Former West Ham midfielder Sir Trevor Brooking insists the Hammers will be relegated should the toxic climate witnessed during their Premier League defeat to Burnley on Saturday reappear during their final five home games of the season.
Brooking condemned the actions of supporters who invaded the pitch and stampeded the area in front of the London Stadium directors’ box to direct their ire towards the club’s board during the 3-0 defeat to Burnley.
The Football Association and Premier League have launched an investigation into the disturbances, while West Ham have vowed to take “decisive and thorough action” following their own inquiry.
Defeat to Burnley left West Ham in 16th place, three points clear of the relegation zone, and Brooking, who was seated in the directors’ box, believes the club’s chances of survival have plummeted sharply.
“I think some of the aggression was so strong it did go back to the bad old days,” said Brooking. “That’s not your genuine West Ham fan. The actual level of aggression is not something I could believe a West Ham fan would get into.
“Before Saturday, they had six home games out of nine, which seemed like an advantage. When you’ve lost 3-0, and had people coming onto the pitch, that means the next five games look pretty bleak.
“There’s no way the team are going to be able to play and get the points to stay up under that kind of atmosphere. That atmosphere can never come back in the last five games otherwise the club is in serious trouble.”
Stewards were unable to stifle the chaos, while families feared for their safety and Hammers skipper Mark Noble threw a pitch invader to the ground. Brooking also confirmed co-owner David Sullivan was struck by a coin.
“A coin did hit David Sullivan,” added Brooking. “I didn’t see it myself but I did have that confirmed. That was part of the reason why they thought people in the directors’ box should go inside to save any more problems like that.”
Sullivan and fellow co-owner David Gold left their seats with five minutes of the game remaining, having been exposed to supporter demonstrations over their running of the club.