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Hammers: Payet deal “very close”

payetarmsoutDmitri Payet is right at this moment (Thursday evening) “very close to signing an improved deal with West Ham United.

As we reported via our insiders yesterday the brilliant midfielder has been presented with a variety of new contract options and is now in the process of bringing the short saga to an end.

Speculation that he’d been hunted by Chelsea and Manchester United and that a big money offer was on the way from China have – as reported here -have  proved entirely untrue.

And our senior source at the club made it clear yesterday that the whole issue would be settled within a month along with the Lanzini deal and the conclusion of contract talks with Cheik Kouyate.

The club has consistently told CandH that Payet would be staying and he is now possibly within a couple of hours of putting pen to paper on the new offer.

We were told just seconds ago: “We are now ironing out the final details. We are very close indeed and it’s looking very good.”

We understand that talks will continue into the evening at David Sullivan’s Essex mansion.

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Bilic brings brilliant Lanzini news

bilicSlaven Bilic believes the players can shake off the fatigue at Norwich because of the feelgood factor.
We head for Carrow Road on the highest of highs but beyond that  the manager had more good news saying: “On Sunday, Manuel Lanzini will train with the team which is obviously a big boost for us.
“If everything goes well, he could feature against Blackburn Rovers next Sunday.”
Looking to the When you win you don’t feel the fatigue as much. 120 minutes is of course a lot to play, but we are all looking forward to the Norwich game on Saturday.”

He added: “We have a situation with Joey O’Brien and Winston Reid, they both injured hamstrings, they are having a scan today and then we will know.

“We also have  James Tomkins who is out for five weeks, they are three big defenders for us, it’s not a great situation.

“I think the knocks are going to be OK for Saturday. Cheikhou Kouyate is OK, he is doing well, but because of the rules he can’t play because he was unconscious.

“It’s a big blow for us of course, but we will put a strong team out. Alex Song is back, we have enough to put a very strong team out.”

He added: “We go to Norwich knowing that we lost our last league game away at Southampton. It is a good game to bounce back; we absolutely need to get something from the game.
“It’ll be a hard game because they have lost five games in a row but before that they were in a very comfortable position.
“In the transfer window they did really good, they spent money and got good players. They need a result like crazy so we are expecting a very tough game.”

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Further delays to OS agreement publication

rightsThe London Legacy Development Corporation’s appeal against  a ruling by the Information Commissioner obliging them to release the full details of the 99-year lease agreed between the corporation and West Ham has been adjourned until the 17th March Claret and Hugh understand.

The three person panel headed by tribunal judge, Melanie Carter met two weeks ago on Monday 25th January but the appeal has now been adjourned until Thursday 17th March so a second day of evidence to be heard. A final decision should follow around two weeks following that second date.

eaststandseats726LLDC Finance Executive, Geraldine Murphy, gave evidence to  the information tribunal appeal in London that a ground share of the former Olympic Stadium could still happen.

West Ham later released a statement ins response saying “As anchor tenant we have primacy of use during the football season and our contract gives us overriding priority to use the stadium, ensuring our‎ fixtures and events are ring-fenced and will always take priority over all‎ other events. It would therefore be impossible to accommodate the fixtures of another Premier League club without West Ham agreeing, a position which was fully supported at today’s hearing.‎”

According to BBC journalist Francis Keogh the hearing has been delayed until 17th March saying: “Adjourned appeal by LLDC over ruling that West Ham/Olympic Stadium deal should be made public has been earmarked for 17 March”

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Olympic Stadium pitch to be laid in February

dessoA new state-of-the-art pitch will be installed at the former Olympic Stadium with work scheduled to commence at the end of February. The pitch used during the 2015 Rugby World Cup has been ripped up and work has begun to prepare the ground for a new one to be laid.

A new Desso Grassmaster pitch will be installed in February and March ahead of the 2016-17 football season which starts in August!

PitchDesso GrassMaster is a mix of artificial and natural grass and is regarded as the top choice for Premier League and Championship football clubs. The artificial grass fibres are injected 20 centimetres deep, and cover about 5% of the surface. While the grass is growing, the roots intertwine with the artificial fibres. The designers claim this anchors the field to create a solid, even structure with good drainage and ‘playing comfort’.

West Ham have been using Desso Grassmaster pitches at the Boleyn Ground since 2002.

These pitches typically cost between £500,000 and £1m to install and are used by the majority of Premier League clubs in addition to stadiums like Wembley and the Millennium stadium. The cost of the relaying a second Desso pitch will be funded by the Stadium owners E20 Stadium LLP. A new Blue running track will also be installed as final works to prepare the former Olympic Stadium continue.


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Mixed news on injury front

winston-reid-west-ham-united_3009997Winston Reid will be scanned for a hamstring problem today and the club has revealed this morning that Joey O’Brien has a similar problem.

But delivering his latest injury update, the club’s top medic Stijn Vandenbroucke said that Cheikhou Kouyate – after losing consciousness against Liverpool during a challenge with their defender Jon Flanagan – has been cleared by a specialist and is now fine.

But for all that the midfielder will miss the trip to Norwich at the weekend as the rules stipulate there must be a six day break before they go into action again.

Stijn confirmed that James Tomkins will be out for six week having injured his left calf during the game against Southampton last Saturday.

He also told the official site: “Alex Song also picked up a minor knock against Southampton but we are positive he will be fit for the Norwich game. ”

However, there is better news on Lanzni and Sakho with “Lanzini is only a few days away before re-joining the team.”

Stijn added: “Sakho is not far behind him but he needs more work because he has been out for around ten weeks so he will have a period of extra fitness work under his belt. We hope to see him back in action by the end of the month.”


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Fry talks to DS about Samuelsen



Peterborough’s director of football Barry Fry told ClaretandHugh this morning that Martin Samuelsen’s appearance in the FA Cup Final fourth round replay against West Brom last night was his first full match since joining Peterborough United on loan from the Hammers last year.

Samuelsen was in fabulous form but Fry said: “He’s still a bit weak for regular 90 minutes but last night will have done him the world of good. He’s been playing kids football but he’s really growing into the mens’ game.

“We were thrilled that he was still going at the end of two hours – it was a great step in his development and will have done him the world of good.”

Fry insists the young Norwegian needs to stay at London Road for another season and declared: “If he stays with us particularly should we be a Championship club he will go back to West Ham as a tough and mature player.

He added: “I have talked to David Sullivan about the possibility. It’s obviously my hope we can make it happen but he is without doubt a fabulous prospect.”

Posh are currently sitting in eighth place three points off the play-off places.

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Samuelsen heartbreak but Irons contract ahead

martin-samuelsen-west-hamYoung Hammer Martin Samuelsen suffered the ultimate heartbreak last night as he missed a spot kick in the penalty shoot-out which saw Peterborough slip out of the FA Cup to West Brom.

However, he might have got away with it when vastly experienced Albion star Darren Fletcher dribbled an awful shot wide immediately afterwards in the Fourth Round replay.

But in the end the Baggies went through as The Posh’s final penalty-taker hit an awful effort straight at ‘keeper Ben Foster.

However, Samuelsen had shown millions of TV viewers during the preceding 120 minutes just what a fabulous prospect he is with some brilliant solo stuff.

And he might have won it for the League One side in extra time from open play when taking on three Albion defenders and firing an effort narrowly over the top.

With the likes of Payet, Lanzini and the young Norwegian on our books the Irons look set to excite for a long time to come and the club confirmed again this morning that they will be negotiating a new deal with the teenager this summer.

ClaretandHugh was told exclusively: “Martin’s a wonderful prospect as many saw last night – it was a fabulous performance by him and his loan team.

“We have an option to extend and will offer him a longer contract in the summer. We are thrilled with the progress he is making and intend to keep him happy.”


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West Ham United Pay League

West Ham’s wage bill has created a lot of discussion over recent months with claims of FFP and all the rest of it. So ClaretandHugh has taken a look at what we believe to be the situation at the club and has based our Pay League table on information we have received recently and in the past.

We don’t claim this table is guaranteed to be 100 per cent correct but believe it is very close to presenting the real figure on wage costs.

