”Trying to save club has driven my sons to tears”
DAVID SULLIVAN claims he is at breaking point after revealing West Ham’s debts have burst through the £100million barrier.
In a remarkable outburst, the Hammers’ stressed-out co-owner claims:
* It will take years to turn West Ham into a Premier League force;
* His children have been in tears over his 18-hour working days as clubs, agents and players make “impossible demands”, and he racked up a £2,000 mobile phone bill over eight days in the transfer window;
* An agent demanded £50,000 for arranging a pre-season friendly, while the club only made £11,000 from the Carling Cup tie against Oxford.
Sullivan, who bought a 60 per cent stake in the club with David Gold last season, claims the pair are already at breaking point.
Despite offering Scott Parker a new contract worth £70,000 a week, Sullivan claims the wages cannot be sustained.
The Hammers chief said: “We have brought in eight new players to balance Avram Grant’s squad, as well as hanging on to our star names.
“We missed out on a number of targets, mainly due to the impossible demands of players, clubs or agents.
“This was a big factor in why I have been working 16-18 hour days for the last three months.
“On my eight-day family holiday I was talking to players and agents non-stop. So much so that my family were hardly talking to me at the end. My sons were in tears of frustration with me being on the phone rather than spending time with them.
“My mobile phone was £2,000 for eight days and I paid that myself. It is the most difficult task trying to keep the club afloat.
“In line with my partner David Gold neither of us has ever drawn a penny in wages, management fees or even expenses and it is never our intention to do so.
“We have £50m of bank loans and £50m of other debts – it is the most difficult task keeping the club afloat.”
The Hammers have been trading at an annual loss of £30m a year for the past four seasons and are still paying the price for the Eggert Magnusson era.
He added: “With the help of our bankers we will keep the club afloat, but please realise it will take years to take West Ham where we want them to be.
“Every day we are being hit with enormous bills run up by the previous regime.
“For example an agent says he is owed £50,000 for arranging a pre-season friendly against Napoli last year on a match that lost the club £70,000.
“The appearance money against Oxford was £45,000 plus £9,000 in win bonuses.
“Our cut of the gate was £65,000, so we ended up making £11,000. No-one can blame the players for accepting over-generous contracts the previous regime offered them.”