NewsCO.com.au – West Ham: Karren Brady apologises for London Stadium trouble

March 17, 2018

West Ham fans gathered to protest in front of the directors’ box against Burnley

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has apologised for the scenes that marred the 3-0 defeat by Burnley last weekend.

There were four separate pitch invasions at London Stadium and fans also protested in front of the directors’ box, with joint-owner David Sullivan being hit by a coin.

Brady, in her Sun newspaper column, called the events “one of the most painful days” in the club’s history.

She added that “nothing comes” before the safety of supporters.

Brady also said:

  • the club were trying hard to make London Stadium feel like their home
  • she has arranged an interview with the Mayor to discuss issues with the ground
  • the Hammers would be restructuring player recruitment to give control to the manager
  • the club’s spending on transfers and wages has doubled over past five years

‘The board take full responsibility’

The Hammers have struggled since moving from Upton Park to London Stadium this season and are three points and two places above the Premier League relegation zone.

Their next game is at home to fellow strugglers Southampton on 31 March.

“The board of West Ham United would like to offer our sincere apologies to the vast majority of our supporters who turned up to support their club – lots of them with young children – who sat and tried to continue to support their team,” Brady said.

“I also pledge to you that nothing – and I mean nothing – is more important to us now than ensuring that you are able to come and support the team safely in all future games.

“The board takes full responsibility for our predicament.”

Last summer, West Ham signed forward Marko Arnautovic for £20m, striker Javier Hernandez for £16m and midfielder Sead Haksabanovic for £2.7m, as well as signing defender Pablo Zabaleta for free and keeper Joe Hart on loan.

In January, the Hammers brought in striker Jordan Hugill for £10m, midfielder Joao Mario on loan from Inter Milan and left-back Patrice Evra on a free transfer, while departures included Andre Ayew for £18m and Diafro Sakho for £8.8m.

“We are in the process of entirely restructuring our player recruitment. This will change the way we handle transfers, giving the control to the manager and the football staff.

“I feel I must address issues around investment in the squad. Spending on transfers and wages has doubled over past five years. A club-record £80m was spent on players in 2016-17.

“Our wage bill of £105m compares with top-flight Premier League clubs. Some may argue that the money has not been invested well enough, but it has been invested.”

Home discomforts

West Ham finished 11th in their final campaign at Upton Park last season, registering seven home wins.

They have five wins at London Stadium after 30 top-flight outings this season and have home games remaining against Southampton, Manchester United, Stoke, Manchester City and Everton.

“It’s difficult for everyone to move, we all have cherished memories of our old home but we have moved and there is no going back,” Brady said.

“In reality, when you move to a new house it is empty and without personality.

“Over time you make it a home, decorating it to your taste in your preferred colours, adding your pictures, photos and memories to make it warm and comfortable.

“We have been trying very hard to make our stadium home.”

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