Tomas to Depart

West Ham United can confirm that Tomas Repka is to join Sparta Prague in a transfer that will take affect from January 24th.

Due to personal family reasons, Tomas has requested that he be allowed to return to his native Czech Republic and, now that West Ham United and the player have agreed terms, the Club feel it would be unfair to stand in his way.

However, Tomas has insisted that he wants to delay the move in order to take part in our next two Premiership fixtures, against Aston Villa on Saturday and at home to Fulham on January 23rd, and so the transfer will not be finalised until after that date.

The 32-year-old, who joined the club from Italian side Fiorentina in August 2001, has been a loyal servant to West Ham United, missing just a handful of matches during each of his four and a half seasons with the club. Indeed, of the 218 league and cup matches played by the Club since his arrival, Tomas has played in 189.

Having signed a new contract following our promotion to the Premiership last May, Tomas has been committed to helping the Club re-establish itself in the top flight, but his personal circumstances have made it difficult for him to continue playing in England.

Manager Alan Pardew said: "I must make it clear to our fans - this is more than a football issue and it is with great reluctance that we are letting Tomas go.

"Unfortunately, the situation has become untenable and, for the sake of Tomas and his family and for the good of the club, it is the only solution.

"In my tenure here, I feel Tomas has improved as a player and as a person, and he has certainly been one of our most consistent players. He will be a big loss to the squad, but we have to look forward and do what is best for the club.

"I am sure our supporters will understand the situation and continue to support Tomas as a valued and committed member of the team during the next two matches."