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Board accused in new 'cover up' row

Filed: Sunday, 10th November 2002
By: Graeme Howlett

West Ham United have been criticised by supporters forced to remove banners from view during this afternoon's televised Premier defeat against Leeds at Upton Park.

Several supporters have contacted KUMB tonight to complain that banners protesting against the board were forcibly removed by stewards at the game, which was carried live by Sky.

All of which has led to accusations of a 'cover-up' by club chiefs, in what has been described as an exercise designed to limit any potential rebellion amongst the supporters.

Fans anger at the club's perilous position was evident on several occasions during and after the game; as Leeds raced into a 4-1 first-half lead vocal cries of 'sack the board' were heard on the TV coverage, whilst manager Glenn Roeder was roundly booed as he walked back to the changing room at half-time.

A message posted to KUMB's forum tonight details one such incident:

"A supporter sitting above me in the Centenary Stand brought a flag stating 'Roeder out before it's too late! Don't ruin our club!'.

"The stewards immediately made him take it down. Seeing this a Leeds fan asked the man if he would like to put the flag up in their area - but once again the stewards managed to locate it and take it down."

Despite the heavy handed nature of the stewards one pitch invader still managed to make their way on to the playing area; after kissing Paolo Di Canio the enraged supporter wagged his finger furiously toward the Directors Box whilst being hauled away by stewards.

The bad news that awaits that particular fan will come in the shape of a life ban from Upton Park, and a hefty fine for their troubles ...

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