Takeover saga is affecting the team, warns West Ham manager Zola

15 January 2010 06:22
Gianfranco Zola has urged West Ham's board to finalise the takeover situation as soon as possible because the uncertainty is beginning to unsettle the players.

The Cagliari president Massimo Cellino and Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes are both in talks with West Ham's debt-ridden owners Straumur over a potential £100million takeover.

However, Cellino's ownership aspirations were dealt a blow by therevelation that he has previously been convicted on fraud charges.

Reports stemming from Italy also suggested that Cellino would replace Zola, who only took charge at West Ham last season, with former Cagliari manager Daniele Arrigoni if his bid is successful.

Help me! Gianfranco Zola has called for stability in the boardroom

Zola insisted he does not spend 'even a second' worrying about the prospect - but he is frustrated that all transfer dealings are on hold until the takeover is finalised.

West Ham travel to Aston Villa on Sunday without any senior strikers and just one place above the relegation zone.

'All this talk is affecting everybody and the sooner we get it sorted the better,' said Zola. 'The players want to know and they read a lot of things. We had a chat this morning and we clarified it. As far as I am concerned our priority is on the pitch.

'It is not comfortable but it is not an excuse.

'I know that in my job you are under threat all of the time. I can only focus on the things that are under my control. This is not under my control and I'm not going to spend even a second thinking about that.

Rough ride: West Ham have struggled to get to grips with many of their opponents (above), while those, like Massimo Cellino (below), who want to help have issues of their own to resolve

'I have a vital game in two days' time. Although it is not easy as you can imagine, I try to think about the things that I can make a difference. I can't really spend too much energy on the other things.'

The Hammers travel to Villa Park without a senior striker after Guillermo Franco joined Carlton Cole, Luis Boa Morte and Kieron Dyer on the sidelines.

Zola had planned to meet the board last week to discuss the prospects of bringing in a new striker - but all transfer dealings are almost certainly on hold.

'We might be able to do something but obviously it might be difficult in this situation,' he said. 'I think the takeover will affect the other things. All of this is something we will discuss after Sunday as we have ten days until the next match.

'It is not easy but I am not going to complain. If I start thinking about how unlucky I am and complain about things I am not going to sort the situation out.

'I have to push myself and the players to do the best we can in the situation.

'If we get through we will be better players and managers. What can I do? I'm not going to bang my head against the wall because of that. I am going to fight.

'I think we can make a big difference if we carry on playing the way we have been playing recently.'

Zola knows Cellino from his time as a Cagliari player but he would not discuss their relationship publicly today while the negotiations continue.

West Ham are not commenting about the takeover discussions because they have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

 West Ham fined £115,000 for violence that marred Millwall Carling Cup tieAston Villa v WEST HAM: Guillermo Franco injury leaves Hammers with striker crisisWest Ham would-be owner Massimo Cellino outed as convicted fraudsterALL THE WEST HAM UNITED FC

Source: Daily_Mail