Players fear toxic atmosphere at home a threat to West Ham's status

The security agency failed to protect West Ham players after there were four pitch invasions

The club have launched an inquiry after a number of fans invaded the pitch in the 3-0 home loss on Saturday.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme, Brooking said: "I think a coin did hit David Sullivan, his glasses".

Ashley Barnes fired Burnley ahead in the 66 minute, prompting one fan to run on to the pitch where he grappled with West Ham skipper Mark Noble.

After Burnley took a 2-0 lead just minutes later, another fan ran onto the field, picking up the corner flag and then planting it in the center circle.

West Ham, dangerously close to the relegation zone, dominated the first half but everything turned sour at the London Stadium after the break.

And the former Hammers player and manager believes the club's stewarding - which is provided externally via the stadium operators E20 - needs a radical overhaul in order to avoid more unrest in the future.

"The club are obviously going to have to look at things with the local police and make sure that trained stewards and police are in place - you're nearly looking at it and saying, "this is out of control".

On the pitch invasions, Dyche lamented: "When people come on the pitch, I can't imagine they're trying to be unsafe towards the players, they've got their own agenda, if they're unhappy with the club and whatever's going on".

Police are expected to be brought in for their next home game against Southampton
Police are expected to be brought in for their next home game against Southampton

"That atmosphere must never be allowed to come back otherwise the club is in serious trouble". The actual level of aggression is not something I could believe a West Ham fan would get into.

"All I would say, between now and the end of the season is, "anyone who has got that aggressive frustration just don't come to the five home games that are left" because we need everyone - all the fans and the team - all working together to try to get sufficient results".

"An emergency meeting has been called with all London Stadium stakeholders", West Ham said. "They are a true, honest and passionate bunch of people".

If West Ham were to take over the running of the safety operation for the ground, it would raise questions over who manages other major events, such as athletics, in the London Stadium.

The Premier League also raised its concerns about the incidents.

"A coin did hit David Sullivan", added Brooking. The pressure on them is already vast and while they understand why fans are upset with the hierarchy, the last thing they need are any more distractions during a crucial period.

"That can happen, but I was very pleased overall to go on and get the win".

I know a lot of supporters of West Ham who are thoroughly decent people.

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