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May 6, 2010

Sullivan lifts lid on West Ham's financial troubles

David Sullivan has again predicted that one of the Premier League's big clubs will go out of existence after revealing to Soccernet that the Hammers were 10 days away from going into administration in January.

• Sullivan: No clear out

Sullivan and co-owner David Gold had to pump £20 million into the club four months ago to avoid going down the same troubled route of FA Cup finalists Portsmouth.

And they will have to make another £4 million available over the summer months to cover player wages when the club receive no matchday income.

Sullivan felt it necessary to come out and explain the nature of the club's financial situtation after two days of newspaper reports which claimed to list the wages off all members of the playing staff.

Figures in the Daily Telegraph highlighted Kieron Dyer - who has made only 22 appearances, never playing a full 90 minutes, becuase of injury since moving from Newcastle for £6 million three years ago - is the top earner on £83,000-a-week. His deal, which has a year to run, includes £424,000-a-season for image rights and £100,000 in loyalty fees.

By comparison, Wayne Rooney is reported to be on £90,000-a-week at Manchester United.

Sullivan revealed to Soccernet how close the Hammers went to going out of business in January before he and Gold came their rescue. On the day Portsmouth meet their creditors, and in the week that the excessive salaries of players at Upton Park have been revealed, the clubs co-owner warns of the financial perils awaiting one of the game's real elite.

In an explosive exclusive interview with Soccernet, Sullivan revealed: "Over the last few days several newspapers and websites have published the alleged wages of most West Ham United's players. In some cases the figures are totally inaccurate, whilst in other cases they are so accurate the figures can only have come from current or past employees of the club.

"However, it is not for me to comment on which ones are true and which ones are false as these are confidential matters between us and the players. However they do illustrate, as we've explained before, we've inherited a real mess.

"West Ham United were ten days away from a total fire sale of all their players or administration, or worse, in January. I believe that in the next 12 months a substantial club will not only go into administration, but it will be liquidated and cease to exist.

"We had to inject £20 million in January to prevent this happening at West Ham and a further £4 million will be injected, by myself and David Gold, to pay the summer wages.

"Over the summer months and next 12 months we will continue our policy of trimming excess, whilst trying to bring a better team to Upton Park. We cannot let West Ham United become another Portsmouth or Crystal Palace."

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