadium operators are
responsible for the safety and comfort of their customers and staff. "This
issue was highlighted to the stadium operators in October 2014 and the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been in negotiation with stadium
operators regarding the provision of Airwave radio inside the stadium.
"During this time, the MPS had spoken to the stadium operators several times
to highlight the consequences of not installing such a system. "The MPS is
not able to provide Special Policing Services at this time as it would
normally, as there is no satisfactory radio system across the ground."
A stadium spokesman said a decision to install Airwave was "reached in March
2016" and that the procurement and installation of the system "is the
responsibility of the police". He added: "We have fully co-operated and will
facilitate any access they require to carry this out. "The safety of the
stadium is paramount and all safety plans are agreed in advance by the
police and if there were any significant concerns the stadium would not be
licensed." In response, the Metropolitan Police said it commissioned Airwave
to complete the required work in May, and added that it is working with the
company to "ensure this work is completed as quickly as possible".
All of Great Britain's emergency services and more than 300 public safety
organisations use the Airwave radio system to communicate. West Ham
confirmed that 10 fans were ejected from the stadium during the 4-2 defeat
by Watford on Saturday, and there were more disturbances during the first
home Premier League game against Bournemouth last month. West Ham are
tenants at the London Stadium, which is owned by E20 and was built to host
the 2012 London Olympics.
E20 says it is addressing the recent trouble. Documents released last year
showed the taxpayer - not the club - would foot the bill for much of the
matchday operating costs, including security. "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
and 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."
EXWHUEMPLOYEE COLUMN: MY STADIUM THOUGHTS….
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 12 SEPTEMBER 2016 AT 10:43PM
So this is going to be different to my usual type of column as I just want
to concentrate on the match rather than much else.
I have started to get into quite a routine at West Ham, meet up with a few
mates and then go for some beers and arrive to the ground about twenty
minutes before the match. I then catch up with all the friends who sit with
me and it feels like an exciting day out. I prefer this to Upton Park where
you couldn't meet anywhere as all the pubs were rammed and I always had to
drive to the matches as the trains were so poor.
The match started well. The first thirty minutes were amazing and the
atmosphere was spot on. The team looked on fire and I could see nothing but
a big win coming, oh how wrong I was. Terrible defending by Byram and a
combination of Collins and Adrian meant they were back in the game before
half time which was ridiculous. This is where the fun of the day started to
I went to the toilets, as always the prematch beers never give my bladder an
easy ride! As you go to the toilets in the East Stand there is no proper
queuing system because people filter in from all angles. A couple of old
boys took offence to the younger lads pushing in and asked them to go to the
back of the line. I used to see this a bit at Upton Park and usually the
accused would go to the back reluctantly. In this case both of the people
asked swore and called the old men a word beginning with C and it wasn't
carrot. I went outside to the food kiosks and bought a chicken burger and a
coke as I hadn't had any lunch, setting me back £10. In some ways this is
nice to be able to step outside and use the outside facilities but in some
ways it is worrying because any one could get in without ticket as there are
no checks going back in.
I got back to the seat and the team just looked like another team in the
second half. No effort, terrible defending again and little attacking
threat. It was in the second half where the atmosphere started to turn to a
horrible vibe. Where I am sat I could see fights breaking out to the left of
me, to the right of me and where the away fans met the stewards. The
stewards do not do anything, they stand there and watch. It is their job to
make sure the supporters behave. The problem is they are all young kids used
to dealing with athletics and concerts they are not trained. They need to be
put amongst experienced and loyal stewards from Upton Park. They also have
no police presence backing them up. Why are the police not in the stadium??
I just do not understand this. Apparently they have to be called in if
something serious happens. Thankfully the club have now insisted that E20
have a police presence and this should help with the situation. The police
will deter people from fighting and deal with it quickly if they do.
Considering every home game now I have been asked if I have been searched
and said yes and got through every time, it will not be long before
something serious does happen. What worries me even more is that we have
only played Bournemouth and Watford, teams I considered us to be friendly
with. I dread to think what happens when we play Spurs or Chelsea. The
club have again made it very clear to E20 that this is not acceptable and
that the stewards need further training.
