Filed: Tuesday, 26th August 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
Leading Hammers management contender Iain Dowie has blasted claims that he has recently refused to sign a new two year deal with current club Oldham Athletic - despite it leaving him clear to take over at West Ham.
A statement released by Oldham Athletic had claimed that Dowie - who remains out of contract with the Latics and is still owed money relating to bonuses and player sales from last season by the cash-strapped club - has refused to accept a two year contract, offered by Oldham a fortnight ago.
However the man many see as favourite to succeed Glenn Roeder has disputed that particular claim, calling Oldham's statement 'disingenuous'.
"The money Iím owed [by Oldham] is no great issue because I know our situation," he said. "But [if I signed the new deal] what guarantees would I have of new obligations being met?
"I would be happy to sign if I knew all the details could be fulfilled. Itís disingenuous to say I refused."
Oldham, currently in the control of administrators would receive no compensation from West Ham should the 38-year-old leave Boundary Park in order to succeed Glenn Roeder at Upton Park - for as long as he remains out of contract.
With memories of the fiasco which occurred last time a managerial change was announced still fresh it could well be that the Hammers had a potential replacement in mind long before they parted company with Glenn Roeder.
And that possibility will inevitably raises suspicions of Dowie being 'tapped up' by the Hammers board, who would have been well aware at the time of Oldham's offer that Glenn Roeder's days at the club were numbered.
* Dowie has today been installed as favourite to succeed Glenn Roeder by the majority of major bookies. However in KUMB's managerial poll George Graham still leads the field by some considerable margin. Dowie remains in second place.
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