Chairman reflects on Bent frustration

Chairman Eggert Magnusson admits that he was left frustrated by the collapse of Darren Bent's proposed signing this week, but insists he has already moved on and is busy working on other plans to strengthen Alan Curbishley's squad this summer.

"The whole situation has left me very frustrated," says Mr Magnusson. "We were so close to signing Darren and thought everything was in place to conclude what would have been the biggest transfer in West Ham United's history for a player.

"I was really looking forward to making an announcement to our fans as we continue with our plans to take this club forward and to challenge the best teams in England.

"The deal we put in place seemed to work for everybody concerned. Throughout the negotiations all the signs were positive. Therefore I was surprised when I learned that Darren had decided not to join us. I feel let down and disappointed. But it is time to move on.

"In the aftermath of this I have been encouraged by the reaction of our supporters. They appreciate the efforts we made and some of the feedback suggests they are less disappointed than I thought they might be.

"The view seems to be that perhaps this wasn't the best deal we could do at this stage. I'd like to think the experience will eventually stand us in good stead and there's no doubt about it, lessons have been learned."

Meanwhile, the Chairman once again expressed his dismay at some of the media speculation surrounding player wages, and has moved to reassure supporters that all transfer negotiations are carried out with the best interests of West Ham United at heart.

"West Ham United is very much in the spotlight at the moment," he says. "I totally accept that as chairman of a Club with ambition and drive. However, I am disappointed that there is a widespread belief that the Club has a bottomless pit of money to spend on transfer fees and player wages.

"This is a great football Club which will be run on sensible business lines to build a secure, long-term future. That includes our policy on players wages, set at a ceiling of £55,000 a week. Despite figures being circulated in the game, no player at West Ham United earns more than that at present.   

"Of course, as an ambitious club we will react to the marketplace, in common with most other football clubs. If the right player comes along at the right price, then we will look at that, but we want players who want to play for West Ham United.

"I believe we are bringing together a team on and off the pitch which will bring success to West Ham United. It's been a tough week but you don't get involved with a Premiership football club in order to have a quiet life."