Monday 14 February 2011 by Malcolm Everall

West Ham Fans demand to sit further from the pitch


West Ham supporters have reacted with dismay to the news of their club’s successful bid for the Olympic Stadium, after it was revealed that the playing surface will actually be visible from parts of the ground.

Supporters groups have threatened to boycott the venue altogether unless Hammers bosses shift the stands further away from the pitch.

“It’s a disgrace,” fumed 38 year old Ken Pond from Clapton. “I was brought up on stories of how the Hammers won the World Cup for England, assisted the development of the polio vaccine, and played a large part in the Apollo Moon Landings.”

“When I actually want to see Frederic Piquionne take flying air-kicks from five yards out, I’ll let them know.”

The celebrations which began at the East London club after last week’s announcement have so far failed to catch the mood of its hardcore supporters, steeped in tales of Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore and Marco Boogers.

Marital aid magnate and Hammers co-chair David Sullivan had initially planned a triumphant open-topped bus parade all the way from Canning Town tube station to the Tubby Isaacs whelk stall on the A11.

But today his ceremony was downgraded to a furtive, semi-naked examination of an artist’s impression of a £496 million stadium paid for by somebody else.

“Ungh, ungh,” he explained. “Taxpayers’ money!”

West Ham get Olympic Stadium

Last Friday the stadium construction team opened their doors to a handful of Hammers season-ticket holders, allowing them to see the stadium which will be their home from 2014.

For safety reasons they were only allowed access to a small enclosure in the main stand, 45 metres from the goalmouth.

“This is terrible,” exclaimed 48 year old Terry Bayles, from Ilford. “That’s no distance at all. I’ve seen Martin Peters, God rest his soul, score from twice as far out as that. At this range it’ll be possible to make out Wayne Bridge giving away a needless penalty. And probably see his haircut, too.”

But club executive Karren Brady has hit back at the fans’ criticism, calling it ‘ill-informed’ and ‘inaccurate’.

“We have bent over backwards to ensure that supporters who don’t want to watch West Ham will be included in our vision,” she explained.

“From certain parts of the upper tier, for example, you have a better view of Brisbane Road than our own pitch.”

“Leyton Orient fans ought to be delighted.”

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