Brown blames Redknapp for losses

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The Independent Online

Harry Redknapp was blamed yesterday for West Ham's pre-tax losses of almost £5m. In his annual statement to shareholders, the club chairman, Terry Brown, said that the former manager's transfer dealings, as well as the £3m of compensation and pension contributions arising from his departure in the summer, accounted for most of the club's £4.7m shortfall.

In his seven years at Upton Park, Redknapp bought or sold 134 players at a net deficit of £16m. Brown said: "During the five seasons ending in 1999-2000, out net transfer expenditure was the 10th highest in English football, just £100,000 below that of Arsenal."

Several Redknapp signings have been expensive for the club. The French defender Christian Bassila cost £720,000 and played for 86 minutes. Gary Charles, who has made three starts in two years, is costing £4.4m in salary and transfer fees. Davor Suker made eight starts last season but earned as much in wages as the entire revenue from one stand.

Manchester City are signing David Wetherall for £1.5m today, a week after his move to Southampton collapsed. The experienced centre-back met the City manager, Kevin Keegan, for talks yesterday after a price was agreed with Bradford. City are to give the Charleroi defensive midfielder Christian Negouai a three-day trial over the weekend.

The Swedish club Halmstad have issued a denial of reports linking their striker Stefan Selakovic with a move to Leicester City. The Foxes' manager, Dave Bassett, still hopes to bring Liaoning Fushun's Chinese international striker Zhang Yuning on loan until the end of the season. However, the Home Office has indicated that he may not meet the necessary criteria for the issue of a work permit. But, after the Chinese authorities provided more information, Leicester decided to press ahead with the application.

Motherwell have completed the signing of the French defender Eric Delomeaux on a two-and-a-half year deal. The 28-year-old has joined the Fir Park club from the French side Le Havre for a fee of £100,000.

The former Rangers and Morton winger Craig Watson has died following an illness. Watson played for the Ibrox side between 1962-66.

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