By Amir Mir
Paul Merson has claimed West Ham’s younger generation of fans will start supporting Manchester United if the fighting inside the London stadium does not stop.
The club’s official website confirmed on Friday afternoon that more than 20 individuals have been banned for fighting incidents during their 4-2 defeat to Watford last Saturday.
Former Arsenal forward Merson believes parents will not take their children to the ground if fighting continues, which could result in the east London club losing their younger supporters.
“Fans are fighting amongst themselves and kids have been leaving the ground in tears,” Merson wrote in his Daily Star column. “Their mums and dads won’t take them in future if it carries on like that.
“If they’re not careful, before you know it, those kids will be supporting Manchester United, and West Ham will not be drawing 60,000 crowds any more.”
The Hammers ended their 112-year association with the Boleyn ground at the end of the 2015/16 season, moving to their new surroundings in Stratford.
Slaven Bilic’s side have played two Premier League fixtures at their new home picking up one wing against Bournemouth and losing their other encounter to Watford last Saturday.
Bilic’s side will now travel to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, as the Irons look to put the disappointment of back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Watford behind them.
In other West Ham team news, Slaven Bilic has singled out this Hammers player for being brilliant this season.