LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United have launched an investigation into the crowd disturbances that marred their 3-0 home defeat by Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, the club said in a statement.
Several incidents occurred including supporters making their way on to the pitch during the game, which led to a West Ham statement saying that they have called an emergency meeting with all London Stadium stakeholders.
“West Ham United have immediately launched a full and thorough investigation into the incidents which marred the second half of today’s match and are committed to taking decisive and appropriate action,” the statement said.
Many supporters in the stadium directed their anger at the club’s co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, both of whom were forced to leave the directors’ box early for their own safety.
The Football Association said it would be seeking observations from West Ham as well as awaiting the match referee’s report. The Premier League joined in the condemnation and said it would also seek answers from the London side, who are three points above the relegation zone.
“It is essential that everybody who plays or attends a Premier League football match can do so safely,” a Premier League statement said.
“There is no place at any level of the game for what happened at the London Stadium today.
“While the official investigation of the incidents will be carried out by the Football Association, we will be asking our own questions of West Ham United about what happened this afternoon, especially to ensure similar events never reoccur.”
The result was a fourth defeat in five league games for David Moyes’ side and captain Mark Noble, who tackled one of the pitch invaders after Ashley Barnes’s opening goal for Burnley, admitted the atmosphere in the stadium was “horrible”.
Frustration has often boiled over since West Ham left Upton Park for the former Olympic Stadium in 2016 - a venue which West Ham fans have found hard to love.
“It’s been like this for the past two seasons, since we moved to this stadium,” Noble said.
“Every time we lose we and the board get a lot of stick. It seemed today that the fans had had enough. They wanted to show their emotion. The atmosphere was horrible.”
Noble said supporters should encourage the team because their reaction was self-defeating.
“In football winning games is all that matters, but a team like West Ham and every team apart from Man City are going to lose games,” he said.
“It’s hard for us, the fans are unhappy with the board, obviously. As soon as we go a goal down we get targeted. A lot of players haven’t played in that atmosphere before.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman and Christian Radnedge, Editing by Ed Osmond