Friday, January 24

Daily WHUFC News - 24th January 2014

Chadwell Chatter
West Ham United forward Ricardo Vaz Te is targeting a first-team comeback after another successful run out

Hello everyone,

I am pleased to report that I should be back in action soon. My shoulder has been all right for a few weeks now but, as I have been out for a while, when I came back to training I felt a little pain down my shin so I had to adjust that as well. It was something I was not familiar with, but it has been addressed so I have been training for the last week now. I managed to play 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors match on Thursday and it's feeling quite all right now. I have no pain, but I'm not as sharp as I should or as I was, but that will come quickly, I've no doubt. I'm feeling good, so I just need a few more training sessions and games and I'll be sweet. I feel like I can play a part, so there is no problem. I didn't make the best of starts to the season, considering what happened in the transfer window and stuff like that, but all that was put aside and we worked out our differences. I went back into the team and I was very pleased. I'm happy to be here and have been from day one, really. I always felt glad to be part of this amazing Club, so I'm happy to be back now and hopefully I can contribute to anything that is positive. I will train for the next week and, barring any setbacks, I will make myself available for selection next week. After that, it is up to the manager because he decides which players will play. As long as I am available, if he plays me then I am ready and if not, I am working so that when he gives me my chance, I take it.

We also have a number of important players who are either back or close to returning. Winston Reid was the Hammer of the Year last season and obviously he has been very important for us and still is. Andy Carroll was very unfortunate with his injury, too.

Injuries happen and you have good times and bad times. This was our dip in the road, so we will address it and there is no need to shy away from it.
We are in a difficult situation. I remember coming here when we were in the Championship and we lost first and second position and had to go through the Play-Offs and people started turning on us. As long as you keep your head up and know what is required, everything will be OK.

The main priority is obviously to stay in the Premier League. Last year, we finished in the top ten, which was OK. Personally, I feel that this Club should be in the top ten. Now things are difficult so we have to make sure we stay in the Premier League, which I think will be no problem whatsoever, and then we'll build on that.

It's easy to lose faith but supporters have been in this place many times. I am sure that nobody is going down. The fans have emotion and if they want to boo, they boo and if they want to cheer, they cheer - hopefully we will give them something to cheer. We want to do that all the time, but it's not always possible.
It's easy to wish we had something else, but let's count our blessings and hopefully things will get better. It is tough at the moment, but I don't think there is anything to worry about. The main thing is to stay positive, because I think we'll be fine.

Enjoy your weekend,

Guy and Vaz feature in friendly
West Ham United pair Guy Demel and Ricardo Vaz Te played in a behind-closed-doors game on Thursday

West Ham United duo Guy Demel and Ricardo Vaz Te returned to action in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. The pair played for an hour following their recent injury lay-offs as they move closer to full fitness once more. Vaz Te suffered a dislocated shoulder back in October, while Demel has been sidelined with a severe concussion picked up in the Barclays Premier League victory at Cardiff City earlier this month. Now, with a series of important games coming up for Sam Allardyce's men, both will be hoping to play a full part before long. First team coach Ian Hendon said: "Guy and Vaz got an important hour under their belts on Thursday. That's what the game was arranged for - we thought we might have a few more of the seniors available to play, but a lot of those played against Man City. "The main thing was that they came through unscathed. We've got a 16-game season and it's going to be massive to have extra bodies back. The more we have fit and ready to go the easier it'll be. February is going to be a massive month with the games against teams in and around us."

An experienced Spurs side, which included eight internationals who had commanded transfer fees in excess of £60m, saw off the youthful Hammers 3-0, with two goals from Harry Kane and one for Paulinho sealing their victory. Hendon was pleased with how the Hammers applied themselves and felt they were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet themselves. He added: "There were a few decent performances against a very good Spurs side - that was pretty much their Europa League team, I'd say. It was a good test for the younger lads, but the main objective today was to give Guy and Vaz minutes. "To be fair to the boys, they created a few chances in the second half, but we just couldn't convert them."