One thing that has to be said though is that the fans part in this cannot be
excused. Yes it was a poor result, yes some fans are clearly wound up about
the standing and sitting but you don't need to turn to violence. You cannot
excuse someone who comes to a game and fights with his fellow fans
regardless of any other factor. Yes I believe this is happening more because
of the terrible stewarding but nonetheless these people need bans
immediately. I will not be taking my kids to the new stadium (something I
had planned to do) until this is sorted out.
The performances on the pitch do not help the situation. Had we won that
game we probably wouldn't be talking about all the fights now that we are. I
think I would make three or four big changes for the WBA game. I think
Ogbonna must play. At the moment I would say instead of Reid but Collins
hasn't exactly been on form this season either so I am not overly fussed
which one goes but Ogbonna must start. I think we need to get Arbeola fit
ASAP as Byram was very exposed at right back and I think we need someone
experienced there to come in. I would also think about dropping Adrian for
Randolph. I think Adrian has been weak on a number of goals this season
already whereas Darren hasn't let us down although of course this is a bit
of a kneejerk reaction.
The stadium problems surprise me because the club had brought in Angus
Kinnear from Arsenal and a few other directors to oversee our move to the
London stadium, like they had with Arsenal. They set up supporter advisory
boards dedicated to this and then quickly disbanded them. It baffles me that
no family section has been arranged or agreed before and that fans were not
suggested seats depending on whether they wanted to sing or not. These are
things that I believe we could have controlled. Things that I cannot
understand not being organised beforehand when families were choosing their
tickets. The club have now agreed to relocate these families which is a
positive step but one that shouldn't have had to happen because it should
have been sorted before the season.
The stewards are controlled by the Olympic committee and unfortunately we do
not have much say over them. The club had a big meeting today and have
lobbied the E20 for many changes in security and all for the better. Things
As for the stadium, I understand people missing Upton Park, I do! I have
struggled to look at pictures of it recently because I miss going to the
games there. I was very pro the move however and whilst the stadium issues
have dampened my enthusiasm I think it is important to accept that there
were always going to be teething problems. I also think that like anything
it takes a while to get used to something new. If you have lived in a house
for 26 years (like I have had a season ticket) moving somewhere new always
takes a long time to feel like home especially when the landlord is not
doing their job properly. The bottom line is we cannot turn back and once
the results start to pick up on the pitch it will feel better. It felt good
for the first 30 minutes against Watford.
I think we have to wait until the end of the season before we can fully
judge the stadium. I understand the board's decision to move to the stadium
and do not hold any negativity towards them because I know this move was
done with the club's best interest at heart or so they believed. I think
mistakes have been made but thankfully we look like addressing them now.
When the team's performances pick up and we are at the end of the season,
then is the time to reflect back accurately on the success of the move.
I will bring more news in my next column but I wanted to have my say on the
issue. If you wish to vote for myself https://t.co/hZ7oo7IzFU , the site or
the podcast (see the West Ham Way Twitter Account) in the upcoming FBAs any
vote will be greatly received.
Stadium infrastructure obsolete, say Met Police
Filed: Tuesday, 13th September 2016
By: Staff Writer
A spokesman for Met Police claims that Olympic Stadium operators LS185 were
warned in 2014 that there was insufficient radio coverage inside the ground.
And the result of that particular oversight is that Police - who have
finally been given the green light to operate inside the venue - will be
unable to communicate once in the stadium until late November/early December
when the radio system will be updated. "The stadium operators are
responsible for the safety and comfort of their customers and staff. This
includes disorderly behaviour that has not reached the level of
criminality," Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Terry
told The Standard. "The Metropolitan Police Service will fulfil its legal
responsibilities in relation to dealing with matters of criminality. The MPS
is not able to provide Special Policing Services at this time as it would
normally, as there is no satisfactory radio system across the ground.
Police are to be allowed inside the stadium for the first time after WHUFC
demanded a presence - but they have no adequate means of communication.
