West Ham co-chairman David Gold says the club will not talk to manager Sam Allardyce about a new contract until their Barclays Premier League survival is ensured.
The Hammers are currently 11th in the table with 30 points, but the future of their boss is unclear with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.
"As [fellow co-chairman] David Sullivan and I have always maintained, we will sit down and discuss Sam's contract situation once our Premier League status has been confirmed and not before," Gold said in a statement on the club's website.
"This is purely because the three of us don't want anything to distract attention from our aim of finishing as high up the Premier League table as possible.
"Sam did a fantastic job of gaining promotion from the Championship at the first attempt last season and we are all pleased with how quickly he has got the team to adapt to life back in the Premier League.
"We went into Sunday's game with Aston Villa one place off the top 10 and that is no mean feat for a newly-promoted side."
However a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park led to a less than positive tweet from Gold.
"Disappointed for the fans who travelled hundreds of miles on a miserable day to lose to a team in the bottom three. We should do better," he wrote.
Allardyce replaced Avram Grant at the Upton Park at the beginning of last season following relegation to the npower Championship and led the Hammers back to the Premier League via the play-offs.