Tuesday, August 07, 2007

West Ham the new Barcelona or Real Madrid

In an interview with The Guardian Eggert Magnusson admits West Ham have become "public enemy No1." However any fans who expect Magnusson to hit back at West Ham critics may be disappointed, because although Magnusson is set to make a final public statement on Tevez this Thursday there are legal restrictions to what he can say.

Magnusson does have a dig at some other football chairmen,

"It does hurt me because the club has been dragged into this in a negative way by some of my colleagues. West Ham has been dragged down and I don't think this is correct. This hurts me most, because what a few people decide should not be a burden to the whole club.

"The other sad thing is that Tevez got caught in the middle. He's a great lad, so enthusiastic about football and success, and I would have loved to have seen him [again] in a West Ham shirt. I really tried to make that possible but, as a great player, he had ambitions to play in the Champions League."

Magnusson also rejected Niall Quinn's accusations that West Ham are over inflating the transfer market, "the figures have been totally distorted. I don't understand it". However when pressed on West Ham's wage structure he does hint that they may have broken their wage limit,

"Well, we have a basic wage structure and we are there or thereabouts and we don't want to surpass that. That is still the case."

Magnusson admits to visiting West Ham forums to gauge the mood of West Ham fans,

"It is very important to know what people are thinking. In football you deal with people and emotions. It's a much more sentimental business than biscuits or money-market shares."

Those fans will be pleased to hear Magnusson's ambition for the club,

"It takes time but in two years I think we will be fighting for Uefa and even Champions League positions. The fantasy is that in 10 years we will see the team playing Champions League football regularly in our new stadium. We want to model ourselves on clubs like Barça and Madrid who have great marketing aspects. I think it is possible to compete with this kind of club."

He also confirmed that there are plans to build a new stadium,

"We are waiting at the moment for a decision over a certain piece of land and we will have a decision by the end of the year - but I am sure we will build a new stadium. We have the fan-base to need this capacity."


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