WEST HAM co-owner David Sullivan has warned relegation from the Barclays Premier League would be likely to cost him and David Gold up to £40 million (€45m) more of their own money to keep the debt-riddled club afloat.
The Hammers remain at the foot of the table following the 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Blackburn on Saturday, which left them four points adrift of safety after Wolves beat West Brom on Sunday.
Avram Grant’s men now have just two matches left — away at second-bottom Wigan and then at home to Sunderland — which they must win and hope other results go their way to avoid a return to the Football League.
Sullivan and Gold, both lifelong West Ham supporters, acquired a controlling interested in the Upton Park club during January last year.
With ongoing debt issues in excess of £80m (€90m), the board have already warned top-earners like England trio Scott Parker, Robert Green and Matthew Upson would all have to be sold were the club relegated.
Sullivan admits seeing West Ham lose their top-flight status would be a difficult burden to bear, both emotionally and financially.
“The fans should know this club is in a worse financial position than any other in the country,” Sullivan said.
“All the debts are football or bank debts secured on the stadium and training ground, so there is no route via administration.
“It’s a pretty thankless task and the criticism (from West Ham supporters) hurts.
“Should the worst happen, we will have to inject loans of £20-£40m, depending on circumstances, which will probably never be repaid.
“I don’t believe the supporters realise the potential real cost to us.
“Nobody out there wants to take on the burden of West Ham United.
“We do, as we are supporters but our resources don’t match foreign-based oligarchs who pay no UK tax.”
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