West Ham fans' fury over Cole departure

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The Independent Football

Most West Ham fans are said to be "physically sick" that Joe Cole has been sold to Chelsea for £6.6m, and they do not expect the exodus to end there.

Hammers supporters have watched in horror as the club sold Paolo Di Canio, Lee Bowyer, Les Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Trevor Sinclair, Frédéric Kanouté and now Cole since their relegation from the Premiership.

And behind the indignation at selling their prize asset is the belief that others like Jermain Defoe, David James and Michael Carrick are still likely to follow, and that administration could be just around the corner.

A spokesman for the West Ham Supporters Trust said: "I feel physically sick that Joe has left and gutted that he will be playing next to Frank Lampard.

"We're in an ever-decreasing circle. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if we go into administration. You wonder how West Ham has managed to stay out of receivership this long. I don't believe the club when they say no one else is leaving."

The club, however, insists Cole's transfer frees them to begin rebuilding, which could start with the loan signing of Liverpool's Neil Mellor.