West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has claimed striker Demba Ba was racially abused by a drunken fan during the club’s end-of-season dinner.
Police were called to the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane last night following disturbances at the £275-a-head event, which was attended by players and executives from the club who on Sunday were relegated from the Barclays Premier League after defeat at Wigan and sacked manager Avram Grant.
Sullivan said on Sky Sports News: “The whole incident has been blown out of all proportion.
“It was one individual who had too much to drink, sadly a problem in British society.
“A player was racially abused by the same drunken supporter, which is not acceptable. Sadly one drunken supporter let the club down.”
Reports claimed the Senegal striker - whose goals had put the Irons 2-0 ahead at DW Stadium before their dramatic collapse - said he was “too tired” when asked for his autograph by a supporter, with an angry exchange following before tables were overturned.
However, Ba, signed from Hoffenheim during the January transfer window, today rejected those suggestions.
“I did sign the autograph. I never refuse to sign autograph to the fans,” the 25-year-old posted on his Twitter account.
“He came to me saying he is tired to watch us play and was looking for confrontation.”
Demolition contractor Squibb Group, whose family owners are life-long West Ham fans, had a table near the disturbance.
A spokesman for the company told the Construction Enquirer: “While an incident on a nearby table did result in one of the chairs at the Squibb Group table being knocked over, Squibb Group employees, representatives and guests were not involved in the incident.
“In fact, to apologise for the disturbance caused to the Squibb Group table, the hotel did not charge the Squibb Group for its drinks.”