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Demel: my wages were halved

Filed: Wednesday, 13th June 2012
By: Staff Writer

West Ham right-back Guy Demel has told a German newspaper that he took a 50 per cent wage cut to move to England.

The French-born Ivorian defender, who celebrates his 31st birthday today revealed that he agreed to take the massive pay cut in order to move to east London last August having become frustrated with life at his previous club, Hamburg SV.

In response to a question regarding his move to England and rumours that the deal was financially motivated, Demel said: "People were saying I had lost interest; people were saying I was only in it for the money. You know what? I took a 50 per cent paycut when I went to West Ham.

"I still had a contract at Hamburg. If it was all about the money for me I could have sat it out in Hamburg collecting all that money for doing nothing. But I gave my all for the shirt, the team and the supporters for six years."

Looking back on a season that was wrecked by injury, Demel insisted that his problems were largely due to a lack of fitness that began with him featuring so infrequently for Hamburg in his final season in Germany.

"Since I was no longer allowed to keep myself fit with the first team, my body could no longer take the vigours of high level football," he argued. "My stamina was low so I couldn't play for a whole 90 minutes. So when I started out in England, I got my comeuppance."

However now he appears to have fully recovered from his injury woes, Demel insists that he can't wait to get his full full season in English football under his belt.

""It's fantastic [here]," he added. "I've been very lucky as I had the chance to play for six years in the most beautiful city in Germany - and I feel privileged that my job allows me to live in a place like London.

"It was my goal to play in the Premier League again; now I'm finally there, it's a great feeling. I want to help establish West Ham as a Premier League club and I want to play in this league for another two or three years.

"When you have played for a good team in the Bundesliga as I did you are capable of playing in any league in the world. The level of football in England is very high as it is in Hamburg. But it's true that the style of football is different, especially here at West Ham where we play a lot of long ball and high crosses up front."

*With thanks to KUMB member HamburgHammer for translating the original interview.

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