Hammeris in crisis as Ferdinanrd goes

By JONATHAN CLEGG WEST Ham were plunged into crisis this week as Alan Curbishley s position at Upton Park came under fresh scrutiny following a rift between the manager and the club s board of directors. The Hammers boss is on a collision course with cha

By JONATHAN CLEGG

WEST Ham were plunged into crisis this week as Alan Curbishley's position at Upton Park came under fresh scrutiny following a rift between the manager and the club's board of directors.

The Hammers boss is on a collision course with chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson over the decision to sell Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland for £8million on Wednesday - despite Curbishley's insistence that he wanted to keep the player.

Gudmundsson is out to save money by trimming the wage bill at Upton Park and sanctioned the sale of Ferdinand against the wishes of the manager.


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Curbishley last week publicly revealed that he wanted Ferdinand to remain at the club and insisted that he - and not the board - would make "the final decision on who gets sold".

Yet the club accepted a bid from Sunderland for the defender last weekend and Ferdinand completed his switch to the North East yesterday.

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The 23-year-old becomes the fifth senior player to leave the Hammers this summer, following the departures of Freddie Ljungberg, Bobby Zamora, John Panstil and Nolberto Solano.

And Curbishley admits Ferdinand's exit has left his squad dangerously thin ahead of the close of the transfer window next week.

"We are thin on the ground. If we lose another defender we will have to react to that," said Curbishley.

The Hammers boss is eager to strengthen his depleted side by adding a number of new recruits in the coming days.

But Curbishley - who revealed earlier this month that he "only recommends" new signings to the West Ham board - admits that he has not been informed about the club's budget for new recruits.

He said: "I think we've been actively looking like everybody else but I think this week is notorious for things being done near the end of the window. We'll have to see what happens.

"I think we need to back up [the squad] if we can but it's very difficult. We'll see what this week brings.

"We're looking [for players] in all areas, in all three departments but I'll have to check [with the board over the transfer budget] once we sit down.

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