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A deafening silence


Filed: Monday, 14th July 2003
By: Graeme Howlett


West Ham United's board of directors have refused to comment on a string of rumours suggesting that the club are on the verge of going into administration.

Since it was revealed last week that the club had agreed to the sale of teenage full-back Glen Johnson to London rivals Chelsea rumours have been rife that the deal was forced upon the Hammers by the club's bankers.

KUMB revealed last week how the club were due to pay a 2m instalment on their bank loans by the end of this week - and how a player sale was likely to occur imminently in order to meet the demand.

Other rumours have suggested that the figure due was nearer the 10m mark, although that would appear to be wide of the mark.

It is thought in some quarters that the club's total debt could be as much as 85m - a figure on par with the likes of Leeds United and Chelsea, before they were bankrolled by their very own Russian 'Father Christmas'.

The difference being of course that both the aforementioned clubs remain in the Premiership - unlike the Hammers, who have the prospect of a greatly reduced income to look forward to.

Since announcing the sale of Johnson - who is still being used to advertise the club's new kit on the official website, lending weight to rumours that his departure was a sudden and unexpected move - there has been no word from the club as to why the promising defender was sold - and no comment on the rumours of serious financial strife which may threaten the very existence of West Ham United.

KUMB offered the board the opportunity to comment on Friday - the day following the news of Johnson's impending departure. That offer was refused; the club instead choosing to remain tight-lipped.

Meanwhile calls for Terence Brown's resignation as Chairman continue to mount. Never a popular figure with fans Brown's level of support is now plumbing new depths, as more people begin to point the finger of blame for West Ham's current malaise in his direction.





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