Striker deal agreed - Di Marzio
Filed: Thursday, 23rd January 2014
By: Staff Writer

Roma striker Marco Boriello has agreed a deal to join West Ham on loan for the remainder of the season, according to reports emanating from Italy tonight.
According to Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio, earlier this afternoon Boriello agreed a deal with West Ham that will see him move to London for the remainder of the current campaign, with the relevant paperwork set to be signed tomorrow. Now 31, Boriello played for a number of top flights clubs including Juventus, Milan and Sampdoria prior to arriving at Roma for £10million in 2010. Yet despite the large fee, the 6'1" forward has made just 18 appearances for i Giallorossi since having spent more time out on loan since. Last season Boriello spent the entire season with Genoa for whom he scored 12 times in 28 Serie A appearances. His 11 appearances for his parent club this term have yielded just one goal so far, that coming in the 1-0 win over Chievo at the end of October.
However he has not played a first team fixture since November 25, when he came on as a 69th minute substitute for Alessandro Florenzi in a goalless draw with Chievo.

Here's KUMB member VeniceHammer: "Borriello is two things - a confidence player and a player who thrives in "big fish in a small pond" situations. He quite regularly failed to take his chances in big teams (Roma, Juventus, Milan) but had very good seasons, for example, at Genoa where he felt loved and scored a lot. "I hope that, if he really comes to us, his "too good looking to be a good footballer" fame quiets down a bit because, all in all, he is not a bad player. Decent technique and strong but mobile, the only thing we need to give him is patience and support (and that is what worries me, in our current situation).
"His goalscoring record, when supported, has always been decent. He's not a world beater, but I struggle to see us signing one."

Hammers make second Serie A raid
Filed: Thursday, 23rd January 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are poised to snap up a second Serie A star on loan for the rest of the season. Having already agreed a provisional deal with Roma to sign 31-year-old striker Marco Boriello on loan the Hammers are hoping to make a second raid on the Italian league in order to land midfielder Antonio Nocerino from Milan.

According to sources in Italy the two clubs have reached agreement on a loan deal, possibly with view to a permanent transfer should both parties agree. Gianluca Di Marzio, who broke the story adds that West Ham will cover the player's wages during his stay in London and that a medical is expected to take place before the weekend.

28-year-old Nocerino has been at Milan since 2011, since when he has made 87 appearances for the Rossoneri. It is thought that the players favours a move in order to gain first team football and stake a claim for next summer's World Cup Finals in Brazil.

Capped 15 times for Italy since making his international debut in 2007, the midfielder last appeared for his country in the 2012 European Championships and the 0-0 draw with England.

Hammers fall but duo return
Filed: Thursday, 23rd January 2014
By: Staff Writer

There was good news for Sam Allardyce today after Guy Demel and Ricardo Vaz Te both came through a behind-closed-doors friendly unscathed.

A West Ham United XI were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon in a match specifically-tailored to allow the duo some important match time, with the Hammers' next fixture - at Chelsea, on Wednesday- still a week away.

The visitors, featuring several first team squad players including Gylfi Sigurdsson, Paulinho and Jan Vertonghen took the lead after 12 minutes through young striker Harry Kane. The 20-year-old had the ball in the net again shortly after but saw his effort ruled out for offside - however £17million summer-signing Paulinho's 36th-minute effort did count, giving his side a 2-0 half time lead.

The only goal of the second half came with just 18 minutes of time remaining and followed a good move involving Sigurdsson, Holtby and goalscorer Kane who picked his spot from inside the box. The striker had previously seen a second effort ruled out for offside.

Despite suffering defeat, First team coach Ian Hendon was pleased with his team's overall performance - and delighted that both Demel and Vaz Te emerged intact. "That's what the game was arranged for," he told "We thought we might have a few more of the seniors available to play, but a lot of those played against Man City [on Tuesday night].

"The main thing was that they came through unscathed. We've got a 16-game season and it's going to be massive to have extra bodies back. The more we have fit and ready to go the easier it'll be. February is going to be a massive month with the games against teams in and around us.

"It was a good test for the younger lads, but the main objective today was to give Guy and Vaz minutes."

Sam Allardyce and the remainder of his senior squad jetted off to Dubai this week for some 'warm weather' training. Hammers fans will be hoping that it has a similar effect to the last two trips to the United Arab Emirates.

Following their mid-season sojourn last year, the Hammers lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham courtesy of Gareth Bale's last-minute wondergoal before losing just one of the next seven games (away to Chelsea).

And in 2012, the Hammers won 2-0 at Cardiff in their first game back through goals from Kevin Nolan and George McCartney before embarking on a seven-match unbeaten run in the Championship.

West Ham Utd: Howes, Demel, Vaz Te, Moncur, Lletget, McCallum, Maguire.

