Football

Owners announcement angers Hammers boss

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Gianfranco Zola took a swipe at West Ham's new owners after David Sullivan announced in the media the entire staff would have to take a pay cut in the summer.

It is thought the manager and players, along with other club staff, will be asked by co-owners Sullivan and David Gold to take a 25% cut to slash the club's £60million wage bill.

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An angry Zola, however, criticised the timing of the revelation, coming just 24 hours before West Ham take on Birmingham, and said: "I think the article should have been done at another time, not just before a match. It would have been better to say that at another time and maybe talk to us before talking to a newspaper. That is my feeling."

Zola, who earns £1.9million a year, revealed he had not spoken to the owners, nor had he been consulted about the issue.

But after preparing his players for a match against the club so recently run by Sullivan and Gold, Zola added: "Personally I can say I am not here for the money. Last year when I signed a contract I didn't even know how much I was going to earn.

"I had a plan and a project and I liked what I was going to do. I didn't know what I was going to earn and then after a while the club called me in about a new contract.

"It's not about money. It is about working for something positive. I aways enjoy working for this club. The money was something that came after."

Zola was clearly irritated by the potentially destabilising effect of the pay issue and wants to concentrate on getting West Ham out of relegation trouble.

When asked if the owners speak to the press too much, Zola added: "It doesn't interest me. They can talk to the press as much as they want. When an article comes like that before a big match I'm not happy about that because I don't think it is any good for the whole team.

"I just read the article this morning and that's it. The match is all that matters to me and the players."

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Premier League
West Ham United

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