Sorry, but The London Stadium is not fit for purpose.

west ham,watford,hooligan,hooliganismMuch has already been made about the trouble which took place inside the London Stadium at the West Ham versus Watford game yesterday. However, to those of us who attended the game, as I did as one of the visiting support, it was hardly a surprise. For it is fairly clear that whilst this is an amazing venue, it simply does not yet work as a football stadium.

Leaving aside the fact that the lower tier is so shallow that it almost demands you stand to see anything (totally illegally of course) the segregation is almost laughable with the two sets of fans being barely a decent right-hander apart. 

However, there is a more fundamental problem and it one which will have to be addressed sooner rather than later. It is the thorny issue of stewarding. Not just inside the stadium, but outside.

At the risk of causing offence to anyone -and if I do, I apologise, but someone is going to have to say this- putting a dayglo vest on someone with only rudimentary English language skills does not make for an effective steward. More worryingly, if they have no experience of English football let alone dealing with aggressive fans, it makes them a liability because it can cause more problems than it solves. Just as importantly, it can place them in direct danger. More so when there are no police around to back them up.

As visiting fans, we saw the consequences of this inside the stadium yesterday but the truth is, they were exacerbated by some of the things which went on outside before the game. Indeed, the close proximity of the Westfield shopping centre, coupled with the lack of places to drink beforehand, is a recipe for disaster. More so when you have security staff walking around sticking camera’s in peoples faces as they did to us yesterday. Understandable if we were being a problem but not when you’re sitting outside a bar quietly drinking a coke.

That might be a small thing to some but the overt way it was done coupled with the arrogant attitude of those doing the filming pissed off an awful lot of people and this wasn’t the only incident of its type we heard about. The worry being that if the London Stadium witnesses these types of problems when a club such as Watford are visiting, what is it going to be like when clubs such as Chelsea or Spurs are the visitors? The consequences were it to kick off inside the mall don’t even bare thinking about.

I am not for one second trying to defend those who cause trouble because ultimately, they are to blame for what they get up to. Nor am I pointing a finger at West Ham fans, the majority of whom are amongst the best and most passionate in the country. However, the responsibility for the safety of all supporters in and around a home stadium is entirely a matter for the owners and it is one which, in the case of The London Stadium, is being failed. Badly.

Given what is at stake, that is totally unacceptable and one must hope that the results of the investigation announced by the FA today will leave the club management in absolutely no doubt as to what is required of them.


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7 thoughts on “Sorry, but The London Stadium is not fit for purpose.”

  1. Dougie…
    Son I’ve been a travelling hammer for 40 years..
    Seen most things at numerous grounds inside and out.
    The new stadium is a joke son.
    I wrote that on you FB page.
    Hammers fighting hammers sporadic outbursts all over the ground and indeed at a well known tube station.
    Same applied when Bournemouth visited if you have a look at our fixtures you will note the first big game in terms of what we incinerate is in December when Arsenal visit.
    Call me an old cynic but carefully planned by the FA Prem computer wouldn’t you agree.
    As for the stewards that are fckn toilet…The stewards at the boleyn have been cast adrift most of us knew their faces and they were decent people.
    As for Westfield on match days?
    A terrorist utopia…..West ham fans (proper) been sold out son….ps as stated yesterday better team won..

    1. I’m a disabled Watford fan I went to yesterdays game an agree with all you say the segregation well was none stewards were not up to it an as for the police well they come in to the ground 4 min before the game ended. iv never in my life been so scared in a ground it should never never in a million years been used for football as for the trouble bottles were thrown kids no younger than 16 try to take on peeps older than them west ham suporters are not the best in the country there the worst I’m never going back to that place again it not a football ground an should never bee on

  2. I was there on the Bournemouth match I’m a Bournemouth fan in are concourse we saw west ham fans walking though there and if u go too any ground u see the away concourse is closed to away supporters

  3. The stewards were a total joke, my autistic son got caught up in the stupidity at half time, myself and his uncle tried to find him only for a huge thug of a so called steward to on purpose smash me in the back of my head and then push me to the floor, I reported the incident to the stadium manager but they did nothing, on our way out of the ground he saw me and simply called me a c@#t that is the class of animals that are supposed to look after us!!!!!!!!!!!!

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