Filed: Wednesday, 21st September 2016
By: Staff Writer
Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold say they have received fresh assurances from stadium operators London Stadium 185 regarding the standards of stewarding and security.
Speaking in their programme notes for tonight's League Cup clash with Accrington Stanley the club's co-owners insisted that LS185 - who have come under heavy fire from supporters and were ordered to meet club officials last week - had promised a series of improvements.
"It is clear there are three key areas of frustration off the pitch; the quality of the stewarding, the segregation between home and away supporters and the need for like-minded supporters to be more appropriately grouped,” wrote Sullivan and Gold.
“We want all stewarding to be of the highest standard and have assurances from E20 and LS185, who control the safety and security at London Stadium, that they will significantly improve stewarding.
"That will be by providing better training, contracting additional stewarding companies with more relevant football experience and by deploying stewards to man the same areas for every game to help build some familiarity between the Stadium staff and our fans."
Sullivan and Gold also confirmed that the operators, a spin-off of French firm Vinci Stadium who also control venues such as Paris' Stade de France, were finally introducing a clear divide between opposing fans - even though League Two Stanley are expected to bring no more than 600 to east London tonight.
“LS185 have agreed to implement an improved and increased segregation line between home and away supporters," he confirmed. "This will be implemented from tonight and you should be able to clearly see a difference.”
Although the club's co-owners appear to be happy with the assurances they have been given, it was a rather different story when KUMB spoke with LS185 last week.
Having expressed our concerns regarding the sub-standard stewarding and lax security measures employed prior to the recent Premier League fixture with Watford, LS185's Head of Commercial Michael Temple promised "lots of positive changes".
The reality, of course, was somewhat different with more issues arising that ever before, which led to us contacting Temple again for his thoughts on the situation.
His response was to provide a copy of a statement which failed to accept any responsibility for the problems, opting instead to essentially pin the blame on West Ham United supporters for LS185's inability to police the stadium effectively and ensure fans' safety.
"London Stadium have identified a number of supporters involved in incidents of disorder during Saturday's Premier League match between West Ham United and Watford," Temple replied.
"In line with our safety and security policies, these supporters will be banned from all stadium events. In addition, we will continue to review CCTV footage and take retrospective action where necessary.
"We will continue to work closely with West Ham United to identify and take action against the small number of supporters responsible for these incidents of disorder."
Following this unsatisfactory response we contacted Temple again to ask that he reply to our specific concerns. Since then, neither he nor anyone from London Stadium 185 has responded to our emails.
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