Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stadium and Transfer Freeze

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury has hinted in the Newham Recorder that despite the signing of Gianluca Nani there won't be a huge influx of new players this season. He also indicated that the new stadium if it goes ahead will be smaller than previously indicated.


"I think there will be money for signings, but I am not sure we want to use it," Duxbury said.

"I think when all our players are fit and we can play Ashton up front with Bellamy or Sears, when Faubert gets a chance, when we can play Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer in midfield, then we are capable of making the top six and that is our aim."

"If we bring in big-money signings, then we are not going to see the players who we have already, get a chance to show what they can do. What sort of message are we sending out to Freddie Sears if we buy another big-money striker?

"Obviously, we will look to bring in players where we need a bit of cover, but perhaps we will bring in a younger striker and let him learn from the more experienced players."

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson

The tone of Duxbury's responses tend to support the theory that chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has tightened the purse strings, perhaps until the economic climate improves. However Duxbury denied this charge.

"I think his wealth has gone down from £1.2 billion to £1.1 billion, so I don't think he has too much to worry about!" he said. "The situation is that he is based in Iceland, but he comes back for every home game and he is really enjoying things.

"I don't think it is a case of anything being put on hold. I think he will look to carry on the way things are for another couple of years and then he may come over and take a more hands-on role, but for the moment he is happy for us to deal with the day-to-day running of things."

New Stadium

Duxbury also reported on problems with the ex-Parcel Force site in West Ham, which is beginning to sound like a bit of a non-starter.

"There are one or two obstacles that we still have to get over. One of those is the gas holders on the site. We are currently discussing things with Health and Safety about the problems of potentially explosive structures being there, and we have asked them to come back to us with a solution."

"We could build a stadium on the site with the gas holders there, but that would curtail what we want to do in terms of a hotel and a leisure complex.

"There is also a bus depot being looked at for the site, but obviously the more of the site we can get, the better."

"In terms of the architects, we haven't got to the design stage yet, but it will be done by the same architects that designed Reading's stadium. At the moment, we are looking at a 50,000 stadium with the option of extending it to 60,000.

"It is not that we don't think we can fill 60,000 seats, but the last thing we want is empty seats. We are confident that we will be able to fill a 50,000 capacity stadium."

"The completion of the new training site is nearer to fruition than the new stadium, though we don't expect to have completed the deal until September. I can't say where the site is, but it is very near to Chadwell Heath, and the pitches are set up there already. It is just a matter of constructing the building and we will be ready to move."


At 5:30 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Thanx vm. explains ,for better or for worse, why we did nothing in the last transfer window. Perhaps a small silver lining is that any new signings will have to be of a very high quality , as there is not going to be anything in the kitty to make up for mediocre buys ,nor for players with suspect fitness histories.


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