I am ashamed to be a West Ham fan today, and look on the events at the Boelyn Ground tonight, with despair and anger. However, is it possible to be both stunned and yet not surprised at the same time?
I have seen a number of threads already, some by WUM's, others by concerned fans, that have suggested large fines (will happen), competition bans (may happen), and massive punitive measures, such as instant relegation to non-league football (not likely).
The stewards did a magnificent job, under extreme circumstances, and under extreme provocation. They attempted to control the idiots, to the best of their ability, but are sadly unable to physically eject people from the ground.
It looks to me like the game was, surprisingly, under policed, and the Met seriously dropped the ball on this one. Unfortunately it begs the question, should games like these be played behind closed doors?
Even if it is a fraction of 1% of people (and I refuse to use the word fans), that cause a problem, they have unfortunately tainted the name of the club that I have supported for over 30 years.
Anyone who invaded the pitch should have been arrested, and banned from West Ham for life. Rioters outside the stadium should be arrested with extreme prejudice (riot police with batons, dogs, horses and tear gas). These people should go to jail, and be banned from all football for life. Obviously, there should be several charges of Attempted Murder as well.
It is sad to say that I whole-heartedly believe the game should not have been played with a crowd present. It inconveniences the honest fan, not being able to watch their team play, but that would be better than the shame we face now.
Lastly, my condolences and thoughts are with Jack tonight, for the tragic loss of his father at the weekend. It shows the huge character and commitment to the club, that he decided to play tonight.
Koos the Hammer.