Attendees at the London Stadium had plenty to look forward to when West Ham United kicked off their campaign against Champions Manchester City. The game offered up a first look in Premier League waters for City’s Erling Haaland, and new Hammers recruit Gianluca Scamacca.
An opening day fixture against the Champions was always going to be difficult, but Hammers nonetheless were excited to see their team back in action.
Unfortunately, an unpleasant surprise awaited them as they filled up the venue.
As part of a new-look West Stand, it appears that the club has constructed a wall which separates the home and away support. Supporters seated in the opposite halves can no longer see each other as a result of this, and the wall itself has been covered in club flags.
It’s highly likely that the decision was taken due to troubles faced by the club last season.
For the uninitiated, UEFA handed West Ham a hefty penalty for the crowd trouble that ensued between the home support and Rapid Vienna fans during their Europa League tie. Objects and ‘missiles’ were exchanged, which led to an intervention by the local police. The newly-constructed wall is clearly aimed at addressing that issue.
Unfortunately, fans have been left disappointed, as the wall’s placement could really hamper the atmosphere and experience inside the venue. Competition between home and away fans is an important part of the match-going experience, one which the wall effectively ruins.
And apparently, it may not be able to fulfil its purpose either, as users online suggested that objects could still be exchanged easily.