Friday, August 12, 2005


Fans scupper Fredi move

Alan Pardew has shelved plans to make a move for Tottenham striker Fredi Kanoute after fans voiced their displeasure at bringing the Mali international back to Upton Park.

"The situation with Fredi is that there has been some negative attitude from the fans towards Fredi coming back here and I would be foolish to ignore that," explained the Hammers boss. "If I felt he was the man to keep us in the Premiership I'd have a tough decision. I want to make sure we keep this positive feel about the place. I don't think it is a recipe for success if we start off on that foot.

"Maybe it stems from when West Ham got relegated. I am just going by the reaction that I have had from the fans. There has been a negative feeling among our fan base here that suggests that it might not be right to bring him back."

Pardew insists that if he had felt strongly enough about the situation he would not have let the fans' opinions sway him. "I would not be scared or reluctant to bring Kanoute to this football club, but I have to consider that fans reaction," he said. "If I thought he was the right player I would go all out for him."

"Fredi is in a pool of two or three, maybe even four, that we are looking at. He's one of a number of options and maybe I would do better to challenge one of the other options. I'm looking at it closely, I wouldn't say anything for definite, but at the moment maybe our thoughts are elsewhere.

"We are still trying to get the right player who is right for West Ham. The deadline is August 31 and I am not going to get in a situation where I take someone I don't think is right for the club. One of the criteria for a striker to come in is that he has got to be better than Teddy, Marlon and Bobby otherwise there is no point. Those three are very good players and Kanoute would be one of those players you would suggest might be better than those three. That is what the players want, they want competition. Teddy has had it all his career. Marlon has had a bit of a free run at this place for a little while and now he might get some serious competition.

"In some ways I am quite pleased because the players that got us up deserve their chance. This Saturday against Blackburn will be a game for them to set down their claims."

Pardew also commented on the possible effect of the looming takeover speculation. "Ask Manchester United players, these things don't really affect the squad too much," he said. "It affects me of course, and the staff, so I like to be kept informed. But this is a public limited company so I can't comment on it too much."

Staying on this topic, KUMB has relayed reports from the Daily Telegraph that identify one of the key players in the takeover proposal is football agent Pini Zahavi, who has acted for some of West Ham's players in the past. Zahavi is reported to be the intermediary between the Club's board and potential buyer, businessman Kiavash Joorabchian. Joorabchian told the press, "At the moment we are considering a bid. We have American and Middle Eastern consortiums behind us. When we met the West Ham board we were looking to pay £45m plus debt, which is around £30m. But the West Ham board were looking for £60m plus debt. The West Ham board are clever and they are back in the Premiership."

Joorabchian, who is the head of Media Sport Investment, revealed that he intends to invest large sums of money into the Club after their recent promotion to the Premier League. "To get back is one thing - to stay there and to compete with the likes of Chelsea is quite different," he said. "It is not a question of just taking over a club, it is also a question of making an investment in the club so West Ham could compete with the likes of the big four. You are looking at investment of around £50-£60m in addition to buying the club. If we could make that sort of investment only then would we make a bid for West Ham."

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