West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury has resigned from his role at the east London club, less than a fortnight after the arrival of new co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.
The move is understood to have been engineered by new vice-chairman Karren Brady, as part of a massive cost-cutting effort following revelations about the club finances.
Of Brady's role, Gold said: 'Karren is our financial doctor. She identifies problems and helps us fix them.
'All non-footballing costs are being looked at, we are looking at absolutely everything. We will not damage the footballing side, but we need to cut costs to increase income. It's not brain surgery.'
Duxbury's time at Upton Park has been blighted by controversy, most notably the Carlos Tevez affair which cost West Ham in excess of £30million. It was decided at a tribunal that Duxbury had misled the Premier League over the ownership of the Argentine striker.
In a statement on West Ham's website today, Duxbury said: 'I am proud ofmy work at West Ham United but feel the time is right for me to pursueother opportunities.
'I wish Mr Sullivan, Mr Gold and Karren great success in drivingthis wonderful football club forward, and I know under theirstewardship the club will prosper.
'Thank you to all the supporters whohave kept faith with the club through good and bad times.'
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Brady added: 'We thank Scott for his valued contribution and wish him every success in the future.'
Duxbury's exit had widely been expected but the manner of it has come as something of a surprise.
The one-time in house lawyer at West Ham is believed to have been given golden handcuffs in his employment contract, along with other club directors under the stewardship of Terry Brown. The terms provided for a 24-month notice period entitling the board member to two years' salary in compensation for loss of office.
Duxbury earned £474,000 in the 12 months to May 2008 but that is understood not to reflect his current entitlement. One insider told The Guardian that the compensation he would be due if dismissed is closer to £2m. His resignation is likely to waive much of the settlement.
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