Jermain's Request Turned Down

Jermain Defoe's transfer request, handed in the day after the club were relegated from the Premiership, has been turned down by the board of West Ham United.

Explaining the decision, MD Paul Aldridge says: "I can confirm we are not accepting Jermain Defoe's request to be put on the transfer list.

"Jermain is a smashing lad from a good family. We have a good relationship with him and them, and it is unfortunate that he has received advice to put in a request at this time.

"That advice has lead to criticism from supporters and work colleagues alike, which I can understand given the timing, and added to the fact that a story linking him to another club was leaked to a newspaper for the morning of one of our most important games for years.

"I would, however, caution our supporters to be patient with Jermain. We do not believe this situation would have arisen if he was still represented by the PFA, rather than the agency SFX to whom he has now moved."

Paul is well aware that the club are in for a summer of speculation about their high profile stars, but insists: "The financial implications of dropping out of the Premiership have been well documented but our strategy is clear: We want to retain the bulk of our first team talent to maximise our chances of returning to the Premiership at the first opportunity, and all our efforts are concentrated on that.

"Of course there will be some adjustments to the playing staff but what people may have overlooked is the fact that a number of players are leaving because their contracts have expired anyway, and a large salary reduction will take place directly as a consequence of that.

"We are keeping the banks informed as to our actions, and they have been very supportive."