Zola vents fury over timing of Sullivan's pay-cut demand

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The Independent Football

Gianfranco Zola took a swipe at West Ham's new owners after David Sullivan announced the entire staff would have to take a pay cut in the summer.

It is thought the manager and players, along with other club staff, will be asked by co-owners Sullivan and David Gold to take a 25 per cent cut to slash the club's £60million wage bill.

An angry Zola, however, criticised the timing of the revelation, coming 24 hours before West Ham take on Birmingham tomorrow in a vital Premier League match at St Andrew's. Zola said: "The article should have been done at another time, not just before a match. It would have been better to talk to us before talking to a newspaper."

Zola, who earns £1.9m a year, revealed he had not spoken to the owners, nor had he been consulted about the issue. But after preparing his players for a match against the club so recently run by Sullivan and Gold, Zola added: "I am not here for the money. Last year when I signed a contract I didn't even know how much I was going to earn. I had a plan and I liked what I was going to do.

"It's not about money. It is about working for something positive. I aways enjoy working for this club. The money came after."

Zola was irritated by the potentially destabilising effect of the pay issue and wants to concentrate on getting West Ham out of relegation trouble. When asked if the owners speak to the press too much, Zola added: "When an article comes like that before a big match I'm not happy because it is no good for the team."