Heavy Hammer! Benni McCarthy is fined £200,000 by West Ham for being too fat

05 February 2011 11:40
Benni McCarthy has been fined almost ?200,000 by West Ham for failing to meet fitness targets in his bizarre battle of the bulge. But having finally slimmed down as Avram Grant finalised his 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of the season, he was left out because his slimming regime made him too slow. Battle of the buldge: McCarthy has worked hard to shift the pounds

Hammers boss Grant believes the weight loss has slowes the striker down saying: 'He reached the targets but I think that affected his movement,' who last week left McCarthy out of his 25-man Premier League squad. 'He's a very good player and one of the best finishers in training that I have ever seen, and I have had some good players. 'But now we need players with movement and the advantage of being quick, and we have others.' McCarthy was challenged at the beginning of the season to lose 2.2lb in weight for five or six weeks or face a fine of one week's wages each time he failed. He reached his target of 13st 5lb by October after ballooning to more than 15st at one stage and his body fat went down from 24.2 per cent at the end of last season to 16 per cent by mid-August. A professional athlete is expected to carry from five to 12 per cent. McCarthy earns ?38,000 a week and appears to have been fined five times in his long-term weight battle. McCarthy's weight-watchers loss13st 5lb: McCarthy's target weightDecember 2009: Failed to meetBlackburn's weight targets andclashes with manager Sam Allardyceover extra fitness trainingMay 2010: His body fat reaches24.2 per cent more than doublethat of a healthy athleteJune 2010: Left out of South Africa'sWorld Cup squad because of fitnessproblemsAugust 2010: At West Ham, told to lose 2.2lb a week atstart of season or face a ?38,000 fine each time he failsSeptember 2010: McCarthy has lost 18lb but has more to goOctober 2010: Finally reaches West Ham's 13st 5lb targetFebruary 2011: Fit, but told he's too slow for Premier League

Injuries have not helped, but his fitness success has damaged his prospects, if not his bank balance. Grant claims McCarthy has remained upbeat despite his problems. 'I don't know if you know Benni,' said the manager. 'He is always happy.' But his agent, Rob Moore, insisted this should not be misinterpreted, saying: 'He wants to play and is not a guy who wants to sit around and collect his cheque.'Avram has a job to do and the team are in a difficult position, so you can't blame him for making decisions he believes in, but Benni has had hardly any game time and it's inevitable he would get a bit disheartened. 'He's at the level of fitness and weight the club prescribed and they are happy with that. But he is 33 years old and we have to be realistic.'West Ham have just signed Robbie Keane on loan and have Victor Obinna, Frederic Piquionne and Carlton Cole ahead of McCarthy. He is wanted by two MLS clubs on loan but might have to take a temporary move to a Championship club to get playing again. The former Blackburn striker, signed from Rovers for ?2.5million in January last year, had a trial for QPR last month but was unable to clinch a deal. McCarthy's wages could be an obstacle to a loan move if they are not subsidised, but limiting additional outlay will be a priority. The total bill for McCarthy's services to West Ham has reached around ?4.3m yet he has made just 14 appearances without scoring. He has 17 months left on his contract, which could cost the club a further ?2.8m in wages, and he has declined a ?1m offer to terminate his deal. Grant calls for West Ham unity and an end to Upton Park turbulenceEast End idol Noble still loves blowing bubbles for West HamWEST HAM v Birmingham: Avram Grant to monitor strikers before naming starting XI Explore more:People: Carlton Cole, Benni McCarthy, Sam Allardyce, Robbie Keane Places: South Africa

Source: Daily_Mail