February 7, 2020 / 3:39 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer: West Ham's Gold says threats from fans can't be tolerated

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United v Leicester City - London Stadium, London, Britain - December 28, 2019 West Ham United co chairmen David Gold in the stands Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien/File photo

(Reuters) - West Ham United co-owner David Gold has offered his support to Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and said threats and violent protests targeting club officials “cannot be tolerated”.

Police are investigating an attack on Woodward’s home last month after videos emerged on social media showing a group of people in hoods chanting threats and throwing flares over the gate.

“I know exactly what Ed’s experienced. I’ve experienced it four or five times myself,” Gold told the British media.

Gold and co-owner David Sullivan were forced to leave the directors box amid chaotic scenes during a Premier League defeat by Burnley at the London Stadium in 2018.

“The league will come together as a unit to protect the likes of Ed and punish those perpetrators. It cannot be tolerated.

“United are a big club, Ed Woodward is a big figure in the game. He can’t be worried about his wife and children.”

West Ham, who visit champions Manchester City on Sunday, are locked in a relegation battle this season and sit 18th, with fans blaming the owners for their recent struggles.

“The story is we’re liars, we’ve taken all the money. That’s wrong ... I’ve not received a penny in salary or expenses from West Ham in 10 years,” Gold said.

“All my young life, the club was in the old second division. We’re in the Premier League now. OK, we’ve got a few problems but overall we’re moving upwards.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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