West Ham vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson has rejected comments by outgoing manager Alan Curbishley that the club’s transfer policy represented a “breach of trust and confidence”.
Curbishley stepped down as Hammers boss yesterday and claimed that transfer decisions had been made without him, with the deadline-day sale of George McCartney to Sunderland believed to have prompted his decision to resign.
But Fridgeirsson, who is owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson’s right-hand man, claimed Curbishley was fully aware of the need to trim the club’s wage bill.
“We agreed a transfer budget and the way forward at an April board meeting,” Fridgeirsson told BBC Sport.
“Alan agreed with the plans, but was then reluctant to reach all the difficult decisions about the squad.
“If Alan had made this claim in April, when discussing our budget and plans for the forthcoming season, he might have a legitimate complaint. But he went to all the board meetings and was a dominant voice.”
Fridgeirsson also denied that the club already have a candidate lined up to take over the managerial hotseat at Upton Park.
Several names have been linked with the post including Slaven Bilic, Gerard Houllier, Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Donadoni and Roberto Mancini.
“I have asked for a comprehensive list, in terms of nationality, experience and qualifications,” Fridgeirsson added.
“The parameters go along with what we are trying to achieve at the club. The key element is that we want this to be a sustainable club.
“It is totally inaccurate to say we have anyone lined up for the job already - we want a strong English club with English players, with its roots in the academy.”
One former West Ham player who has thrown his hat into the ring is controversial Italian striker Paulo di Canio, according to his agent Phil Spencer.
He said: “We have made moves to talk to West Ham and advised them that he [Di Canio] wants to be considered. He wouldn’t be putting himself up for the job if he didn’t think he was capable of doing it.
“He just wants the opportunity to sit in front of the decision-makers at West Ham to tell them what he would do and how he would take them forward.
“We haven’t heard from the club yet, so we don’t know whether Paolo is on that shortlist.
“You don’t always get what you want, but the situation is they have to do the right thing for West Ham and Paolo loves West Ham.”