Tottenham: Friedel, Naughton (A McQueen 75), Kaboul (Gallifuoco 60), Vertonghen (Stewart 60), Fryers, Capoue, Paulinho (Ward 60), Sandro (Veljkovic 46), Holtby (Couleybaly 75), Kane, Sigurdsson.

West Ham defender Winston Reid upbeat over his recovery from injury
Last Updated: 23/01/14 12:19pm

Injured West Ham defender Winston Reid says he is close to returning to training. The New Zealand international has not played since November 2nd and has missed his club's last 15 matches with an ankle problem. The 25-year-old from Auckland was hurt during training but has now told the club's website he should be back in action very soon. Reid said: "I'm as close as I've ever been to returning to training. We'll just have to see how it feels as to how we play it. "Unfortunately, I had to have an operation and it took a little bit longer than I expected. "There was a ligament torn in my ankle so they had to repair it by putting a screw through it to stabilise the joint. "Now, it's pretty much good to go again. It was painful when it happened and it got even worse in the couple of days afterwards, but after that it settled down. "People probably don't understand but you work hardest when you are injured because the days are pretty long. "I've been working in the gym and trying to get my body back in shape after spending the initial four weeks after the injury doing nothing, because I wasn't allowed to. "I had to keep my foot elevated and off the floor but the last seven-odd weeks I've been working hard to get my fitness back."

By Iain Dale 23 Jan 2014 at 20:00
West Ham Till I Die

From David Sullivan, joint chairman of WHU
To: WHTID readers

I do read your site regularly. People seem to misunderstand our loans. On our loans to the club there is a 'notional interest rate' as it's unrealistic if there isn't, and HMRC might question the loans. However. no interest has been paid or will be paid until the club is solvent/financially self sufficient. It just rolls up as a debt that may or may not ever be paid.

In contrast loans and repayment and interest to the bank have to be paid or the club is declared bankrupt. It is our money that then replaces these loans when they become due to avoid default.

It hurts us when supporters imply we are somehow collecting interest on our loans. In reality we have to put more and more in as the bank loans become due for payment.

By Iain Dale 23 Jan 2014 at 12:38
West Ham Till I Die

Guest Post by iRoNcOrK

I write this as a deeply concerned fan, in an effort to be constructive rather than critical. I have thought many times recently that the club really needs "sorting out" and currently everything is pointing to the need for a root and branch review of the whole organisation, top to bottom.

We all know there is a team management issue which has taken up miles of column space on here but I believe we have deeper problems so I don't want to discuss the merit (?)s of Sam. One of the challenges in any organisation is keeping it fresh and competitive and there is every sign that our club not only has this challenge but is also at a turning point. The question is, will things turn for the better and make us a regular top half club capable, in time, of challenging for a place in Europe or do we face a future of being a regular bottom half club with the inevitable bouts of fighting relegation which the law of averages dictates that you will lose every once in a while?

A perennial problem for shareholders or CEOs is competitiveness. Good, solid performers in any organisation do get stale and though they may do nothing wrong, they often reach a comfort level where they stop driving the organisation forward. Sometimes they also get complacent, where they also start making mistakes, or less than optimal decisions, and the organisation goes into decline.

In the context of West Ham, let's start at the top. The owners are the chairmen. They can do what they wish with the club and whether they stay or go is their choice. Whether we like them or not, that is probably how it should be in most circumstances. However, Karren Brady needs consideration. She is a very smart and capable lady who the owners have worked with for many years, but is she performing to her best ability now? If I owned the club, I would have to ask myself whether she has become involved in too many outside activities to be able to perform at her absolute maximum level in the interests of the club. If the role was perceived as a part time one in the past, it is certainly not now. A proper full time CEO is needed to get to grips with all the off-field issues which are affecting on field results.

Clearly too many contracts, playing and non-playing, have been entered into without full consideration of the likely effects in differing scenarios. Hence Sam's compensation is too expensive to sack him, we will never afford Nolan or Carroll, given their contribution levels, in the Championship, together with players who seemingly hardly play. We also have players on contracts with "interesting" clauses,….interesting but not in our interest. A firmer strategy with scenario planning is needed for all contracts and older players.

Looking at some of the comings and goings over the last couple of years we should be forgiven for thinking that we have been regularly manipulated by agents and/or our own manager in the signing of new players. We have brought in far too many who have not played enough games, either because they were simply not good enough anyway or because they were not given a chance. Some of these have played but been paid far too much for their ability level and contribution. It has to stop. The manager, assuming he chooses the players, needs to be held accountable for those he signs. We need a review of our scouting organisation (do we have one to speak of?), so that we may successfully compete with (often smaller) clubs who seem to regularly discover relatively cheap but outstanding performers from both inside and outside the UK. At the very least we need to know much more about players before we sign them.

