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Anorak | West Ham and Chelsea fans give the 1980s a bad name

West Ham and Chelsea fans give the 1980s a bad name

by | 27th, October 2016

The good news is that if the 1980s have returned to West Ham, as one BBC pundit says they have, the team might win a Cup. The bad news is that fans might leave the club’s ground in a St John’s ambulance. In a bid to make the rented athletics stadium their own, West Ham throwbacks took plastic bottles, seats and coins about the place as the players beat Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says: “We are totally against it as a club.” Well, quite. Such antics do little to market the ‘brand’ to potential investors, although a few Russian nutters could see West Ham London (that’s what it says on the new badge) as a kind of home from home.

Chelsea season ticket holders Paul Streeter and his eight-year-old daughter, Victoria, were sitting in the disabled section and got caught up in the violence. He tells the BBC:

“My daughter was hit with seven coins all over her body. We were watching the game in the front row near to the home fans – suddenly there’s a whole load of coins coming over. Other kids were hit, it was not just my daughter. Stewards and police were not reacting. They should have dragged the crowd back and dealt with them.”

West Ham fan and blogger Sean Whetstone told BBC Radio 5:

“Football has trouble, but it is not reported elsewhere. There is trouble at Stamford Bridge every season when West Ham play Chelsea. It feels like there is an agenda against West Ham. There is a limited amount of police inside the stadium. It is the stewards’ job to sort that out inside the stadium. They have learned a lot already but there is much to do. It is a new stadium, an iconic stadium and I believe that a small amount of away fans come to prove a point.”

He had us up to ‘iconic stadium’. The marketing guff extends to the fans, too.

In other news, the BBC also notes:

Claims that homophobic anti-Chelsea song sheets were distributed at West Ham’s London Stadium are being investigated. Hammers fan Nadeem Qureshi posted an image of one of the flyers, urging fans to sing homophobic lyrics about Chelsea captain John Terry, on social media.

Here’s what a fan was handing out at the match:

 

West ham homophobic song

 

 

The rule of any chant is that it should be catchy or funny. That is neither. And that fact that any fan is handing out song sheets at the football, where once spontaneity ruled, is a sign of how unlike the 1980s the anodyne Premier League is.

It’s the rarity of the aggro that makes it newsworthy.

 



Posted: 27th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink