'Together we can turn things around'

I cannot begin to describe to you how tough the last few months has been for myself and our club, but think you probably have some idea as loyal supporters.

First of all, I would like to set the record straight and say that reported comments by me last weekend were presented in such a way as to imply general criticism of the club's foreign players. This is not how I feel. I know the vast majority are totally committed and we have worked hard with others that wanted to go to get them back onside.

What is important is that we all focus on the job in hand after a disappointing start to the season. In particular, the Bolton game where we played well but, for all our efforts, got nothing out of it.

However, we are building a new team under a new manager and it will take time. Even if you look at the Manchester United match a fortnight ago, until we conceded a soft penalty, we were very much in the game.

I personally have never worked harder in a transfer window. We have eight new players to bring balance to Avram's squad, as well as hanging on to our star names.

However, we missed out on a number of major targets, mainly due to the impossible demands of clubs, players or agents. This was a big factor in why I have been working 16-18 hours a day for the last three months.

On my eight-day family holiday, I was talking to players and agents non-stop. So much so, that my family were hardly talking to me at the end. My sons were in tears of frustration with me being on the phone rather than spending time with them. My mobile phone bill was over £2,000 for eight days.

It is the most difficult task to try and keep the club afloat, yet still pursue a strategy of improving the team.

We have stuck to our promises. In line with my partner David Gold, neither of us has ever drawn a penny in wages, management fees or even expenses, and it is not our intention ever to do so. I paid the £2,000 mobile phone bill myself.

The club is still in a very much in a precarious position. We have £50m of banks loans and £50m of other debts.

The banks have been incredibly supportive and without their help we would simply not exist.

David Gold and I have pumped nearly £30m into the club (in addition to buying more than 60 per cent of the shares). The £30m has been eaten up by trading losses. We have been trading at a £30m annual loss for the last four years. We inherited a wage structure that we simply cannot support.

With the help of our bankers we will keep the club afloat, but please realise it will take a few years to take West Ham United to where we want it to be.

Every day we are still being hit with bills run up by the previous regime. For example, an agent pops out of the woodwork and says he is owed £50,000 for arranging last year's pre-season friendly versus Napoli, on a match that lost the club £70,000.

The madness of the way the club was run is shown by the money paid to players even in the early rounds of the Carling Cup. The appearance money versus Oxford was £45,000 - plus £9,000 in win bonuses.

Our cut of the gate was £65,000, so we ended up making £11,000. The latter is a tiny contribution to our wages and overheads. I could go on and on. This is the 'burden' our club carries from the past.

None of this is in any way a criticism of the players. Nobody can blame them for accepting the over-generous contracts the previous regime offered them.

They have all worked really extremely hard this summer and in the next few weeks I think we will see a dramatic improvement in our results. Today is a big game and, let's not kid ourselves, an extremely hard game.

I urge every supporter to please get behind the team for the 90 minutes of the match. Together we can turn things around.

David Sullivan