"This issue was highlighted to the stadium operators in October 2014 and the
MPS has been in negotiation with stadium operators regarding the provision
of Airwave radio inside the stadium. "During this time, the MPS had spoken
to the stadium operators several times to highlight the consequences of not
installing such a system. "Until there is comprehensive Airwave radio
coverage throughout the ground officers will not be routinely deployed
within it under a Special Services agreement. The stadium operators have
only very recently agreed to install a satisfactory radio system."
West Ham United demanded a Police presence during a meeting with the stadium
operators LS185 yersterday, following a series of unsavoury incidents
witnessed inside the stadium.
An incident involving both home and away fans in the Trevor Brooking Stand
on Saturday was allowed to carry on for several minutes before Police
stationed outside the stadium were finally able to gain access. LS185 have
come under attack several times in recent weeks from supporters who have
been angered by sub-standard stewarding, poor security measures and the lack
of wifi access inside the ground.
Mark Noble urges West Ham to stay positive after disappointing start
Last Updated: 13/09/16 3:40pm
West Ham captain Mark Noble has urged their supporters to stay positive
after a difficult start to the campaign. The Hammers have lost three of
their four Premier League games so far this season, and suffered a 4-2
defeat to Watford at London Stadium on Saturday. West Ham were 2-0 up in
that game after just 33 minutes but capitulated to fall to 17th in the
Premier League table. The game was also played before a backdrop of trouble
in the stands, where 10 supporters were ejected and nearly 100 complaints
were made over standing in seated areas and anti-social behaviour. But Noble
feels now is the time for unity and 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."
Noble is also confident things will improve when key players such as Dimitri
Payet and Manuel Lanzini are back at full fitness after injury. "We have
still got new players coming in learning the league and we have a lot of
players in their second season," he said. "We have got players coming back
from injury like Manu and Dimi. "We have got to take the positives and we
played fantastic in the first half, but we conceded silly goals."
No police presence inside London Stadium for West Ham's next match
By Ben Reynolds
Last Updated: 13/09/16 3:27pm
West Ham have failed in their bid to have police inside the ground at their
next home game following the trouble that marred Saturday's 4-2 defeat to
Watford - because there is no satisfactory radio system installed at the
London Stadium. A statement from the club on Monday night confirmed 10
supporters were ejected from the stadium during the game, with nearly 100
complaints made over standing in seated areas and anti-social behaviour. No
arrests were made, but the club were adamant that stadium owners E20
guarantee a police presence when the Hammers take on Accrington Stanley in
the EFL Cup on September 21. However, deputy assistant commissioner Peter
Terry said the lack of a reliable radio system across the ground - an issue
highlighted in 2014 - means the Metropolitan Police Service cannot provide
extra policing. Stadium operators LS185 expect that radio system to be in
place in time for West Ham's next category C match, which is likely to be
the derby against Arsenal in December, but Sky Sports News HQ understands
there is frustration from the club that they are not allowed to run the
security operation themselves. "The stadium operators are responsible for
the safety and comfort of their customers and staff. This includes
disorderly behaviour that has not reached the level of criminality," said
Terry. "The Metropolitan Police Service will fulfill its legal
responsibilities in relation to dealing with matters of criminality. "The
MPS is not able to provide Special Policing Services at this time as it
would normally, as there is no satisfactory radio system across the ground.
"This issue was highlighted to the stadium operators in October 2014 and the
MPS has been in negotiation with stadium operators regarding the provision
of Airwave radio inside the stadium. During this time, the MPS had spoken to
the stadium operators several times to highlight the consequences of not
installing such a system. "Until there is comprehensive Airwave radio
coverage throughout the ground, officers will not be routinely deployed
within it under a Special Services agreement. The stadium operators have
only very recently agreed to install a satisfactory radio system."