The club has three training facilities, Chadwell Heath, Rush Green and Little Heath. There needs to be a long term strategy in place to consolidate these in one location and bring the facilities up to modern Premier League standards. This is not visionary and it is not optional if we want to thrive and be successful. After all, the club's business is the performance of professional athletes. Our performances, injury record and ongoing advances in technology dictate that we should regularly review our facilities, support personnel and treatment regimens. The Andy Carroll debacle alone indicates that. Obviously there is a serious debt issue to resolve before we could take on the costs involved but there should be a plan and there should be a measure of urgency.

We have one of the best academy coaches in the land but the throughput of young players has slowed dramatically so this is another area crying out for a review and new strategy, also linked to scouting, support personnel, facilities and actually giving the youngsters opportunities at the appropriate time.

The club has become something of a laughing stock in terms of its public relations and communications strategy, or lack thereof. The puerile nature of the club's emails has come in for a lot of criticism recently. Also, delegating implementation of information dissemination to a dyslexic thirteen year old is not the hallmark of a professional organisation and it is quite clear that the club's relationship with its fans is adversely affected by this on a regular basis.

If you will pardon the pun, these issues are not indicative of a CEO with her eye on the ball and there are no doubt other matters of serious concern. Often, and I would venture in this case, it is better to bring someone from outside the organisation to review current practices with fresh eyes. Maybe it needs a small team with both football and non-football experience to be brought in, for a limited time, to examine everything the club does – and how it does it – and then come up with recommendations to improve. Maybe it just needs a full time, hands-on CEO who is not trying to juggle too many balls at once in the wider society.

There will be many good things going on inside the club and these need to be not only reinforced but improved upon as well. However, it is quite clear that there are too many areas of the club not performing as they should and the organisational structure is a long way from optimal.

We have too many pressing issues. Karren Brady needs to refocus her attention on West Ham or step aside. The club desperately needs leadership, and leaders must be accountable.

Perhaps Messrs. Gold and Sullivan should appoint a competent and full time CEO to run the club and become less hands on themselves, sit back and enjoy being fans. It may increase their objectivity as their current approach is not working.

If we were flying high it would not be a problem. When we look at all the challenges that are now arising, together with the potential turmoil and indeed opportunities of the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, something has to change, and change fast.


By Sean Whetstone 23 Jan 2014 at 08:53
West Ham Till I Die

It has often been claimed West Ham have turned into a sh*t version of Bolton on the pitch since Sam Allardyce's arrival as manager. Whether you agree with that sentiment or not the question now needs to be asked whether we are turning into a version of Bolton off the pitch in financial terms? Earlier this month Bolton Wanderers have admitted their debts have grown to a staggering £163.8m, with £50.7m haemorrhaging during the 12 months to June 2013. There are fears that the club may follow Leeds United and Portsmouth into financial armageddon.

In a statement Bolton's chairman Phil Gartside, said…

"This year's results show the difficulties faced in the football business when a club has enjoyed a sustained and successful period in the Premier League – in our case 11 years – then suffers relegation to the Football League Championship. The ever-widening gap between the two leagues makes the transition extremely difficult, even with the benefit of parachute payments."

The club's financial position underlines the dangers of overspending and dropping out of the Premier League as Wanderers did in May 2012. Bolton is dependent on a single benefactor, the owner Eddie Davies. Yet as £151.3m of the debt is owed to Davies through his company, Moonlight Investment Ltd. Gartside conceded the club's future hinges on Davies' continuing goodwill while admitting that financial fair play rules mean he can no longer support the club as before.

"However, [owners'] financial support is no longer possible in this league without severe penalty. We are responding to a changing environment … " said Gartside.

Owner Davies's decision to charge interest on loans to the club has been questioned. Although he ended the policy in July, Mohamed Al Fayed, for example, never charged interest on loans that left Fulham £193m in debt. Fayed sold Fulham to Shahid Khan last summer.

When West ham got relegated Sullivan & Gold injected £32.5m into the club as we made a loss of £25.5m during our season in the championship. They charge interest on their loans to the club.

