Quashie goes as the cuts hit home

CONSIDER the worst signings made by West Ham in recent years and one name springs readily to mind – Nigel Quashie, writes DAVE EVANS. Bought by Alan Curbishley for �1.5million in January 2007 to help the fight against relegation, his eight games in claret

CONSIDER the worst signings made by West Ham in recent years and one name springs readily to mind - Nigel Quashie, writes DAVE EVANS.

Bought by Alan Curbishley for �1.5million in January 2007 to help the fight against relegation, his eight games in claret and blue yielded just two draws and six defeats.

It was his injury during the 4-3 home defeat by Spurs on March 4, 2007 that heralded the introduction of Mark Noble to the team and the beginning of the 'Great Escape' - Quashie never played another first team game for the Hammers.

And now, after loan spells at Birmingham, Wolves and MK Dons, he has finally left Upton Park, returning to his first club Queens Park Rangers.


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It was just the first move by new owners David Sullivan and David Gold to cut costs at the club.

Paying Quashie's �30,000 a week wages was a ridiculous situation when he hadn't played for nearly three years and the new regime were quick to get him off the books in any way they could.

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The pair also swung the axe on West Ham ambassadors Tony Cottee, Tony Gale and Matt Lorenzo, while they have stopped the wages of defender Calum Davenport pending the result of his court case.

It is understood that Gale and Cottee were receiving healthy salaries for their roles with the club, and though obviously still welcome at Upton Park, it was deemed an unnecessary expense in the current climate.

The future of technical director Gianluca Nani is a precarious one too, with Sullivan keen to stress that he deals with transfers, while chief medical officer Nikos Tzouridis and club doctor Marco Cesarini are also apparently under threat.

Any decision on Nani is unlikely to be made before the end of the transfer deadline, but once that is out of the way, Sullivan and Gold are likely to make some swingeing cuts to stem what they described as a club "haemorrhaging money".

Gold said: "The place was a car crash. Every page we turned in every document revealed yet another problem.

"It was the worst set of figures I have seen.

"I hate debt. Personally, I would avoid it at all costs. Interest is a burden on a football club that puts you at a competitive disadvantage," he continued.

"If Man United are paying �50m a year in interest, if they didn't have that debt then they could reduce ticket prices or improve their squad.

"That seems self-evident to me. West Ham have borrowed against future income and that's absurd."

The owners have promised that no star players will be leaving Upton Park during the transfer window and that means costs will have to be cut elsewhere, at least until the summer.

That has started with the loss of Gale and Cottee, as well as Quashie, but Sullivan has already hinted at putting a stop to the band of hangers-on and freeloaders that inevitably exist at the football club.

That would be a brave and potentially dangerous move by the owners, but from what we have seen so far, they are not afraid to make those sorts of decisions.

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