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - FA Cup Third Round

1. Andy Carroll £85,000 per week  £4.42m per year

2. Alex Song £70,000 per week  £3.64m per year

3. Victor Moses £70,000 per week  £3.64m per year

4. Dimtri Payet £68,000 per week  £3.53m per year

5. Winston Reid £55,000 per week £2.86m per year

6. Nikica Jelavic £55,000 per week £2.86m per year

7. Mark Noble £50,000 per week  £2.6m per year

8. James Tomkins £45,000 per week  £2.34m per year

9. Adrian £42,000 per week  £2.2m per year

10. Pedro Obiang £40,000 per week £2.08m per year

11.Enner Valencia £38,000 per week £1.98m per year

12. Emmanuel Emenike £38,000 per week £1.98m per year

13. Cheik Kouyate £38,000 per week  £1.98m per year

14. Diafra Sakho £33,000 per week  £1.76m per year

15. Sam Byram £30,000 per week   £1.56m per year

16. Manuel Lanzini £29,000 per week £1.5m per year

17. James Collins £29,000 per week £1.5m per year

18. Angelo Ogbonna £28,000 per week £1.46m per year

19. Michail Antonio £25,000 per week £1.3m per year

20. Aaron Cresswell £24,000 per week £1.23m per year

21. Joey O’Brien £20,000 per week £1.04m per year

22. Darren Randolph £20,000 per week £1.04m per year

23. Doneil Henry £15,000 per week £780,000 per year

24. Ralph Spiegel £15,000 per week £780,000 per year

25. Reece Oxford £10,000 per week £520,000 per year 

* Carl Jenkinson was receiving £50,000 per week (£30,000 per week wages plys £20,000 per week bonsu) for the first six months until his contract was cancelled so £1.3m per year for FFP purposes.

The sharp-eyed among you will notice the total annual wage bill listed above is just over 50m per year while the FFP limit is £60m for West Ham this season.

The Premier League rules say all clubs need to declare the total cost of players wages including any bonuses, image rights, additional payments, Employer National Insurance contributions and any pension payments. Employers National Insurance contributions add another 13.8%  to the basic wages the players receive so that’s another £7m on the figures above.

Carl Jenkinson accounted for another £1.3m with bonuses and image rights for the rest of the budget with a small remainder for players such as Josh Cullen, Martin Samuleson and Reece Burke together with non-first team players wages in the Academy.

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OS cheap season tickets go on sale


Band 5 season tickets for £289 have now gone on sale at the West Ham reservation centre in Stratford this week. One new West Ham season ticket holder at the front of the priority list snapped up his cheap season ticket in block 214 today. The cheapest season tickets in the Premier League are located in the upper tier corners of the Olympic Stadium and offer adults Hammers football at just £15.21 per game.

213Salesmen at the reservation centre claimed to the new season ticket holder that there are as many as 34,000 fans on the waiting list with just 9,000 seats left to sell. Visitors to the sales office were also told that Band 1 is fully sold out with the last 15 seats sold on Wednesday this week.

Some punters attending their appointments were also told Westfield will sell football parking for £5 per day but we have no official confirmation on this.

Earlier this week West Ham co-Chairman David Gold confirmed there are over 10,000 on a waiting list for season tickets by saying “We will have over 10,000 on a waiting list for next season. dg”

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Payet’s had a troubled time but he’s set to fly again

payetDimitri Payet’s financial arrangements and dip in form from his own incredibly high standards have dominated West Ham United affairs this week, interrupted only by a magnificent 120 minutes of Cup football.

Sadly his form dip – which is what we will be addressing here – has coincided with the club claiming they initiated talks aimed at giving him a new deal.

Whether that’s the case or not, a section of fans have decided to make their feelings on the grubbier side of the game clear and aren’t entirely happy with what’s going off.

That’s understandable but ignores the facts of football life – it’s about dough, dough and more dough – and grim though it is to accept that the wallet is usually more important than the badge in most cases, it’s the way it is in the 21st Century.

If West Ham improve Dimi’s deal that’s their business – although I think the difference between his £60k a week and Andy Carroll’s £87k is an issue which perhaps needs to be addressed anyway!

However, I’m more concerned with the voices that are being raised about his last three or four games despite him displaying his game changing abilities with that magnificent free kick onto Ogbonna’s head and a free kick against the upright in the first half.

The mesmeric footwork has disappeared and the grumbles of concern are being heard way up the Barking Road and beyond!

The question of why he is being played wide has been regularly raised and that, plus his inability to run through defences at will recently are questions easily answered .

He’s out there because he is being marked out of the game through the middle, where there is no Sakho to run channels and move defenders out of position.

Nor is there a Lanzini to share the ball-carrying creative midfield duties which keep defenders occupied and thus freeing more space for Payet.

I genuinely believe it’s as simple and straightforward as that and he will rise again as soon as one or the other – preferably both – are back which may even be this weekend.

Football brings huge over-reactions at times. It shouldn’t. This guy is one of the best ever to wear the claret and blue and I’m with the manager who urged the cub to pay him what he’s worth.

Then bring back the big two and watch him fly again!



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