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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
Read
By ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2007

Neill spurns Liverpool to join Hammers

Lucas Neill has agreed to join West Ham, spurning Liverpool because they could not guarantee first team football.

The Australia international has confirmed he will move from Blackburn in an interview with Sydney's Sunday Telegraph.

The report claims the transfer is worth £1.5million while Neill will earn £60,000 a week with the Hammers, twice the salary on offer at Liverpool.

Neill said: 'It wasn't about cash - that didn't come into it. It was about being wanted. West Ham were knocking down the door to get me whereas Liverpool made a take or leave it offer and didn't even come in for me until 15 days after the transfer window opened.

'People who have raised their eyebrows at me for making this decision are in for a surprise because West ham have a shopping list of players which almost blew me away.

'People have said I put money before medals and how could I make a sideways move like this and not go to a club like Liverpool, who are always in the hunt for trophies and so much prestige.

'It was an extremely hard decision but I know it's the right one. West Ham moved heaven and earth to sign me while Liverpool gave me the impression that I might not even get a game if I went there.

'I supported them as a kid and I know people are going to give me stick for not choosing them.'

Neill was persuaded to join West Ham by chairman Eggert Magnusson.

He added: 'It took me all of two minutes to be convinced I wasn't making a mistake when Mr Magnusson told me about his plans for the club.

'What he said almost knocked me off me feet.

'He told me I'm the first of many (new signings) earmarked for the club.

'I can be part of something big here. West Ham are very well supported. They just happen to be at the wrong end of the table at the moment but I hope to play my part in helping remedy that.

'They were two minutes away from winning the FA Cup final last season and have not suddenly become a bad team.'

Neill claims he has a get-out clause built into his deal should the Hammers be relegated and admits: 'It's a calculated gamble. It won't be a glamorous three months but once we secure safety people won't question my motives any more.

'I believe I will have the last laugh. People will soon be talking about West Ham in a very different way.'