E20 and LS185 have also issued a joint-statement defending their actions and
insisting that infighting among the West Ham fans is the main problem for
the stewards. The statement read: "The safety of the stadium is paramount
and all safety plans are agreed in advance by the police and if there were
any significant concerns the stadium would not be licensed. "Saturday's
match was a Category A, low risk game and the police were based at the Park
Headquarters throughout to monitor events at the stadium. They were deployed
in the stadium when required, however the main pressure on the stewarding
during the game was from infighting among the West Ham United fans. "A
decision to install Airwave was reached in March 2016. The procurement and
installation is the responsibility of the police we have fully co-operated
and will facilitate any access they require to carry this out."
West Ham vow to ban fans who verbally-abused Karren Brady during Watford
23:08, 12 SEP 2016 UPDATED 23:08, 12 SEP 2016
BY NEIL MCLEMAN
The club will review CCTV images in a bid to identify the culprits after 13
supporters were banned following events at Saturday's game
West Ham have to vowed to ban fans who verbally abused vice-chairman Karren
Brady after calling for more police and better stewarding at the London
The stadium operators announced announced on Monday that the 13 supporters
who caused trouble at Saturday's match with Watford will be banned from all
future events at the former Olympic Stadium. And the club will review CCTV
images in a bid to identify the culprits. But West Ham are not responsible
for security at the ground and want to "guarantee" a police presence inside
the London Stadium during matches. The club also called for the operators
to increase stewarding "in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the level
training and experience they have dealing with Premier League football
Scuffles broke out between rival supporters and West Ham fans and stewards
on Saturday over demands to sit down during the game. West Ham are also
looking to create a family area. A meeting between the club and the
operators of the London Stadium will be held on Tuesday. A spokesman for the
operators (LS 185) said: "As part of our review process, we will be taking
steps to strengthen the segregation measures between home and away
supporters. "In-fighting amongst home supporters has also given us cause for
concern and we will continue to work closely with West Ham United to
identify and take action against the small number of supporters found to be
responsible for these incidents."
West Ham demand police presence and segregation at London Stadium after
reading riot act to landlords
20:19, 13 SEP 2016 UPDATED 20:19, 13 SEP 2016
BY MIKE WALTERS
Crowd trouble marred the Hammers' 4-2 home defeat by Watford at the
taxpayer-funded London Stadium on Saturday
West Ham have demanded a police presence and more robust segregation after
reading the riot act to their own landlords. The Hammers' move into the
taxpayer-funded London Stadium was rocked by crowd trouble at Saturday's 4-2
home defeat by Watford. And some fans are at loggerheads with the club – and
each other – over the right to stand throughout the game. Although West Ham
have announced reinforcements of flimsy segregation between opposing fans
and insisted on policing inside the stadium on the Queen Elizabeth II
Olympic Park, the FA are still investigating the disturbances. Ten people
were ejected and the club received 47 complaints from fans – seven about
fans standing and another 40 relating to "anti-social behaviour" - after
Slaven Bilic's side collapsed from a 2-0 lead.
And the Hammers, who have threatened lifetime bans for fans who resort to
violence, are so concerned about the undercurrent of hostility they are now
appealing for supporters to grass on each other to stamp out the
disturbances. The disorder is embarrassing for co-owners David Gold, David
Sullivan and vice-chairman Karren Brady, who pulled off the deal of the
century to move West Ham from Upton Park to their rebranded 'London' stadium
on the cheap. Apart from £2.5 million-a-year in rent, the Hammers were
required to pay just £15m of the £272m needed to adapt the iconic 2012
Olympic venue for football. They are not even obliged to cover the costs of
police, stewards supplied by independent company LS185, pitch maintenance or
even household bills in their adopted home.
