West Ham fans invade field, protest during loss to Burnley
LONDON (AP) — Tensions at West Ham reached boiling point during a 3-0 loss to Burnley on Saturday when some fans invaded the pitch while others vented their anger at the ownership at the Olympic Stadium.
Ashley Barnes had just put Burnley ahead early in the second half when a fan ran into the middle of the pitch, left unchallenged until West Ham captain Mark Noble intervened and shoved him to the ground.
As that fan ran back toward the stands another two came on and were eventually led away by defender James Collins.
It was Burnley’s second goal, scored by Chris Wood, which proved the final straw for hundreds of fans, who charged along the concourse between the tiers of the stadium they hate so much to gather underneath the directors’ box to chant “Sack the board’ and “You destroyed our club.”
Joint-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, whose decision to uproot the club from its old Upton Park ground to the centerpiece of the 2012 Olympics is behind the anger, left their seats amid the turmoil.
Another supporter picked up a corner flag, ran to the center circle and planted it in the ground.
Police had to be positioned along the touchline and specifically around the West Ham bench, where more disturbances appeared to take place.
Wood scored a third goal as West Ham imploded on and off the pitch, with the team three points above the relegation zone.