No fire sale at Hammers

WEST HAM have dismissed reports there will be a fire sale of the club s stars during the January transfer window as they look to balance their books, writes Ben Welch. The Hammers are in dire financial trouble which has led to speculation that big money a

WEST HAM have dismissed reports there will be a fire sale of the club's stars during the January transfer window as they look to balance their books, writes Ben Welch.

The Hammers are in dire financial trouble which has led to speculation that big money approaches for their key players will be impossible to turn down.

The club's main assets, England internationals Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole, would top the shopping list for a host of Premier League teams.

But, a West Ham spokesman insisted: "We don't have to sell anyone. I can't stress this point enough.


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"People seem to write that we're going to be selling players left, right and centre, but that's just not the case."

However, the likelihood of former Birmingham owners David Sullivan and David Gold tabling an offer to buy into West Ham, looks to be edging closer.

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The club refused to be drawn on the topic and would not confirm or deny whether a bid had been made.

If the duo were to make a move on the Upton Park club they would take a substantial shareholding for a nominal fee, with an option to buy the club outright at a later date.

The Hammers are owned by CB Holding, a company made up of creditors of Hansa, which was owned by former chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

CB Holding are scouting for a new club owner and with Gold and Sullivan available, having sold Birmingham to Hong Kong billionaire Carson Yeung in October, a deal looks increasingly likely.

But, there are other issues at hand. Tomorrow (Friday) Straumur, who own a 70 per cent stake in CB Holding, have a bankruptcy hearing in Reykjavik.

Straumur are fighting for a stay of execution as they look to extend the "moratorium". If the company manages to broker a deal whereby their payment will be postponed, they could be given breathing space for a further nine months.

However, if this falls through, the company would go into liquidation and their assets would be sold off - which could spell disaster for the Hammers.

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