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Brooking: stadium security is insufficient

Filed: Sunday, 11th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham legend Trevor Brooking has accused stadium operators E20 of failing to guarantee the safety of supporters following yesterday's disturbances at the Olympic Stadium.

Hundreds of supporters gathered underneath the Directors' Box during the second of yesterday's 3-0 home defeat against Burnley to protest against the club's Board, who fans blame for the club's perilous situation.

As a result, a number of families and children were moved to different areas of the ground - including the away dug out, after Burnley's substitutes kindly offered their seats to a number of children who had been sitting close to the disturbances.

And Brooking - who remained in his seat in the Directors' Box long after David Sullivan, Karren Brady and David Gold had departed - slammed the stadium owners for failing to ensure all fans were properly looked after.

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"The club are going to have to look at things with the local police and make sure that trained stewards and police are in place," he told the BBC. "You're almost looking at it and saying, 'this is out of control'.

"It was like going back to the bad old days of 20-25 years ago. I saw some families leaving because the youngsters were frightened. The level of aggression was something I couldn't believe a West Ham fan would get involved in.

"All I would say, between now and the end of the season is anyone who has got that aggressive frustration, just don't come to the five home games that are left because we need everyone - all the fans and the team - working together to try to get sufficient results."

Brooking added that despite having five of their remaining eight matches at Stratford, West Ham may be better off playing away - due to the toxic nature of the Olympic Stadium.

"There is no way the team is going to play and get the points to stay up under that sort of atmosphere; it's impossible," he mused. "That atmosphere must never come back in the last five games otherwise the club is in serious trouble and the players won't be able to deliver.

"When you've just lost 3-0, had people coming on to the pitch and a lot of people venting their frustration to the directors, that means the next five games at home look pretty bleak."

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