West Ham United fear relegation meltdown

LONDON - West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has warned the club will face financial "Armageddon" if it is relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.

LONDON - West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has warned the club will face financial "Armageddon" if it is relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.

Sullivan and his business partner David Gold acquired a controlling stake in West Ham last month and the new owners have indicated the club's finances are in an even worse state than they initially thought.

"It'll be Armageddon if we go down. It'll be worse than what's gone on at Newcastle," Sullivan said. "I can't believe the contracts I've inherited. Every position is overpaid, whether in administration or on the playing side.

"Everyone at the club will be asked to take a salary cut in the summer. The club is in a mess and we all have to pull together. If we go down I can't even consider the situation."

A defeat by fellow strugglers Burnley on Saturday pushed Gianfranco Zola's squad back down into the bottom three and they desperately need to pick up some points when Birmingham, Sullivan and Gold's former club, visit Upton Park today.

"I was at Birmingham for years but I really want to give them a good whacking," Gold said. "After 17 years at Birmingham, I think we know how to run a football club." - Sapa-AFP

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