Press Statement

West Ham United would like to confirm the acceptance of a £6.6m offer from Chelsea for the transfer of Joe Cole. This transfer is still subject to the player agreeing personal terms and completing a medical.

Everyone at the club is extremely sorry to see Joe leave Upton Park but wish him the very best of luck at his new club. Following 18 months of very amicable discussions between Joe, the Club, his father and his agents, it was made clear that Joe would not consider extending his contract past its expiry at the end of the coming season, believing that his international career would be enhanced by regular European Club competition experience.

Had Joe left the club at the end of the season, West Ham United would have been entitled to compensation because he was still under 23. However this figure would have been below £500,000 had he gone to a foreign club, possibly higher to an English club but, with no guarantee of the figure which might be obtained, the board felt that the decision to accept a significant offer now was the correct one.

This transfer now ensures that no further sales will be necessary following the financial implications of relegation and that all future offers will be decided by the manager on a team selection basis rather than by the board on a financial one. The priority now will be bringing players in to strengthen the squad ahead of the forthcoming season.

The Chairman will make a fuller statement to supporters detailing the transfer activity and its importance to the Club next week.