'Huge debts' put Sullivan off West Ham involvement

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The Independent Football

David Sullivan would love to be "involved" with West Ham but is concerned by the Barclays Premier League strugglers' financial position, following his preliminary discussions with the club.

Sullivan and former Birmingham co-owner David Gold are seeking another club after selling their stake in City to Hong Kong business supremo Carson Yeung.

West Ham are the club Sullivan supported as a boy. But their finances are reportedly in a desperate state, and he could be put off by a possible £100million asking price to take over the club.

"The debts that appear to be at West Ham seem huge," Sullivan told the London Evening Standard.

"I'm not sure I could face what is going on there, but West Ham do need help and quickly. I hope someone gets involved in the next week or next month or two; otherwise they could be in the (Coca-Cola) Championship or bust, or both."

West Ham are currently controlled by CB Holdings who, in turn, are owned largely by Icelandic investment bank Straumur-Burdaras.

They have made no public response to Sullivan's comments. But while the initial talks are understood to have revolved around a cash injection, a complete takeover is still a possibility.

Straumur remain keen to sell but may prefer to wait until the financial climate improves.

Sullivan and Gold, who was also brought up in the east end, are keen to buy into West Ham but remain cautious about the level of the debt and the team's position in the league.

"As one door shuts another one opens," said Sullivan.

"West Ham is a club close to my heart, and I would love to be involved with them."

Meanwhile, defender James Tomkins has spoken about the spirit in the Hammers camp preparing for their trip to Stoke this weekend.

"We are working hard all the time in training and looking to improve - and we all believe, if we keep doing this, then the results will improve," said Tomkins.

"It is still early on in the season, but we are looking to turn results around and will be aiming to try and do that starting this Saturday against Stoke."