Chairman On Agm

At West Ham United's AGM on Monday the harsh economic realities of running a Premiership football club were openly discussed by board members and shareholders alike - with chairman Terry Brown explaining that in the current difficult economic climate, it is increasingly difficult to get businesses and institutions to invest substantial sums into football clubs.

However, the club will continue to explore all possibilities of generating investment into West Ham United.

Asked whether he would move aside if an offer to purchase the club were made, he said:

"I would have no problem standing down, despite my complete dedication to West Ham United, if someone were prepared not only to invest millions into the club, but also give their total commitment to it.

"But I would have to be convinced it was for the good of the club and not the individual concerned.

"We must not forget that over the past ten years the club has moved forward considerably, both in terms of stadium development and squad development.

"What we don't want is a situation such as the one at Crystal Palace a few years ago, or what is happening to Wimbledon at present."

Equally, Terry says he will not run away if the worst were to happen and West Ham United were to be relegated.

"I would not commit to standing down if the club's status changed, much as we hope it won't," he told shareholders at Upton Park in a two and a half hour meeting.

"On the contrary, it would be my responsibility to ensure we bounced back - though we would have to cut our cloth accordingly - and I would do everything within my power to achieve this."

Terry also explained why the club could not afford to gamble money they did not have on players this season, and said:

"The banks would not allow it; we do not at this present time have the funds, and what we don't want to do, as happened with Leicester City and Derby County, is invest money to try to stay up then ultimately go into administration.

"We therefore have to be creative and bring in new players on loan or on Bosman free transfers."

Terry insisted that he has complete confidence in the management and team to get out of the current predicament, and said:

"The last five years have been the best five years in the club's history - and statistics prove that.

"Now we need to work hard and pull together to achieve further success for our supporters."

Terry is, of course, one of those supporters himself, and when I asked him after the meeting whether Saturday's match against Middlesbrough was the start of improving fortunes he said:

"We would hope so; the team gave a great performance and we were extremely unlucky not to win.

"I was also so proud to see Joe Cole lead the side out as captain at only 21 years of age, just as Bobby Moore had done before him."