West Ham Puts Exclamation Point on Relegation Campaign with Brawl at Season-Ending Dinner

West Ham United, home of U.S. defender Jonathan Spector, sealed its relegation fate this past Sunday when it surrendered a 2-1 lead at Wigan and lost 3-2. (For the record, Spector started the game, and the Hammers were still up 2-1 when he was substituted in the 61st minute.)

The club still has one match remaining, but yesterday it held a season-ending dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. At £275 a head (roughly $440), you might think the event would be a tony, fairly sedate affair.

You would be wrong: According to various  reports, police had to be summoned to the hotel after a fan turned nasty following a conversation with Senegalese striker Demba Ba.

Here’s Ba talking to the Daily Mail

“It was a crazy situation. This guy came to me when we were sitting at the table. There were two players per table and Manuel Da Costa was with me.

“This guy came and asked for an autograph so I gave him his autograph. Then he asked me nicely how I was feeling so I just said I was tired from the game and that it was a tough game. And then he just replied ‘Oh, we’re tired watching you play every weekend.’

“I was surprised and told Da Costa what the guy had said. Then the guy all of a sudden started screaming at me like crazy. I tried to calm him down but he didn’t want to.”

Things escalated from there, and punches and dinner plates were thrown, tables overturned, and, reportedly, racial epithets hurled.

Not good times.

West Ham fans are understandably frustrated that their team is going down, but we gotta say, Ba was a curious target for this fan’s ire. He scored seven goals in 12 appearances for the Hammers this season—including two in Sunday’s game that staked his team to a 2-0 lead.

You’d think he’d be dead last on any nutjob’s list of players to confront about the awful season.

In any event, West Ham plays out the string on Sunday against Sunderland, at home. Some extra security may be in order.

No word on Spector’s experience of the Grosvenor fracas.