David Sullivan was recently quoted as saying "If we go down we cannot afford to subsidise the club any longer"

Since our last relegation Financial Fair Play rules have been implemented in the Championship which change the landscape. Championship clubs are allowed to lose up to £3 million a season, which will incur no sanction or punishment. If a club loses between £3-8 million that season, then the owner of the club is required to cover the loss, which if done, then there are no further sanctions. If the owner cannot or will not cover the loss, then a transfer embargo is placed on the club until they can demonstrate an acceptable financial situation.

If the club loses over £8 million for that season, then the punishment depends on whether they were promoted or not. If promoted, the club will pay a Fair Play Tax out of the revenue produced from competing in the Premier League, with the proceeds going to charity. The Fair Play Tax was controversially applied to FFP in the Championship, with many clubs wanting the Fair Play Tax proceeds going back to the clubs that abide by the rules. Nevertheless, if a club has not been promoted, then the transfer embargo will be placed upon that club until they can demonstrate an acceptable financial situation.

Relegation for West Ham this season could cause our own financial armageddon without the ability to buy ourselves out of the championship like we did last time.

Big Sam considering swoop for Newcastle outcast
Date: 23rd January 2014 at 3:00 pm
Written by: Irons Maiden | Forever West Ham

Steven TaylorIf West Ham fail to convince Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott to join them, the Telegraph are reporting that Sam Allardyce will turn his attentions to Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor. Newcastle are apparently willing to listen to offers for the 28-year-old, as Alan Pardew continues to prefer the defensive options of Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Taylor, who has been at Newcastle since his youth, has only made three Premier League appearances this season. Yet another rumour and still no substantial signings from our beloved West Ham…I'm starting to worry.

Di Marzio: "Borriello accepts offer from West Ham"0
Danny Hansen Thursday January 23rd, 2014 Latest articles

Marco Borriello has been mentioned as a possible target for Inter during this transfer window but Gianluca Di Marzio reports that the striker is on his way to another club: "It will be the Premier League in the future of Marco Borriello. Right now the striker, in fact, has accepted an offer from West Ham: a loan until the end of the season, a solution that finally convinced the striker who has for some time been about to leave Roma. The signature on the contract is expected to be made ​​tomorrow. There is an ongoing exchange of documents between the two clubs, early on Saturday he could undergo the medical examination. Borriello bids farewell to Roma, Premier League awaits him."

West Ham United Set For Double Italian Swoop

West Ham United are reportedly close to sealing deals for AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino and Roma striker Marco Borriello. The duo have been linked away from their current clubs as they have been deemed a surplus to requirements, and it appears they have found a new home in London. report that Nocerino has accepted a loan move to the Hammers where he will spend the remainder of the season. Sky Sport Italia report that Borriello has also accepted a move to the London club after weeks of rumours linking him with a move to the Premier League. It is believed Borriello will land in England on Saturday for a medical before completing a loan move. Nocerino has 11 league appearances for Milan this season while Borriello has scored one goal in 11 appearances for Roma.

Serbian striker in line for Premier League move to West Ham

Sam Alllardyce could be set to turn his attentions to in-form Nantes striker Filip Djordjevic this January as West Ham continue their search for a striker to boost the club's ailing fortunes.

The 26-year-old has been in excellent form for the newly-promoted Ligue 1 side, scoring eight goals for Les Canaris in a haul to rival that of PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Monaco man Radamel Falcao.

Equally adept in the air as he is with the ball at his feet, the forward could be the perfect antidote to the Hammers' current malaise under Big Sam, with the Irons struggling for goals in the Premier League at present, having scored just three in their last five competitive fixtures.

It's a tally that, when allied with a run of six losses in their last eight games, has seen West Ham priced at 8/5 to be relegated this term with Allardyce the 6/4 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.

Djordjevic could provide some respite though, with the young Serb something of a late bloomer having previously risen through the ranks at Red Star Belgrade before moving to France, where he took time to blossom at Nantes.

Nevertheless his signature could represent something of a coup for West Ham, with Hull City previously close to landing the highly-regarded striker, amid reports of an imminent move last month.

However talk of that deal has subsequently cooled, with Tigers boss Steve Bruce instead turning to Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long this month.

A Hammers move would mean a happy ending to Big Sam's current striker crisis, with the club previously failing to land Lacina Traore on loan, as well as being linked with Birmingham target man Nikola Zigic and former Blackburn goalscorer Yakubu.

