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West Ham still met with controversial fan group despite being made aware of threats to other supporters

The Independent logo The Independent 13/3/2018 Miguel Delaney

West Ham United told a supporter to complain to Facebook or the police when he warned them of physical threats made by a member of the controversial Real West Ham Fans group, and still met representatives of Real WHF only days later.

The revelations come amid a toxic atmosphere at the club and open protest during Saturday’s home defeat to Burnley, and after a senior West Ham official told The Independent they didn’t know people they were meeting would be responsible for such language.

Although the identities of the supporter and individual responsible for the threats are not being revealed for reasons of safety, The Independent has information that shows West Ham were made aware of this person making threats on 16 February, three days before representatives of the Real WHF went to a meeting involving vice-chairman Baroness Karren Brady and various other supporters’ groups on 19 February as the threat of a protest march hung over the club.

The club had acknowledged to the complainant that they received his warning and screenshots on 16 February, before responding with the following from the email account for ‘West Ham United Supporter Services’: “Thank you for your email to the Club and I am sorry to hear that you’ve been involved in an argument on social media.

“If you feel that you have been threatened online by another person, we recommend that you contact the governing body or moderator, in this instance Facebook, to report your concerns as the football club do not hold any jurisdiction over these channels. I understand you have sought legal advice, and should you feel it is necessary, you may also wish to report this incident to the police by dialling 101.

“Should the governing body wish to contact us directly we will offer our full support to any investigation.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it has been noted.

“If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

That email was sent on 21 February, so West Ham had already met with the figure responsible for the threats, before he was then involved with another meeting with Brady and other supporters’ groups on 28 February.

a close up of Karren Brady: karren-brady.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited karren-brady.jpg

Karren Brady met with the Real WHF on 19 February (Getty)

West Ham are not issuing any statements at this time, but one source said supporter services took the decision they thought was right at the time, since there was the suggestion of criminal activity. They said it is impossible to investigate every email and wasn't passed up to co-chairman David Sullivan or vice-chairman Karren Brady, and the decision was taken in good faith.

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