But it beggars belief that a Premier League club with 57,000 crowds at home
games – and a recent history of crowd control problems after Manchester
United's team coach was pelted with missiles four months ago – should have
had no police inside the ground. Watford fans complained of bottles and
coins being thrown, and home fans charging at the away supporters'
enclosure, in a feral atmosphere with echoes of football's hooligan excess
from the 1980s. And after urgent talks with stadium owners E20, West Ham
trumpeted "essential improvements" which should have been there in the first
A club statement said: "Whilst West Ham United do not hold the safety
certificate or control security at the stadium, the club is doing everything
possible within its jurisdiction to help provide a safe and enjoyable
environment for all supporters. "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 matchday operations, including the need for LS185 to bolster
the stewarding and security operation in terms of numbers, but also in terms
of the level of training and experience of Premier League matches. "This
includes a more robust and secure line of segregation between the home and
visiting fans. We have been assured this will be in place ahead of the next
match. "The club has already taken action to improve elements within their
control, including relocation of young children and families from areas
where the fans are more vociferous and the issuing of season-long bans for
anti-social behaviour. "We would appeal to supporters to report any
incidents to the club, as all complaints are fully investigated in
conjunction with CCYV footage with a view to issuing further bans where
appropriate. "The more intelligence the club has, the more pro-active and
focused all efforts to clamp down on anti-social behaviour will be."
West Ham may face wait for police presence inside London Stadium over lack
of "satisfactory radio system"
12:58, 13 SEP 2016 UPDATED 13:11, 13 SEP 2016
BY JAMES WHALING
Some Hammers were involved in skirmishes during the match against the
Hornets leading to the Irons requesting a police presence inside the ground
West Ham will be forced to wait for a police presence inside the London
Stadium after violent scenes in the stands of their Premier League clash
against Watford on Saturday. Some Hammers fans were involved in skirmishes
during the match against the Hornets which led to the Irons releasing a
statement confirming they would request officers in the ground. However, the
Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that the behaviour of supporters
is not yet at a 'criminal' level, and that the lack of 'satisfactory radio
systems' means a presence will not yet be forthcoming. Metropolitan Police
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Terry, Specialist Crime and Operations,
told the Evening Standard: "The stadium operators are responsible for the
safety and comfort of their customers and staff. "This includes disorderly
behaviour that has not reached the level of criminality. The Metropolitan
Police Service will fulfil its legal responsibilities in relation to dealing
with matters of criminality. "The MPS is not able to provide Special
Policing Services at this time as it would normally, as there is no
satisfactory radio system across the ground.
"This issue was highlighted to the stadium operators in October 2014 and
the MPS has been in negotiation with stadium operators regarding the
provision of Airwave radio inside the stadium. "During this time, the MPS
had spoken to the stadium operators several times to highlight the
consequences of not installing such a system. "Until there is comprehensive
Airwave radio coverage throughout the ground officers will not be routinely
deployed within it under a Special Services agreement. The stadium operators
have only very recently agreed to install a satisfactory radio system." West
Ham released a statement last night confirming a full investigation had been
undertaken following the crowd trouble which saw children look on in horror
at what they were witnessing. As well as asking for police presence, the
Hammers confirmed 10 individuals had been ejected from the stadium, but that
no arrests were made. Seven complaints were made in relation to standing,
with a further 40 reports of antisocial behaviour within the ground. Mirror
Football have contacted West Ham for comment.
West Ham investigate £6.2m signing of Arthur Masuaku amid fears club
overpaid for left-back
11:54, 13 SEP 2016 UPDATED 11:58, 13 SEP 2016
BY MARTIN DOMIN
Club signed French defender from Greek champions Olympiacos
West Ham will attempt to determine whether they overpaid for £6.2million
summer signing Arthur Masuaku. The French left-back joined from Greek
champions Olympiacos and has featured in each of the Hammers' opening four
Premier League matches. But the club believe he cost them £1m too much and
want to find out if someone not named on the official documentation was paid
commission. The club confirmed to the Daily Mail that they have launched an
Masuaku, 22, spent two seasons in Greece after moving from Valenciennes in
his homeland. And after making his debut in the 2-1 defeat by Chelsea last
month, he said: "The Premier League is very fast and for me it was tough
physically as I am not 100 per cent yet. I just want to keep going, work
hard and hopefully show my best form." West Ham's first-choice left-back
Aaron Cresswell is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
West Ham investigate signing of Arthur Masuaku from Olympiakos
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 13/09/16 11:27am
West Ham are investigating the deal that saw French left-back Arthur Masuaku
join them from Greek champions Olympiakos over the summer. The Hammers paid
£6.2m to land the 22-year-old but it is understood club officials are
concerned they overpaid for the player by almost £1m. West Ham are concerned
someone was paid who was not declared on the official transfer document,
with a representative dispatched to Athens last week to establish if that
was the case. Masuaku came through the youth system at Valenciennes in his
home country before joining Olympiakos in August 2014. He played 65 times
for the Greek side before completing the deal to join West Ham that has now
caused concern. Masuaku has played in all four Premier League games for
Slaven Bilic's side this season.
