New man on a shoestring

  • by Staff Writer
  • Sunday, 7th September 2008

West Ham United's new manager will almost certainly have to work on a limited budget, it was revealed this morning.

West Ham have made just one first-team player purchase in the last 12 months but the club's frugal spending policy is set to continue according to non-executive director Mike Lee, talking to Radio Five Live this morning.

Lee, speaking with Garry Richardson revealed that whilst some funds may be available the new man will be expected to do his best with the players currently available to him.

"We've got a very strong squad, a lot of money has been invested in that squad," he said. "Also we've worked very hard to keep players like Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy at the club despite a lot of interest from other clubs.

"So it's a strong squad, and it's a squad we've just strengthened at the end of the transfer window - indeed afterwards, because we bought in Walter Lopez as a free agent. So we feel that that's a good squad.

"Obviously if the new manager comes in and there's issues that we need to look at in January that's for a conversation. But we feel that if we get players fit - and that's been an issue at the club - then this is a strong squad that has every reason to be confident about the season."

Lee also denied reports that the club cashed in on George McCartney, reaffirming that the player requested a return to the North East.

"We didn't want to sell George - and nor did Alan [Curbishley], we were totally agreed on that. We knew Alan wasn't 100% happy but there were very good reasons why McCartney's sale went through. George wanted to go because of family reasons.

"In any event he made a decision and I think he's left a very good squad, a club in very good shape and we move on."

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