New West Ham stewards are more concerned with watching goals fly in at London Stadium than controlling supporters, it has been claimed. Crowd trouble marred the Hammers' 4-2 loss to Watford at their new home near Stratford on Saturday afternoon.
Rivals defied a narrow barricade between supporters to attack opposition fans while fights also broke out between West Ham fans as well. The incidents came after a difficult few weeks at the London Stadium which has seen Irons supporters without seats and fighting inside and outside the ground.
The club has reportedly decided to relocate some fans after the trouble, which in part was caused by Hammers' followers refusing to sit down.
A steward has apparently lifted the lid on behind the scenes at the ground describing it as a "shambles" and suggesting newly employed stewards don't care as much as ones who came over from the Boleyn Ground.
Writing for the influential West Ham blog Claret and Hugh, the steward, who did not want to be named said, "We are trying to make it feel like home and get supporters to enjoy the day (can't help the results) but we're having to do a lot of nagging and prompting the stewards around us to get them interacting with supporters and be more helpful. There was like some 120 of us that moved over and what supporters don't see is that us Upton Park stewards are treated completely differently to everyone else.
"We're separated out once we get past the shambolic signing in process and all stewards from Upton Park are in a separate section before briefings... We were given rubbish positions guarding stairs [and] supervisors are [not] taking advantage of our experience."
They continue: "Although we try our best we struggle because a vast majority of the [new] stewards there are only there for the money and to watch the game for free and laughing at the results or as goals go in. [They are] not interested in supporters views. That being said not many supervisors really care either."
A spokesman from London Stadium 185 (LS185), which manages security for stadium owner E20, would not comment on the post and IBTimes UK understands talks are ongoing between West Ham, the stadium owners and LS185 on a new plan going forward.
West Ham statement on Watford violence
West Ham United unreservedly condemn the behaviour of the individuals involved in incidents during today's fixture against Watford.
While these isolated incidents were quickly brought under control, this behaviour has no place in football and West Ham United will work tirelessly to eradicate such incidents.
We are currently undertaking an immediate full review with all stakeholders. This includes police, stadium landlord and operator LS185, who are responsible for appointing and managing stewards and security, to ensure we eradicate such incidents moving forward.
Our policy on this behaviour remains one of zero tolerance and we will work with the police and other stakeholders to identify the individuals involved. Once identified, they will be banned from attending any West Ham United fixture for life and we will request the courts serve banning orders to prevent these individuals attending any football.