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Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 10:11 UK

Bank crisis hits Hammers spending

Zola took charge of West Ham on 11 September
Zola took charge of West Ham on 11 September

West Ham admit they will have to sell players before they can buy any new ones in the January transfer window.

Owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is a major shareholder in Landsbanki, which went into receivership on Tuesday.

"It is very unlikely he will be willing to put in more money to buy players this January window," vice-chairman Ausgeir Fridgeirsson told BBC Sport.

When asked whether boss Gianfranco Zola would have to sell before he could buy, Fridgeirsson said "exactly".

Zola succeeded Alan Curbishley as West Ham manager last month and said he expected to be backed in the January transfer window.

"If we need to improve certain things I'm sure the board will back me," the Italian said, adding that chief executive Scott Duxbury had told him changes in January would "not be a problem".

Since his appointment, Gianfranco Zola has made it quite clear that his first-team squad is too large and needs to be reduced

Scott Duxbury
West Ham chief executive

Fridgeirsson insisted the size of West Ham's squad would allow Zola to wheel and deal in January.

This was a theme picked up by Duxbury in a statement he placed on the club's official website on Tuesday.

"Since his appointment, Gianfranco Zola has made it quite clear that his first-team squad is too large and needs to be reduced so he can effectively coach the team," Duxbury said.

"Once this has happened and if the manager requires further players, then the club will acquire them.

"Mr Gudmundsson remains fully committed to the success of this football club and building on the excellent start made by Gianfranco Zola.".

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Fridgeirsson denied that the plight of Landsbanki, Iceland's second-biggest bank, meant Gudmundsson would now have to sell West Ham.

"It has to be clear that even though he has been hurt in one of his investments, it will not have a direct impact on other investments, including West Ham," Fridgeirsson said.

"As of today, there is no need for him to sell West Ham. He has already put 30m into the club since he bought it. He is not going to take any money out of the club."

Fridgeirsson admitted prospective buyers had expressed an interest in buying the club, but that they had been rebuffed.

"We have not been accepting any offers," he said. "Agents have been contacting us and we have told them we are not interested."

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see also
West Ham defiant despite bank hit
07 Oct 08 |  West Ham
FA chief fears '3bn' club debts
07 Oct 08 |  Football
Icesave savers warned on accounts
07 Oct 08 |  Business
West Ham suffer Tevez appeal blow
26 Sep 08 |  Football
West Ham unveil Zola as new boss
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham
West Ham end shirt sponsor deal
12 Sep 08 |  West Ham
End of big spending at West Ham
09 May 08 |  West Ham


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