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Sullivan blames Iceland for Hammers debts

PUBLISHED: 12:09 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 October 2010

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Birmingham City Owner David Sullivan looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Birmingham City at Turf Moor on October 3, 2009 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Birmingham City Owner David Sullivan looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Birmingham City at Turf Moor on October 3, 2009 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

2009 Getty Images

New West Ham owner David Sullivan has pulled no punches in criticising former chairman Eggert Magnusson as he revealed the Hammers are £110m in debt

New West Ham owner David Sullivan has pulled no punches in criticising former chairman Eggert Magnusson as he revealed the Hammers are £110m in debt.

The former Birmingham owner and boyhood Irons fan bought half the club, along with David Gold and was fuming at the transfer fees and wages the Icelander paid.

The best example is Freddie Ljungberg who was reportedly on £80,000 a week, before the club paid him off for around £2m last season.

"It was a crazy way that wages were paid out by the Icelandics, that brought the club to its knees. You pay good wages, not crazy wages," Sullivan moaned.

"I'm sure some fans will be fearful that we might be like Eggert and decimate the club. We won't.

"We wouldn't buy this club at all if this wasn't West Ham.

"It makes no commercial sense. We must be mad."

The balance sheet doesn't lie. The Hammers owe as much as £40m to other clubs for transfer fees and are owed nothing, while Sullivan also told how the club would have been forced to re-coup £8m by selling key first-team players in the current transfer window.

"The first thing to do was to make sure no-one left which is a key issue. The owners had to raise £20m by the end of the season for survival, which would mean selling two or three of the best players, but that won't happen now.

"We are looking to strengthen the squad and we will sit down with Franco (Zola) to see what he has to say. Franco deserves our support and he will get our support."

Sullivan has the option to buy the other half of the club within the next four years, he is keen for other Hammers fans to get involved and help the team out.

"The club is in better shape today than it was yesterday and we are looking for partners," co-owner Gold said.

"The debts are so large and we want to spread it out.

"We have always had partners and we listen to people, we are not dictatorial and we can offer a place on the board for investment.

"We hope that someone like Tony Fernandes can come back in and buy some of the club.

"We are offering 10 per cent of the club for £10m.


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