West Ham fire sale claims denied

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West Ham have assured new manager Gianfranco Zola he will not have to sell players in the January transfer window despite another of the club's main shareholding companies heading into administration.

Vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson admitted that West Ham is now one of Icelandic chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's main remaining assets after he lost an estimated £230million of his personal fortune through the collapse of Landsbanki and then suffered a further blow when Samson Holdings, another company he owns, also filed for administration.

But he said: "West Ham is well funded for the remainder of the year and I am convinced the club will go on, no matter what."

However, the Barclays Premier League club still cannot guarantee that will not sell up in the near future.

West Ham are reportedly valued at £150million and are said to be attracting plenty of interest from prospective buyers.

And now there is further doubt over the club's future with the news that a third company, Hansa - who have a considerable stake in West Ham - have begun a similar administration process.

But Fridgeirsson insists the chairman believes there are still plenty of assets available go keep West Ham going for the rest of the year - even though the latest development, while having no day-to-day impact on the club, is "limiting his options".

He added: "We are not going to sell players to settle (the) debts of Hansa."

West Ham's ownership situation is a complicated matter and although Hansa are the club's holding company, West Ham United Holdings Ltd and West Ham United plc both have a stake in the Hammers.

West Ham United plc are recognised by the Premier League as the member organisation, meaning the possibility of a football sanction such as deduction of points or relegation is unlikely to be considered due to the financial issues of the holding company.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United

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