Chairman: We Will Be Strong

After Thursday's EGM, in which a resolution to amend the Articles of Association was overwhelmingly passed, chairman Terry Brown says that, despite the necessary adjustments which West Ham's change in status will entail, the club is in a financially stable position to face the future.

This, he believes, will give West Ham the best possible opportunity of bouncing back into the Premiership at the first attempt - and he rejects comparisons between the club and other clubs who have found themselves in financial difficulties since dropping out of the Premiership.

"Although there will be a £20m reduction in income," he explains, "we have already made around £10m in annual savings on the salaries of players who have left the club this summer.

"That, to some degree, has been our saving grace and makes our position different from other clubs who have been relegated in the past with so many players tied in to long term contracts.

"While one or two players may indeed leave in the summer, the outward movement of players will not be drastic - and it will be on our terms.

"Had, however, the vote gone against our recommendations today, we would have been in a position where we would have had to sell more players than we would otherwise have wished."

And he dismisses claims of a £5m bid by Chelsea for Joe Cole as "derisory and not true."

The vote to approve the resolution principally concerned the debt to asset ratio in the club's articles of association of three to one - a provision not usually included in the articles of an unlisted company.

The proposal to change the articles was first considered late last year in order to avoid a possible breach in the future, especially in the event of relegation.

Terry stressed at the EGM that there had never been a breach of this provision.

"The rule was put in place at a time when we were considering flotation on the stock market, but since that time finances in football have changed and it is not a foreseeable option in the near future," he says.

It also emerges that the directors of the football club, including Terry, have all taken a 50% pay cut, which would be reinstated if the club is promoted at the end of next season, and he reveals:

"We felt that this course of action, which takes place with immediate effect, is the right and proper thing to do given the club's current circumstances.

"What is most important is that the club can adjust quickly to change so that our long term future is assured."

Terry admits that the new transfer windows, which prevented player movement last season except in January, acted to the detriment of the club.

"If we had our time again I think we would have allowed a little bit more in our budget last summer to take into account the transfer windows; the subsequent injuries to Fredi and Paolo meant we were short of back-up strikers, and we needed another centre half," he says.

"Not being able to sign anyone after the transfer window cost our club dearly.

"Some shareholders think we have borrowed too much and some think we should have borrowed more; given what we now know in the light of those injuries, I would have been inclined towards the latter view.

"A lot of Premiership chairmen have seen what has happened to us and may well wish to abolish the transfer window, and I wouldn't be in the least surprised if that is what they do at their next meeting - because people have been shocked that a club such as ours could come unstuck."

But, far from the 'spiralling debts' which a newspaper today claimed is a concern to West Ham, he insists:

"The banks have total confidence in us, and rightly so."