West Ham fans want action over London Stadium segregation problems
• Club to hold crisis talks with operators after trouble at last match
• West Ham demand police presence at new ground
Monday 12 September 2016 20.25 BST Last modified on Tuesday 13 September
2016 08.13 BST
West Ham fans are calling for urgent action to resolve stewarding and
segregation issues that have marred their move to the London Stadium, as
tensions rose between the club and the stadium's owners over violent scenes
West Ham will this week hold talks with the operators of their new £701m
home, with each understood to blame the other for the situation that led to
home fans clashing with one another and with away fans during the 4-2 defeat
The club have demanded a police presence at the ground, which would have to
be paid for by the operators under the terms of the lease. West Ham's
executive vice-chairman, Karren Brady, was booed when her image flashed up
on the big screen on Saturday and she was verbally abused by some fans.
"The way it's going, someone is going to end up seriously hurt," said Graeme
Howlett, editor of the Knees Up Mother Brown website. "It's dangerous. We've
got so many accounts of fans trading blows, people having to dive on their
kids to protect them.
"The two big problems are probably that the migration from Upton Park was
not handled as well as it could have been and the second is that there is no
A West Ham spokesman said the London Stadium did have a family section, with
two blocks reserved in the Bobby Moore stand, and thus complied with Premier
League guidelines. "The club is doing everything possible within its
jurisdiction to help provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all
supporters," the club said. "The club is working hard to move like-minded
supporters into areas to enhance their match-day experience."
By offering cheap ticket deals for minors and allowing existing season
ticket holders to purchase two extra seats at the new ground, West Ham have
25,000 family ticket holders in the stadium that has a capacity of 57,000.
Cheap season ticket deals and the allure of the new stadium have also
tempted new fans to buy season tickets. Much of the tension has been sparked
because fans who were used to standing for much of the match at Upton Park
have been told to sit at the London Stadium.
West Ham are believed to be concerned that the standard of stewarding has
not been up to scratch and will be seeking answers from LS185, the company
used by the stadium operators, Vinci, to handle the task.
"You've got the two different factions being separated by a handful of
stewards," said Howlett. "The majority of the stewards are not trained or
not able to act. It's ludicrous. There are no police inside the stadium. On
Saturday it took 15 minutes for a response team to come in.
"I have plenty of sympathy with those who want to be allowed to stand. We've
got this ridiculous issue where the home fans are told to sit, yet the away
fans are allowed to stand."
The LLDC is expected to argue privately that Vinci, which also operates the
Stade de France, has longstanding experience of overseeing sporting events
and that hundreds of thousands of fans have attended other events at the
stadium with no problem.
West Ham will seek to start relocating fans so they can sit with more
like-minded supporters but the process will be far from straightforward. It
is unclear what went wrong during the consultation process that was supposed
to ensure that fans sat in a part of the stadium with a similar atmosphere
to that they were leaving behind at Upton Park.
Brady is also expected to push LS185 – which must pay for all stewarding and
security within the stadium under the terms of the controversial tenancy
deal signed with West Ham – to improve stewarding and segregation.
The KUMB site has collated anonymous submissions from former Upton Park
stewards who claim their expertise and experience was ignored by the new
stadium operators. Among their complaints is that stewards are allocated
randomly to different parts of the ground and thus unable to build up a
rapport over successive matches.
Fans have complained that many of the 700-strong army of stewards have
little experience of managing football crowds, having been trained to look
after other events, and of inadequate security measures.
West Ham and LS185 have been asked to draw up a report for Newham Council's
Safety Advisory Group, while the Football Association has also confirmed
that it is investigating scenes that saw 10 fans ejected on Saturday and
three handed to the police.