Djordjevic, meanwhile, will no doubt relish the chance to test his skills in the English top flight and follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Nemanja Vidic and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Belfodil set to choose QPR as West Ham miss out on ANOTHER striker

Inter Milan striker Ishak Belfodil is set to turn down a move to West Ham in favour of Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

The Algerian international, 22, only joined the Serie A giants in the summer following an impressive season with Parma. Inter Milan paid €7.5m for 50% of the former Lyon striker in a co-ownership deal, yet after struggling to break into Walter Mazzarri's team, Belfodil wants to go out on loan in a bid to play first-team football. He was recently told by his national team coach that his in Algeria's squad for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil is not assured if he does not play regular football.

Fellow Serie A side Sassuolo had lined up a £7m bid for Belfodil, though it is believed that the striker wants to play in London, and subsequently narrowed his choice down to either West Ham United or Queens Park Rangers.

Now, this would seem like an easy decision for any foreign player. West Ham are, whilst currently struggling, a Premier League team, whilst QPR are currently in the Championship following their relegation last season. A no-brainer, right?

Well, it seemingly isn't that simple. Reports today suggest that Belfodil will choose to sign for QPR in a loan deal until the end of the season, becoming the latest player to spurn the advances of Sam Allardyce and his Hammers, after Lacina Traore turned down a move to Upton Park in favour of Roberto Martinez's Everton.

Allardyce desperately needs to land a striker after seeing his side hit just 22 goals in 22 games this season, but has so far struggled to attract any of his targets, and Belfodil can now be added to that particular list. It's incredibly concerning for Hammers fans that Belfodil, a promising striker who made his name in a tough league in Serie A, would rather play in the second tier of English football than move to West Ham.

Perhaps the reasoning for Belfodil's decision is simply because West Ham currently lie 18th in the Premier League table, and are in real danger of being relegated. Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp's QPR are second in the Championship, and are one of the favourites for promotion. At such a young age, it's important to feature in a winning team, and perhaps Belfodil feels this will aid his development as a player.

With the latest rejection fresh in Allardyce's mind, he now has to consider alternatives – but if they can't compete with QPR for signings, how can they expect to land a striker that will score the goals to keep them in the Premier League?

West Ham United keen on Catania forward Maxi Lopez
5:04pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in News
East London and West Essex Guardian Series

West Ham United are reportedly keen on signing Catania forward Maxi Lopez. The Argentine striker is understood to want a move away from Italy and would probably welcome a move to the Premier League. Lopez has enjoyed a busy career having played for the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona and River Plate.

West Ham set sights on Feyenoord striker
By talkSPORT | Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sam Allardyce is desperate to bring in another forward before the transfer window closes at the end of January. The West Ham boss was left fuming when Monaco forward Lacina Traore pulled out of a move to the east London club at the last minute. Allardyce could now switch his attentions to Pelle who has been one of the star performers for Feyenoord and has also attracted interest from both Chelsea and Barcelona. The Italian striker scored an impressive 27 goals in just 29 games last season and would be an ideal choice for West Ham as they look to move out of the bottom three. But Allardyce faces a major battle to clinch his signature as the prolific forward says he is happy to stay in Holland and is enjoying his time at Feyenoord. Pelle told RTV Rijnmond: "It's always an honour to be in the interest of clubs, maybe I deserved that. But right now, I do not think about a transfer. "I have often said that I'm enjoying myself at Feyenoord. I love this club and I'm happy with how the season goes."

West Ham rule out Ravel Morrison transfer in the current window after rejecting Fulham bid
Jan 23, 2014 22:29 By John Cross
The Mirror

West Ham have told Ravel Morrison he is going nowhere in the current transfer window. Hammers co-owner David Sullivan has made it clear that they will run the risk of losing money on his fee in the summer rather than cash in on him between now and next Friday's deadline. The Upton Park club have knocked back a £4million bid from Fulham for Morrison, even though the England Under-21 international will only have 12 months left on his contract in the summer. They have decided to take a strong stance and resist any temptation to sell Morrison, in the hope he can help them beat relegation back to the Championship.

