Gianfranco Zola fired a parting shot at co-owner David Sullivan after being sacked as West Ham manager.

Zola was dismissed by the club after a dismal season which saw them narrowly escape relegation to the Championship. But as the Italian attempted to steer the team out of danger at the foot of the Barclays Premier League table, his position was undermined by Sullivan, who took control of the club in January along with David Gold.

"I am extremely disappointed to be leaving West Ham United," said Zola in a statement issued through the League Managers Association. "Over recent weeks, I have been the subject of various adverse comments, from within the club, which have been widely reported in the media."

The statement continued: "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 am extremely proud of their efforts, over a long and difficult season, in retaining West Ham's place in the Barclays 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."

Sullivan apologised to supporters via the club's official website for a "shambolic" and "pathetic" performance against Wolves in March as Zola's position became increasingly isolated.

There were also suggestions that the Italian was unaware of moves to make the entire first-team squad, except for Scott Parker, available for transfer and that he was kept in the dark over a bid for West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans.

A statement from the club read: "West Ham United confirm that they have terminated the contract of Gianfranco Zola.

"The Board of Directors would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future. The Club will now be focusing its efforts on seeking a replacement."

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
Football
Scott Parker
Graham Dorrans
Championship
Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
Wolverhampton Wanderers