Ten other West Ham fans had already been banned for life following incidents
at earlier games in the Europa League and the Premier League opener against
Both LS185 and West Ham are combing through CCTV footage and clips posted on
social media to identify perpetrators.
"As part of our review process, we will be taking steps to strengthen the
segregation measures between home and away supporters," said an LS185
"In-fighting amongst home supporters has also given us cause for concern and
we will continue to work closely with West Ham United to identify and take
action against the small number of supporters found to be responsible for
"We remain determined to ensure that all supporters can enjoy the best
possible matchday experience in a safe and secure environment and fully
support West Ham's efforts to migrate supporters attending in family groups
to dedicated sections."
West Ham United's 'Robust' Response To 'Watfordgate'
Submitted by nevillenixon on Tue, 13/09/2016 - 10:11
The groundswell of opinion among fans and the massively negative press that
followed the 2-4 defeat to Watford at the London Stadium has, as expected,
invoked an immediate response from the club with the blame for events being
firmly placed on the stadium management and particularly on the security
company they use. The 'robust' response on the club's official website is as
"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 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
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 of confidence. 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."
At least the issues are being addressed, certain teething troubles were
expected following the move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium,
but they have turned out being more root canal than a simple filling!
It does appear that the immediate issue that needs addressing is top of the
agenda, and that being crowd segregation. It is a blessing in disguise that
things 'kicked off' during the Watford match, and as much as their
'cheerleaders' would like to think, they were one of the 'softer' teams that
West Ham will face, even though the match was technically a London derby.
Had the visitors been from Tottenham or Chelsea the outcome could have been
horrific, and that is no over statement!
Negatives & Positives:
The obvious negative is that the publicity for the club has been atrocious,
images of fighting fans have been beamed all round the world, hardly the
sort of global branding envisaged by the West Ham hierarchy. Fans feel
'disconnected', not because of sight lines or atmosphere, more the fact that
the stewards treat them generally politely but incredibly inefficiently,
acting with no latitude, empathy is an essential element of crowd control!
The positives are that a major incident has thus far been avoided, and
henceforth the impending 'shoring up' between the away fans and the Sir
Trevor Brooking stand home fans will engender a feeling of increased
security and well being, especially among those who are accompanying
children. Because there has been such a brouhaha about the first few
matches, rival supporters have begun to think the london stadium is 'there
for the taking', the new controls being put in place should help snuff out
that particular cinder and hopefully people can enjoy watching a football
match instead of seeing an endless stream of hapless 'yellow jackets'
panicking as they try to diffuse situations they have little or no training
The increased police presence is also a must, and one that will be welcomed
by all, even those who don't always see eye to eye with the authorities! It
is to be hoped that they can suggest the leaving time for the away
supporters in order to avoid clashes outside the stadium as well.
So: Build a wall to segregate the away fans, a sufficient metal barrier that
is high enough not to be vaulted and strong enough not to be knocked over.
Have a Police presence inside the Stadium, and insist on much better
training for the security staff. These actions will go a long way to making
a visit to the London Stadium a positive experience that can be recommended.
Of course we haven't touched on the issue of safe standing and family zones
yet, why on earth given the amount of season tickets held by under 16's, was
no provision made for a family zone? It beggars belief that the hard working
board of West Ham didn't perceive this issue before it had a chance to
develop. The safe standing problem will unfortunately run and run due to the
FA's vice like grip on any meaningful change to the rules, however common
sense can prevail if like minded souls are given the option to swap areas
that they are currently seated in and be positioned where they are not
obscuring the views of those who cannot or do not wish to stand, or those of
children. Of course by doing so the club would be surreptitiously condoning
standing, but technically they would just be 'assembling' like minded
supporters who like to 'sing and chant' more than others.
It is vital that West Ham United is seen as a club moving forward, and their
supporters not as a bunch of ingrates who cannot handle being 'gifted' one
of the best stadiums in the world, but as supporters who are embracing a
brave new world whist maintaining the core values that made West Ham many
opposition supporters' favourite second team. Come on you irons? - Ed