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Page last updated at 20:52 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 21:52 UK

Gianfranco Zola to discuss West Ham future with owners


Boa Morte critical of West Ham board

Gianfranco Zola will meet West Ham's owners on Tuesday to discuss whether he has a future as the club's manager.

Zola's position has been the subject of speculation since owners David Gold and David Sullivan took over in January.

"We will have a long and interesting chat," said Zola. "It's been a tiring and exhausting season for us."

Meanwhile, winger Luis Boa Morte has held clear-the-air talks with Sullivan after criticising the co-owner on Sunday's Match of the Day.

In March, Sullivan lambasted the squad in an open letter to supporters, a move which disappointed Boa Morte, who is out of contract and expects to leave the club this summer.

"Mr Sullivan should have a bit more composure when he talks to the press to hammer the players, it's not helping anyone," said Boa Morte, who scored on his return for the Hammers in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

"The fact you have money doesn't mean you can say and do whatever you want."

The current management and team know that what they have delivered was below the expectations

David Sullivan

In a statement on West Ham's website, the club said Boa Morte had called Sullivan on Monday to apologise for his comments, and that the matter was now resolved.

"I greatly admire Luis as a player and he takes the passion he shows on the pitch into his personal life," said Sullivan.

"Like me occasionally it boils over - so I know exactly where he is coming from."

Writing in Sunday's programme notes, Sullivan announced that the club will look to make "five or six" signings over the summer in a bid to avoid a repeat of this season, which has seen the east Londoners finish only five points above the relegation zone.

And the Hammers' co-owner was again critical of Zola.

"The current management and team know that what they have delivered was below the expectations at the start of the season and we simply have to do better next season," Sullivan wrote.


"I really believe that the Premier League in the 2010-11 campaign will be stronger than in the season that has just finished, so let's not underestimate the task we all face.

"When you choose to spend your money at your club it is right you want something back."

Whether Zola, who has three years to run on a contract he only signed last summer, will lead the Hammers next season could also be down to the Italian's desire to stay in charge.

"All of the staff have been under a lot of pressure," said Zola, who most recently claimed he was not told the club would be making a bid for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans.

"We wanted to give something different but circumstances, mistakes and other things didn't allow us to do that, to give to the team what we wanted to give.

"There were moments when it was tough for us.

"I enjoyed it last year, very much, this year a little bit less.

David Sullivan & David Gold
Sullivan and Gold took over West Ham United in January

"It was only my second year as a manager and you take in everything. I need to get used to it. I know where the faults and mistakes lie. I will be working on them."

Sullivan and fellow owner David Gold injected £20m to save West Ham from administration when they bought half of the club from Icelandic bank Straumur in January, and the pair are in the process of increasing their stake by 10% to 60%.

And Sullivan has suggested that fans may be given the chance to buy shares, with money raised used to pay off debt and sign players.

"We are confident that over the coming years we'll deliver a side that gives our great supporters what they deserve," wrote Sullivan in his programme notes.

Key to improvement will be investing in the squad and Sullivan stressed that funds will be available.

"Every penny raised would be used to pay off debts and buy new players," added the West Ham co-owner.

"We are in the process of increasing our ownership by buying another 10% from Straumur. This will inject a further £4m in to help cover the shortfalls in the finances over the summer.

"We hope to find other investors who want to buy some of the club and thereby inject further funds.

"In a few months' time we are considering a general shareholding where supporters can buy shares in the football club."

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see also
West Ham 1-1 Manchester City
09 May 10 |  Premier League
UK Athletics boost Hammers plan
09 May 10 |  Olympics
Fulham 3-2 West Ham
02 May 10 |  Premier League
Zola 'surprised' by Dorrans bid
30 Apr 10 |  West Ham
Fulham cleared over selection row
30 Apr 10 |  Fulham
West Ham co-owner backs boss Zola
26 Apr 10 |  West Ham
Sullivan in plea to Hammers fans
25 Mar 10 |  West Ham
Gold & Sullivan take over Hammers
19 Jan 10 |  West Ham

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