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West Ham demand London Stadium owners to guarantee police presence after trouble

Published 12/09/2016

General view of West Ham v Watford on Saturday where the game was marred by trouble.
General view of West Ham v Watford on Saturday where the game was marred by trouble.

West Ham have demanded that London Stadium owners E20 guarantee a police presence at future matches following crowd trouble during Saturday's 4-2 Premier League defeat to Watford.

An unspecified number of fans were ejected from the London Stadium after fights broke out in the closing stages of the game, although the Met Police have stated there were no arrests.

"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," said a statement on the official club website.

"Today, the club have insisted that E20 guarantee a police presence in the stadium."

West Ham supporters fought among themselves and clashed with stewards and Watford fans in what was just the Hammers' second Premier League game at their new home.

Fans are unhappy at the stewarding and being unable to stand as they did at Upton Park, with West Ham urging supporters to sit in order to comply with safety standards that would allow them to increase their capacity by 9,000 to 66,000.

The club has warned they could hand life bans to any supporters found to have been involved in crowd trouble.

"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," the statement said.

"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."

West Ham say they have specified "essential important improvements" to increase the numbers of those involved in stewarding and the security operation, as well as the level of training and experience they have in dealing with Premier League matches.

According to West Ham, E20 have confirmed that immediate action is being taken on the issues raised, including a "more robust and secure line of segregation" between home and away fans.

"We have been assured this will be in place ahead of the next match," West Ham said.

"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 stadium."

In relation to the Watford match, West Ham reported that 10 individuals were ejected from the stadium and no arrests were made.

The club said it had received seven complaints in relation to standing, and 40 reports were received concerning anti-social 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," added the statement.

"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 anti-social 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."

West Ham's next home is against Accrington in an EFL Cup tie on September 21 before they host Southampton in the Premier League four days later.

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