Wednesday, 8 October 2008

West Ham Must Sell Before Buying In January – With Mass Exodus Expected At Upton Park

New West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola is set to trim the size of the squad at Upton Park in January, with any prospective transfers in to the East London side to be funded by sales.

Hammers Vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson has revealed that the former Chelsea player is in agreement that the squad is too large and has insisted that the “club is standing strong”, with no need for further investment at the moment in the Premier League side.

“Our manager agrees it is not necessary for the squad to be that size so for further transfers the money would need to be generated from sales,” said Fridgeirsson.

“There is no intention for him to invest further in the club at the moment. The club is standing strong, it is generating revenue and Mr Gudmundsson is not going to take money out of the club.”

West Ham currently have 38 players on the books and a mass cull in January could see up to 15 players leave the Hammers as former Italian International Zola looks to put his own mark on the Irons. With England International Dean Ashton along with Craig Bellamy possibly part of the shake up after links with other Premiership sides over the summer.

This comes in the light of the Icelandic Government’s takeover of major bank Landsbanski to stop it collapsing, which Hammers chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was chairman until his sacking on Tuesday and major shareholder.

However, Fridgeirsson has insisted that West Ham will not be affected by the events in Iceland and that Gudmundsson will honour his commitments at Upton Park.

“The government has claimed shares in the company which means that the government has claimed control. That means basically that we have lost it,” Fridgeirsson told Sky Sports News.

“I don't think there's any reason to be too pessimistic. West Ham United is a wonderful club and a well run company.

“This investment was very important for him, but not his only one.

“It is, of course, a blow for him and his financial strength, but he himself has a number of other investments that are doing quite well at the moment so there is no reason to fear that he will not honour his commitment to West Ham football club.

“He (Gudmundsson) is not absolutely sure how this will directly affect him, but one thing he is sure of is that this will have no implications on the other investments of him and his family.”

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