West Ham unveil revival plan

Having avoided 'Armageddon' by ensuring their Premier League survival, co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan have outlined their vision to take West Ham forward.

Their 10-point plan includes issues including the appointment of Gianfranco Zola's successor - a shortlist has already been drawn up with Portsmouth's Avram Grant rumoured to be among the favourites for the role - the recruitment and retention of players, action to clear the club's debt and plans to move the club to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

A statement on the club's official website, www.whufc.com, read: "It may be the close-season but here at West Ham United we are all busy preparing for 2010/11 and putting in place the next steps to take this club forward.

"Having admittedly had a tough end to the last campaign, we are determined to build on the many positives we have at the club and use the summer months to make sure we hit the ground running next time around."

Zola was dismissed by the club after a dismal season which saw them narrowly escape relegation to the Championship, finishing one place and five points above the drop zone.

As the Italian attempted to steer the team out of danger at the foot of the table, his position was undermined by Sullivan, who took control of the club in January along with Gold and described the prospect of falling out of the top flight as 'Armageddon'.

Sullivan apologised to supporters via the club's official website for a "shambolic" and "pathetic" performance against Wolves in March as Zola's position became increasingly isolated.

There were also suggestions Zola was unaware of moves to make the entire first-team squad, except for Scott Parker, available for transfer and that he was kept in the dark over a bid for West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans.

Zola's tenure as boss came to an end last week and Sullivan and Gold today pledged to appoint a new boss in time for pre-season training.

The statement continued: "Our efforts are focused on recruiting a high-calibre manager with the necessary experience to deliver good football and, most importantly, results.

"A shortlist of candidates has been identified and the appointment will be made with enough time to prepare for pre-season."

Sullivan and Gold addressed nine further issues, including rebuilding the team and pledged to keep investing in the academy, which previously nurtured the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.

"For too long, the focus has been on players leaving rather than arriving," added the statement.

"We will strengthen in the right areas to ensure an exciting and balanced squad that is well placed to cope with the rigours of a Premier League season.

"Our main aim will be to bring in players hungry to do well who share our ambitions and aspirations.

"We will make sure homegrown talent nurtured in the 'West Ham way' will always be given the chance to complement established players brought in from elsewhere."

West Ham's precarious financial state was also addressed by Sullivan and Gold, who assumed control from the club's former Icelandic owners, who were thrown into crisis by the global economic downturn.

"We have a responsibility to ensure this club is never again placed in a perilous position," Sullivan and Gold continued in the statement.

"Great strides have been taken to get us on a sound financial footing but there is still a way to go.

"Difficult decisions have had to be made - and that will continue to be the case - but our bottom line on the bottom line is to ensure the club survives."

A large part of Sullivan and Gold's vision for the future is a move from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

The eight-week deadline for would-be tenants of the £537m venue in east London to lodge expressions of interest to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) ended yesterday.

West Ham made a joint bid with Newham Council and spent time in "meaningful discussions" with a range of organisations include UK Athletics (UKA), Essex Cricket and AEG, the owners of the nearby O2 Arena, to try to broaden and fine-tune their proposal.

Today's statement reiterated their hope to move to the stadium, which as part of the 2012 legacy programme must be retained as an athletics venue.

Sullivan and Gold's statement added: "Leaving the Boleyn Ground will be a wrench but the Olympic Stadium is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a financial and football sense.

"Our potential partnership with Newham Council promises to take this club to a new level, while protecting our history and traditions.

"To move forward, we have to move - but always with an eye on the past."

The remaining points on the 10-point pledge were titled: "Freeze season ticket prices for renewals"; "Build the status and image of the club"; "Make it enjoyable to come and watch"; "Get closer to the community"; and "Listen to supporters".

The statement concluded: "This 10-point pledge is just the start.

"We are here for the long term and our goals will evolve as we progress.

"We are proud to be here and will never stop working for you. All of us share the same hopes and dreams.

"It is not just about aiming for cup finals or derby victories but about feeling part of something together and all pulling in the same direction.

"As the name says, we are very much West Ham. United."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn