West Ham lose control as pitch invasions leave club facing sanctions

Referee Craig Pawson speaks to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at Old Trafford

The aptitude of stewards at the London Stadium has been called into question, but they are now the responsibility of LS185, and is part of the £2.5million rent West Ham pay them for use of the stadium each year.

Following the pitch invasions and trouble on Saturday, West Ham could yet be forced to play behind closed doors.

A fan immediately ran on to the pitch and was hauled down by Mark Noble, the West Ham captain.

And the former Hammers player and manager believes the club's stewarding - which is provided externally via the stadium operators E20 - needs a radical overhaul in order to avoid more unrest in the future.

West Ham are three points and two place above the relegation zone after losing to Burnley and their next game is at home to fellow strugglers Southampton on Saturday, 31 March.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condemned the violence and called on West Ham to take action. The LLDC said it was looking to strengthen security and would welcome financial assistance from the club.

The centre-back James Collins clashed with another pitch invader and a female steward was knocked to the ground when fans gathered below the directors' box to aim abuse at Sullivan and David Gold, the other co-owner. Hundreds of supporters overpowered stewards to congregate beneath the directors' box in protest.

The Premier League added that "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" to "ensure similar events never reoccur". With a sub-headline reading "Re del porno" (king of porno), the Italian newspaper explain where the money behind West Ham's owners comes from, and makes clear it's the owners who the fans are angriest with.

A spokesman for the mayor's office said: "The disturbances at the London Stadium were disgraceful and it's clear there can not be a repeat of the ugly scenes witnessed".

The FA expects this to be a lengthy disciplinary process.

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