WEST HAM UNITED have moved to downplay the severity of a confrontation between fans and players which saw police called to an end-of-season gala dinner last night.
Reports in this morning’s Guardian and Daily Mail suggest that trouble flared at the event at London’s Grosvenor Hotel after striker Demba Ba was unwilling to sign autographs for the supporters in attendance.
The Senegalese international’s alleged refusal did not go down well with fans of the relegated club, many of whom had paid up to £275 for their tickets to the event, and a brief confrontation ensued in which some plates and glasses were reportedly broken.
However, on Twitter this morning, the striker hit out at the suggestion that it was his actions which sparked the trouble, saying “I did sign the autograph. I never refuse to sign autograph [sic] to the fans.”
Although London’s Metropolitan Police have confirmed that they were called out to investigate a disturbance, a spokeswoman for West Ham told the Guardian that the matter was little more than a “minor disturbance that was over very quickly.”
The dinner and awards ceremony continued once the matter had been resolved with midfielder Scott Parker claiming the supporters’ Player of the Year Award for a third successive season.