Monday, September 19

Stadium woes

The Observer used a couple of my quotes in their news piece yesterday, "How football's working-class fans were sold out for a packet of popcorn." Click on the link to read. There's abother feature on West Ham's problems with the London Stadium in the Sport section and a lotos coverage in the other p[apers — the stadium problems seem to be generating an unwarranted degree of publicity. Not sure it's as simple as a case of working-class fans being priced out, the days of local dockers walking to Green Street went in the 1970s and the new stadium offers kids' tickets for £99. But there is something in the fact West Ham fans have never been as docile as some other fans.

There have been some scuffles and no-one wants to see children in tears — but let's remember there were many more children in tears during the hooligan heyday of the 1980s. If the problems are still there after this season it really will be worrying, but at the moment it's a learning process for club and fans and we should be aware that in the social media age every fracas is filmed and everything seems to create more sound and fury that it merits. Stewarding needs to improve, we need the police in the stadium, families need to sit together and stewards perhaps turn a blind eye to standing among the singing fans. But it should all be solvable.

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