DAVID SULLIVAN and David Gold intend to risk the threat of more personal abuse by showing up for West Ham’s crunch clash with Southampton.
The co-owners of the Hammers were the target of protests when trouble flared during the club’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley last week.
MATTHEW CHILDS David Gold and David Sullivan are planning to be at the London Stadium when West Ham face Southampton
Both were forced to leave their seats during the second half to diffuse the unrest in the London Stadium, with Sullivan being struck by a coin thrown from the crowd.
But SunSport understands the pair believe it is important to show their support for the side in the crunch relegation battle, so plan to attend what will be the first match since last week’s sorry scenes.
There had been calls from some sections of the West Ham fans for the duo and vice-chairman Karren Brady to stay away from the game.
It was claimed if the three were in the stadium it could incite more protests from fans at a time when the players needed their full support in such a crucial game.
Getty – Contributor Fans staged a protest against Sullivan and Gold last week
David Klein One supporter attempts to plant the corner flag in the centre circle as frustrations boiled over
But the Hammers hierarchy, though now well aware of the deep feelings of frustration among the fanbase, also feel it is their duty to be at the game to be behind the team.
The defeat to Burnley left David Moyes’ side down in 16th in the Premier League, just three points clear of the relegation zone.
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They can ill afford another loss next up, especially against a Southampton side battling with them to avoid relegation.
And their precarious position is not lost among the supporters, whose attitude since the turmoil of the weekend has also softened.
Getty – Contributor David Moyes has taken his squad to Miami for some warm-weather training
There is an overriding feeling among the fans that a repeat of the Burnley protests would only serve to damage the team’s chances of getting a much needed victory.
So although the presence of the Hammers board in the stadium may antagonise some, the general belief is that protests should be put on hold for the good of the side.