West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola given funds to buy defender and two strikers

21 January 2010 09:33
After meeting Zola and his assistant, Steve Clarke, Sullivan and co-chairman David Gold, who have acquired 50 per cent of the club, have promised the Italian £8m to spend.

'I was hugely impressed with Gianfranco and Steve,' Sullivan told the London Evening Standard.

 Related ArticlesFernandes's mixed feelings over West HamSullivan reveals £110 million West Ham debtsJury is out on West Ham's new ownersSullivan brings whole new meaning to claret and blueSullivan: West Ham buy-out 'makes no sense'Sullivan takes control of West Ham'It is so great to meet a man who wants to work with us and make the team better. He has a 'can-do' attitude, but with a pragmatic approach. He's a really nice guy. I believe he can be a great manager.

'We agreed we need at least one striker by the Portsmouth match and the second by the end of the window.'

Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy is thought to be a likely signing. The player almost joined West Ham five years ago when he made the switch from Porto to Blackburn.

Gold said: 'He would be a good acquisition, if that could be achieved. It's possible, but all strikers that are available as we speak are possible.'

Of equal significance to West Ham supporters is the news that a number of their better players will not be leaving Upton Park. Before Sullivan and Gold joined the club there were genuine fears that one or more of Matthew Upson, Carlton Cole, Robert Green and Scott Parker would be moved on to balance the books.

Such a possibility no longer exists, insist the new ownership team.

'Matthew is the captain and his return to the team in recent weeks has coincided with improved performances,' said Sullivan.

'And we all agreed that Scott, despite a lot of interest, is going nowhere. He is a wonderful player, the heartbeat of the team. Despite the difficult times, he has always been up for the challenge, always fighting for the badge.'

Sullivan will have a hands on role in transfer negotiations, casting doubt over the future of technical director Gianluca Nani. Karren Brady's appointment as vice-chairman returns the full complement of the former Birmingham City management now in East London, though she will be paid directly by Sullivan and Gold rather than the club.

The pair will not take a salary as they seek to cut costs and reduce the staggering levels of debt they inherited in the deal.

'We are fully behind the manager, but I do not want to go into all staff,' Sullivan said.

'There may be some changes at some level, we are going to look at all sorts of things. We do not rush into decisions. There has to be some savings here. This is a club haemorrhaging money.

'There may have to be economies, and there is no point saying otherwise. To put things in perspective, I will be earning nothing, David will be earning nothing.

'We are personally paying Karren's wages for the next 12 months so she is not a burden to the club at all. We are not coming here with baggage which will cost the club money, we are all going to make a contribution at zero cost to the club.'

Source: Telegraph