Charge of the fight brigade

WEST HAM will be charged this week with failing to control their fans during the Carling Cup clash with Millwall last month, writes DAVE EVANS. And the punishment for the offence is likely to be a heavy fine along with the prospect of a suspended sentence

WEST HAM will be charged this week with failing to control their fans during the Carling Cup clash with Millwall last month, writes DAVE EVANS.

And the punishment for the offence is likely to be a heavy fine along with the prospect of a suspended sentence which could force them to play a future Carling Cup tie behind closed doors.

The club were expecting to be hit with the charge this week, while the ongoing investigation to track down the culprits continues.

Around 10 supporters have already been banned from Upton Park for life, and that number is expected to escalate to over 100, after the Metropolitan Police set up an investigating team.

Police were at the ground on Saturday to apprehend and interview fans already secretly identified on CCTV, who turned up to watch the match against Liver-pool.

Some of the photos of supporters, which were placed on the club website and in the programme on Saturday, have also been identified by members of the public and will be dealt with soon.

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Although there were well-positioned cameras in the corner of the ground where the main trouble occurred, and those perpetrators will be dealt with, the club are also keen to make examples of those who ran on to the pitch.

If such an invasion were to happen again then any suspended punishment would come into operation and a game behind closed doors would cost the club hundreds of thousands of pounds, in terms of admission money, corporate hospitality and refreshments.

Police are also investigating events that occurred at the Millwall end of the ground.

Two hundred seats costing �30 each were ripped up and a toilet block was also badly damaged.

The police are continuing to study the footage from the 55 CCTV cameras in the ground.

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