Aldridge Disappointed

Managing Director Paul Aldridge says he is "disappointed" to read comments from Frank Lampard's agent Steve Kutner suggesting that the England midfielder 'can never play for West Ham again'.

He says: "The comments are disappointing to read because we want Frank to stay; we believe he is a future captain of the club - and of England."

Paul has not spoken to Frank directly, explaining: "He is away from London at the moment receiving treatment on his groin injury, but we will be happy to have a chat with him when he returns.

"I accept that the departure of his father and his uncle disappoints him, but he has always had a very professional relationship with them."

Paul also denies a report that claims his relationship with Harry had detiriorated to the degree that they only communicated by fax.

Paul says: "I have never sent Harry a fax in my life and nor have I received one from him.

"Somebody even suggested we would email each other, but that would be difficult because Harry does not have a computer.

"There is just no truth in that story at all; we would speak most days, and indeed I have tried ringing him today.

"I believe we had a good relationship and, although there were disagreements from time to time, there was certainly no rift.

"Paul also reveals that the true cost of transfer fees spent since Rio Ferdinand was sold to Leeds is "just over £12million" and he explains: "That figure will add up once the players brought in since Rio was sold make the requisite number of appearances, and it does not include wages and signing-on-fees."

Paul also denies a newspaper report that claims Roger Cross has left the club, adding: "I have spoken to the backroom staff and, while they share everyone's disappointment at Harry's departure, they are professional people and will carry on to the best of their ability.

"We are confident of Glenn taking us through to the last game of the season, and Roger is still at the club.

"As and when a new manager is appointed, we will sit down with him to see what staff we will require, and he will no doubt have strong views on what is needed to take the club forward.

"Harry has gone on record as saying it is the best squad for around 20 years and we owe him a great debt of gratitude for that, and Tony Carr will continue working with the youth set-up to carry that onwards.

As for the rumours about Alan Curbishley, Paul said: "Before any club talks to a manager currently in employment, that club has to get permission to talk to the person concerned.

"We have not sought such permission from any club as yet."