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Gold foresaw Green Street problems

CrushWest Ham co-chairman David Gold foresaw the problems and traffic chaos ahead on Tuesday, tweeting from his official Twitter account to his 140,000 followers the 79 year old chairman tweeted at 9.48am on the morning of the match “Kickoff tonight is 7.45pm traffic will be horrendous allow extra time. See you there. dg

Obviously the bronze police commander in operational charge and the Manchester United team coach driver don’t follow David Gold on social media as the amount of people and grid-locked traffic caught both parties unaware and unprepared.

Speaking again on social media Gold added today that “The police (human error) under estimated the number of fans that congregated in Green St & Barking Rd. Gridlock. dg”

The still and video images of the 30 seconds of madness have been flashed about the world tarnishing the West Ham brand and that of English football but they have been taken out of context.

There is no getting away from the fact that a small minority of  West Ham fans behaved poorly and it is true that West Ham need to take some blame that they could have opened the Boleyn Ground gates a lot earlier to relieve the crush and congestion on the Barking Road and Green Street – and they could have also have communicated better with the opposition team on the ongoing traffic situation.

However, the main culprits in my view were the police with their inability to manage the crowd. I hope the police learn valuable lessons from this incident and make some amendments to their approach on the policing of football.


About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

One comment on “Gold foresaw Green Street problems

  1. I just want to put it on record that there is no way Police could have managed the crowds any better with the numbers of officers available for a football fixture, even with the larger than normal crowds. This was not a pre planned event like Notting Hill Carnival where previous events allow to Police to plan a strategy around crowd dynamics and although larger numbers of fans were expected, the Met does not have the resources to justify pulling officers away from other areas that need day to day policing. And I am not sure what is meant by prepare and manage the crowd? This was a very unique scenario and from my understanding the crowd were upset by the way Police were robust and made a sterile area around the coach. The Police have to believe that they are using reasonable force in the circumstances to prevent crime occurring and the coach was under attack at the time. Also, what if a fan had ended up under the coach? The first job of any emergency service is to save life and limb and that is applied to every situation they are placed in.
    I believe the Police are always open to criticism and it’s a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t scenario” but I also believe that the they should review their actions at the time and learn from what happened. For me the main factors that contributed to this were that the infrastructure around the ground could not cope with the sheer volume of people. It’s bad enough on a normal match day and that Man Utd left so late in coming. I won’t get drawn into a huge debate over this and I understand the frustrations of fans. Bottom line, no one died, a football match took place and The Boleyn Ground got the send off it deserved. The most frustrating aspect of the whole situation is the way West Ham fans have been depicted by the national press. Uncalled for and unacceptable.

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