Show us the evidence

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 16th April 2018

The extent to which authorities went in order to paint West Ham supporters in the worst possible light - presumably in order to cover up their failings in relation to the Burnley pitch invasions - have been fully exposed.

According to the minutes of a Stadium Safety Advisory Group (SSAG) meeting last month, a remarkable 152 seperate incidents were claimed to have taken place inside the stadium on the day of the match, which the visitors won 3-0 - prompting angry scenes around the Directors' Box.

The Group, which consisted of members from Newham Council, the LLDC, E20, LS185 the Met and West Ham itself was told that "migration from the fans area had the hallmarks of a planned pitch incursion" - despite there being no evidence whatsoever of a coordinated plan of attack by supporters.

Indeed, it has been pointed out since on numerous occasions that a planned attack would have been practically impossible due to the inherent lack of available wifi inside the stadium.

The SSAG claimed 'pre-planned' action took place; this has been denied by all West Ham United supporters

Meanwhile it was also claimed there was "mass migration of fans from the East Stand" and that stewards were "pushed to the ground, punched, shoved and had coins thrown at them". Additionally, it was suggested that "a potential unknown may have had a concealed weapon".

Yet once again, there appears to be no supporting evidence for any of these claims - as is still the case with co-chairman David Sullivan, who similarly reported being hit by a coin before being escorted to safety during the fracas that unfurled in front of him and fellow chairman David Gold.

It's 29 years this month since Liverpool fans were falsely accused of contributing to the death of 96 of their own supporters at Hillsborough

The unsubstantiated allegation that supporters had pre-planned the attack on the Directors' Box was mentioned several times during the SSAG meeting according to the minutes, lending weight to suggestions that the authorities colluded in order to paint West Ham supporters in the poorest light possible.

Yet later in the meeting it was revealed that LS185 had reduced the security team in size by 68 for the match, something they blamed on "current intelligence that the Burnley game was cetegorised as low risk" - despite a police risk assesment having noted that " if West Ham lost the game there could be potential of discord".

Additionally a LS185 Safety Officer's report stated that an audit of stewards was being carried out following "concerns about the quality of staff", whilst police officers on duty inside the ground on the day reported that "they overheard conversations regarding the quality of the stewards and their ability to deal with issues".

Meanwhile West Ham were advised to work with the Met's 'Protest Liaison Team' in order to "discuss and review the motivation of fans".

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