Local club hit by Hammers let-down

A LOCAL football club has seen its plans to recycle seats from an empty Premier League football ground go up in smoke.

Kiveton Park asked West Ham United if they could have 500 seats from their old home at Upton Park to help ground improvements at Hard Lane.

After being led to believe the Premier League giants would be willing to play ball, the trail went cold and Kiveton were left chasing around for answers.

But after finally being told no, the club was shocked when footage was posted online showing seats at Upton Park being blown up for an upcoming football movie, starring former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.

“I thought it was in bad taste,” said Kiveton secretary Neil Newman. “This was an opportunity for West Ham United to get some brilliant PR and help a local team.

“We've got seats at Hard Lane but they will not pass health and safety because they are not fixed and to replace them with new ones is beyond our means.

“Grassroots football needs more care and attention. We've raised more than £2,500 for our charities this year and it costs more than £20,000 a year to run our club and we have to find that voluntarily.

“We weren't asking for money, we were just asking for something back.

“Funding is hard to come by and better facilities will help attract sponsorship, spectators and players."

Added Neil: “If I had been told 'no' from the start then I would have been OK with that. It was the fact we were strung along that rankles, I must have made 60 or 70 phone calls and e-mails.

“West Ham is a fabulous club but I'm not even sure this matter got as far as (chief executive) Karren Brady to make a decision, mid-management probably made it. I'm sure she would not have reacted that way.”

Neil is now approaching the Football Association to see if any other clubs have seats to dispose of.

West Ham United declined to comment.