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Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:05 UK

Sacked Gianfranco Zola saddened by West Ham comments

Gianfranco Zola
Zola played for Chelsea before becoming manager at West Ham

Gianfranco Zola has claimed he was victim to "adverse comments" from within West Ham during the last few weeks as manager of the club.

Zola was relieved of his position on Tuesday after less than two years at the Premier League outfit.

"I am extremely disappointed to be leaving," said the 43-year-old Italian.

"Over recent weeks, I have been the subject of various adverse comments, from within the club, which have been widely reported in the media."

Zola's position was subject to speculation after former Birmingham City owners David Gold and David Sullivan took over the club in January.


The Hammers had been in a relegation battle until their third from final fixture against Wigan in April, where a 3-2 victory effectively guaranteed their safety.

But a month earlier, Sullivan criticised Zola's team following their 3-1 defeat by Wolves which he described as "pathetic".

Zola added through a statement from the League Managers Association: "Despite what has been a very difficult period for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at West Ham.

"I would like to sincerely thank the players and my staff for their continued support, hard work and commitment.

"I extremely proud of their efforts, over a long and difficult season, in retaining West Ham's place in the Premier League.

"West Ham is a great club, with fantastic supporters and I wish the club every success in the future. The termination process of my contract is now in the hands of the LMA and I therefore will be making no further comment at this stage."

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan praised Zola for guiding West Ham during "a period of significant uncertainty".

Brooking laments Zola loss but looks to future

"Clear communication and a supportive framework at the top of a football club are essential for stability and delivering results," said Bevan.

"Gianfranco has had to manage his team through a period of significant uncertainty at the club and has shown dedication, resilience and commitment to his players, staff and the fans.

"Without a doubt Gianfranco is a talented young manager and I am sure that in the fullness of time he will be back working in the game."

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see also
Zola sacked as West Ham manager
11 May 10 |  West Ham
Zola admits West Ham underachieved
09 May 10 |  West Ham
Zola to discuss West Ham future
10 May 10 |  West Ham
Italian managers share the love
09 May 10 |  Football
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
Zola signs new West Ham contract
25 Apr 09 |  West Ham
Zola ready to take West Ham job
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham

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