Hammers play down financial concerns

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West Ham have moved to play down concerns the club will be adversely affected by Icelandic bank Landsbanki going into administration.

The Iceland government took control of Landsbanki on Tuesday, the country's second biggest bank, in order to stop it collapsing. Hammers chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is a major shareholder in the bank and chaired the company until he was removed on Tuesday.

Now chief executive Scott Duxbury and vice chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson have both moved to ease fears there may be repercussions for the Upton Park club. "The position of Landsbanki has absolutely no effect on West Ham United and Mr Gudmundsson's ownership of the club" said Duxbury.

"Mr Gudmundsson is an investor with a large portfolio, of which Landsbanki was just part. He remains as committed as ever to West Ham United and is not looking to sell the club."

Duxbury told the club's official website: "As has previously been stated, Mr Gudmundsson has invested £40million net in the playing squad to create a squad capable of challenging in the top half of the Premier League.

"Since his appointment, Gianfranco Zola has made it quite clear that his first-team squad is too large and needs to be reduced so he can effectively coach the team.

"Once this has happened and if the manager requires further players, then the club will acquire them.

"Mr Gudmundsson remains fully committed to the success of this football club and building on the excellent start made by Gianfranco Zola."

Fridgeirsson backed up Duxbury, telling Sky Sports News: "The government has claimed shares in the company which means that the government has claimed control. That means basically that we have lost it.

"I don't think there's any reason to be too pessimistic. West Ham United is a wonderful club and a well-run company."

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Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United

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