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Another game, no improvements says steward


Filed: Monday, 12th September 2016
By: Staff Writer


Another Olympic Stadium match day official has contacted KUMB.com to register their disapproval at the standard of stewarding at the arena.

Last week, several stewards contacted KUMB to express their concerns regarding the ability of stadium operators LS185 and security group OCS to effectively police the ground, following a series of incidents in the first four matches staged at the OS.

And despite LS185 having suggested to KUMB last week that improvements had been put in place for the Watford match, there was no cessation in the number of unsavoury incidents witrnessed inside the ground - whilst the only additional staff noted inside the ground were match day security who have since been accused of being "heavy handed".

The situation prompted yet another disenchanted employee to step forward and register their concerns with KUMB. "After more than 15 years of working at West Ham, I wasnít going to the London Stadium expecting it to be the same," the steward, who asked to remain anonymous, told us.

"What I was expecting however was to work with people who had been trained in a professional manner and wanted to do a job in keeping with ground regulations and crowd safety.

"At the Watford game I tried to engage with some of the new SIA-qualified stewards. I introduced myself but they didnít want to engage with me. When a colleague of mine asked staff to conduct a sweep in a unified way, the new staff commented and asked if he was trying to earn three stripes!

"I appreciate this isnít a well-paid job but it still requires the standard of training I received at Upton Park. This lack of training has resulted, for example, in bags not being searched correctly on entry. This, and other shortcomings, could seriously endanger supporters' safety.

"The majority of Boleyn Ground stewards had full time jobs and also worked on match days because they felt a sense of loyalty to the supporters they had gotten to know over the years - and for the love of the club and football.

"I sympathise with all the season tickets holders and apologise to my supporters from the Boleyn Ground, but I feel like the 'old' stewards are fighting a lost battle. Already I;ve discovered that another two of my colleagues wonít be returning."

Tomorrow a meeting between LS185 and West Ham's vice chairman Karren Brady - who was booed by some sections of the Olympic Stadium crowd during the Watford match when her image was flashed on the giant screens - will take place with view to ironing out some of the issues that has emerged as a result of the sub-standard stewarding at the stadium.

Meanwhile Newham Council's Safety Advisory Group have called for West Ham to prepare a report into the Watford match, which West Ham lost 4-2.





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