West Ham fans face life bans after London Stadium pitch invasions
PUBLISHED: 10:55 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 14 March 2018
West Ham fans who invaded the London Stadium pitch during Saturday’s match face being banned for life.
The relegation-threatened club’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley was marred by four separate pitch invasions as well as protests against the club’s board as hundreds of supporters congregated beneath the directors’ box.
Joint-owners David Gold and David Sullivan were advised to leave their seats for their own safety, with the latter having been struck on his glasses by a coin.
Captain Mark Noble wrestled the first pitch invader to the ground, defender James Collins ushered another two away and Burnley forward Ashley Barnes tripped over a fourth.
The fifth fan to enter the pitch attempted to plant a corner flag in the centre circle.
A West Ham spokesman said: “The club is working in close conjunction with the Metropolitan Police to identify those individuals who entered the pitch during the second half and...to identify those who threw missiles.
“Any individual found guilty will be banned from attending any West Ham United fixture, home and away, for life and the club will request the courts serve a banning order to prevent these individuals attending any football matches in the future.”
Many fans are unhappy with how the move to the new stadium has turned out and the subsequent lack of investment in the squad.
West Ham will hold an emergency meeting with the core safety advisory group tomorrow.
They will be joined by representatives from stadium operators LS185, certifying authority Newham Council, the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the Metropolitan Police, stadium owners E20 and the London Legacy Development Corporation.
The club is desperate to prevent any more crowd trouble at its remaining games, adding: “The club will make clear that its primary concern is for the safety and comfort of its supporters on matchdays and, to that end, will lead discussions centred on the safety management plans put in place and the policing and stewarding for future fixtures at London Stadium.”
West Ham’s next match is against fellow strugglers Southampton on March 31.