Borriello heads to London for talks with West Ham as Allardyce targets striker
PUBLISHED: 22:57, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 23:05, 23 January 2014
Daily Mail

Marco Borriello is ready to fly to London for talks over a transfer to West Ham. Despite Andy Carroll's return to fitness and Carlton Cole's contract extension, manager Sam Allardyce remains keen on recruiting a striker. Boriello, 31, has agreed a deal in principle to leave Roma, and could become one of several new signings. The striker has scored only one Serie A goal this season, but has been a reliable finisher for Roma, Juventus and Milan in recent years.
West Ham are to also hold talks with Raul Meireles, formerly of Liverpool and Chelsea, though they look set to miss out on Michael Essien, who is close to a loan move to AC Milan. Osasuna's Raoul Loe, who has also been looked at by relegation rivals Crystal Palace, and Milan's Antonio Nocerino are further midfield options.

Nice work if you can get it
Filed: Friday, 24th January 2014
By: Staff Writer

It has been revealed that an unnamed director of West Ham United was paid in excess of £1.6million last season. The huge sum, almost certainly a bonus payment in relation to a particular target being reached was revealed in the latest set of accounts for season 2012/13, which were released this week. From a total of £1,962,000 paid to the Club's directors during the season, £1.634,000 went to just one director. The accounts also revealed that WH Holdings, West Ham United FC's parent company enjoyed a turnover just shy of £90million in 2012/23 - the club's first season back in the Premier League following promotion from the Championship - and recorded an operating profit of £1.05million. However with interest payments taken into account, an overall loss of £3.5million was made. The steady process of shifting debts from the banks into personal loans by the Club's -co-owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, is also clearly evident. And whilst the overall figure owed to creditors stands well in excess of £100million, the vast majority of that sum remains manageable following the refinancing of the Club (a re-arranged loan with Barclays Bank covering some £45million) plus the co-owners' decision to convert a similar amount of debt into personal loans. "My board and I are delighted with the achievements we have made this season," wrote David Sullivan. "During the year we bought Matt Jarvis, Mo Diame, James Collins, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga, investing a total of £26.7million. "Subsequent to the year end, we have further invested in the playing staff for the 2013/14 season with the significant purchase of Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing. After the season ended I further invested in the Club by purchasing 25 per cent of the Club from CB Holdings ehf, taking the combined shareholding of myself and David Gold to 86.2 per cent. "This season will bring its own challenges but we continue to believe that we will deliver both on and off the pitch by investing in the team, the brand and managing the business well."

Vice-Chair Karren Brady added: "2012/13 was a very successful year for the Club both on and off the pitch. Off the pitch all areas of income increased, from ticket sales to commercial revenue, creating total additional revenue of £43.6million this year. "The Retail team drove a 25 per cent increase in sale achieving a Club record high in turnover. The Commercial and Sponsorship departments generated £13.9million of revenue, another record. The Marketing team delivered 17 sell-out crowds and the Ticketing team increased match day sales by 32 per cent to £18million. "Through the hard work of a fantastic, dedicated, loyal and determined team the Club has grown in size, revenue and in stature. The management team off the pitch were able to capitalise and maximise on all the opportunities the manager and the team delivered on the pitch."

To see how the latest set of accounts compare with the 2011/12 Championship season, see below...

The 2012/13 Accounts: Main Points
The main changes in the last 12 months

* Turnover UP from £46million to £90million

* Operating Profit UP from -£22million to £1million

* Wage bill UP from £35million to £49million

* Directors' Remuneration UP from £669,000 to £2million

* Net debt UP from £71million to £77million

* Sponsorships (including TV revenue) UP from £20million to £52million

* Shareholders loans UP from zero to £45.7million

* Number of staff DOWN from 586 to 580

Kuzmanovic turns down West Ham0
Hampus Kärki Friday January 24th, 2014

SportMediaset reports today the Serbian Inter-midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic has caught the eyes of West Ham United, but the Serbian international has already turned down a move to West Ham. Instead, the Hammers will go for Antonio Nocerino from AC Milan.

Michael Essien rejects late West Ham United offer
Posted On Friday, 24th January 2014
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien told West Ham United officials he is not interested in joining the club as he reached a persona terms with AC Milan, can exclusively confirm. The Hammers were among top clubs hoping to secure the signature of the 31-year-old by signing him from Chelsea but Essien reportedly told Chelsea officials he is not interested in a move to the Upton Park. Essien has made just five appearances for Chelsea since the start of the season and the Blues re-signed midfielder Nemanja Matic from Benfica which means they were ready to allow the experienced Ghanaian leave the club. West Ham joined Galatasaray, Milan and PSG as clubs hoping to land Essien but he told Chelsea officials he wants to move abroad. He is expected to finalise a move to AC Milan in the next 24 hours.


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