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West Ham fans have the right to protest claims journalist

West Ham supporters have a right to protest against their owners David Gold and David Sullivan, the Daily Telegraph’s Chief Football Writer Sam Wallace told the Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports today.

Investigations are still underway by the club and Premier League, and an emergency meeting of all stakeholders has been called following the ugly scenes on Saturday.

Wallace said: “It’s not nice to see children being sheltered in the away dug-out and it’s a head-in-hands moment when a middle-aged man gets on the pitch and waves a flag around. It’s right that we condemn this behaviour because it took us many years to get rid of hooliganism from the game. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that football fans in this country have always had the right to protest.

“There’s a strong tradition of that and I would always want fans to stand up for their club. But we have to balance this with not putting people in danger. Running on the pitch sends a bleak message. Fans have a right to protest, but going on the pitch is a red line and it’s wrong for children to feel in danger.”

Wallace added: “The problem with West Ham’s stadium is that it was built for the Olympics. There was no legacy for football. It’s been a terrible compromise that hasn’t worked for anyone, least of all the taxpayer. Right from the offset, there didn’t seem to be a plan. West Ham felt they couldn’t turn it down because financially it was great but even the walk to the ground, it doesn’t feel like a community. I think they’re facing a game behind closed doors. It pains me but I think that would be the right decision. Fans on the pitch creates an atmosphere of the days of anarchy. If you can’t control people coming on the pitch then you can’t control the stands. The club has got to be better run. Part of the investigation has to include the owners looking at themselves.”

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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

7 comments on “West Ham fans have the right to protest claims journalist

  1. The club is in total meltdown. The Davids will definitely go down in west ham history as the owners who destroyed an amazing family club.

    • Rubbish, worse than Brown? Worse than the Icelandic farce?
      We have a history of bad owners & terribly weak squads. For every good season we have 5 horror shows. The example of this is we still talk about the boys of 86, in reality we finished 3rd & have won sweet fa since 1981

  2. A game behind doors or three is probably the way forward to send the right message, not just to the haters in our club but other clubs, the stakes are so high it is unlikely ours will be the only club to see such scenes.

  3. Wallace makes two great points: the Club needs to be better run. And the owners need to take a very close look at themselves.

    If Mr Gold is as passionate about the club as he claims – and he has invested in it, and accumulated wealth through it, so I tend to believe his claim – then he needs to recognise the difference in strategic leadership shown by Spurs’ Mr Levy. White Hart Lane is being developed into an ultra modern football stadium on its own hallowed soil. Modernising, and establishing a strong brand are not the problem here. They are synonymous with progress. But the key is how this is achieved; that’s where WHUFC’s owners has gone seriously awry.

    Mr Gold may also want to bring in consultants to set up a high quality player recruitment process aligned with the Club’s strategic vision. Allied to this would be the appointment of a good quality coaching team with fresh ideas. Look at the qualities and achievements of Dyche and Hughton. Neither are my preferred types, and yet they are doing very good coaching work with limited talent and budgets.

    Mr Gold – please do not become entrenched. Remain open to the possibility that the Club needs high quality football leadership at all levels. Clearly, this needs to be provided by corporate talent. Hire that talent in IT, marketing and PR. As well as a talented young coach hungry to make his way in the PL.

  4. Good comments Ruffellite. Spurs turned themselves into a decent club BEFORE they went for the big ground. Hurts to say it, but their strategy has put our owners to shame. G&S could at least now try to learn from their example. Also bringing in expert advisers is essential, but can you see Sullivan doing this? If he does really love this club he has to swallow his pride. Most of us who have mates who support other clubs don’t have much of our pride left after the last two years, so we are not asking that much from him.

  5. An empty ground might just suit the players better at the moment. The crisis at this club is down to the owners- no question. But in the short term the atmosphere in the ground is not helping. Two months ago we were looking like a sound team. Now the same players have fallen apart. The transfer window was too much for many of us but the discontent from that has got out of hand. If we are allowed in to the ground for the last few games we have to get behind the team. There is major work still needed on the team but it should not be heading for the Championship. The players are telling us they are being affected so let’s give them the chance to prove they can deliver when we are behind them!

  6. Everybody do have the right to protest but peacefully. What we saw on saturday was disgraceful, the four idiots who went on the pitch should face bans along with anyone who can be identified throwing anything towards the board.
    Does anybody really think what happened will make the board sell up & leave or sack Brady?

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