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Alan Curbishley Resigns

John Simkin

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BBC Website:


Alan Curbishley has resigned as manager of Premier League club West Ham United.

Curbishley tendered his resignation on Wednesday and it was accepted by West Ham owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

The former Charlton boss had grown disillusioned at the club's transfer policy, which had led to the sales of Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney.

A statement on the club's website read: "We can confirm we have accepted Alan's resignation as it is in the best interests of both parties."

The statement added: "We wish Alan all the success in the future. A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up and an announcement will be made in due course about the new manager."

West Ham also moved to justify the summer departures of Ferdinand and McCartney, stating that the sales were "right for the club" and "based on our best long-term interests".

"In the past week, agreement could not be reached with Ferdinand on a new contract to replace his original deal that had just two years left to run," the club added.

"(And) McCartney handed in a formal written transfer request after failing to resolve his personal reasons for wanting a move away."

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Paddy Power odds on the next West Ham manager.

S Bilic 5 - 4

H Redknapp 7 - 1

R Mancini 11 - 1

F Rijkaard 11 - 1

D Deschamps 14 - 1

S Allardyce 16 - 1

K Keegan 16 - 1

G Poyet 20 - 1

R Gullit 20 - 1

G Houllier 20 - 1

A Shearer 20 - 1

D Moyes 28 - 1

G Strachan 28 - 1

C Ranieri 33 - 1

W Smith 33 - 1

T Venables 33 - 1

S McClaren 33 - 1

Roy Keane 33 - 1

SG Eriksson 33 - 1

D Wise 33 - 1

M Laudrup 33 - 1

S Pearce 33 - 1

C Coleman 40 - 1

D O'Leary 40 - 1

J Toshack 50 - 1

P Ince 50 - 1

Who will be willing to take the job while Nani remains as Director of Football? My money is on Nani.

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I started my West Ham United career when I left school in 1974 and have remained a lifelong fan. I have been incredibly proud to manage such a great club and my decision to resign has been very tough.

The selection of players is critical to the job of the manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad.

However, the club continued to make significant player decisions without involving me. In the end such a breach of trust and confidence meant that I had no option but to leave.

Nevertheless, I wish the club and the players every success in the future.


We can confirm that we have accepted Alan Curbishley's resignation as we feel it is in the best interests of both parties. We wish Alan all the success in the future.

A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up and an announcement will be made in due course about the new West Ham United manager.

In the past week, agreement could not be reached with Ferdinand on a new contract to replace his original deal that had just two years left to run.

McCartney handed in a formal written transfer request after failing to resolve his personal reasons for wanting a move away.

Note the West Ham statement does not answer the points made by Curbishley. I find it difficult to believe that Bilic or Redknapp will take the job while they continue to employ a director of football. I suspect that Gianluca Nani will be appointed as manager and he will flood the club with foreign players on loan.

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Guest Gary Loughran
Note the West Ham statement does not answer the points made by Curbishley. I find it difficult to believe that Bilic or Redknapp will take the job while they continue to employ a director of football. I suspect that Gianluca Nani will be appointed as manager and he will flood the club with foreign players on loan.

Nani wouldn't have made these decisions unilaterally - unfortunately he was more inclined to the business side than the football side. I suspect that his role was an enforcer who ensured the owner's demands for a reduced wage bill and some money in the bank were met. Curbishley had seen enough - whilst he probably understood (if not agreeing with) the Ferdinand sale - the McCartney sale, and the dubious transfer request (remember this wasn't an issue a few weeks ago when he agreed a new deal) have been too much for him to stand over. Apparently he was told that if any signings were to be made someone would have to be sold and Curbishley told them he's just have to continue the season without any deadline day signings. Then the McCartney thing happened.

I did not like West Ham's style of play under Curbishley and I though he was in the dark ages tactically. He also suffered an abysmal run of injuries, which can partially be legislated for, by signing injury prone players. His signings, taken as a whole, have not been hugely successful.

However, I firmly believe Curbishley put West Ham first and foremost. I believe he loved the club and did everything he could to bring the success the fans yearn. I believe he has acted with great honour and dignity. He has proven to be a man with the courage of his conviction and unlike Roeder was not willing to be a puppet, yes man, biding time until the pay-off occurred (I've no doubt the LMA secured a handsome settlement for him, and it's deserved). Overall, I am a little sad to see him go and hold no great hope that the 12th manager to oversee the club will be wisely chosen.

A foreign manager may not necessarily be a bad thing for the club, as long as it is not Nani, whom I don't think is a possibilty. You should try everything once though (Macari not being included as a foreigner). The club needs someone bigger than the club, if possible: certainly bigger than the players and Nani.

I would probably like to see Glenn Hoddle at the helm - though I don't think many would agree or accept that choice.

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Guest Gary Loughran
Did you see this article by Sam Wallace in the Independent? If it is true, this could be the main reason he resigned. I suspect that Neil attacked him because Curbishley wanted to get rid of him (as do most of the fans).


I had heard about the row, mentioning it when I broke the news of Curbishley's impending resignation in the match reports thread, "Curbishley - despite being challenged by our Captain during a recent dressing room flare up(pot kettle and black) - seems on a collision course with management that will cost his job."

Yes I think it was a factor in his resignation...not a big one though.

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Alan Curbishley and the West Ham board have worked hard since yesterday in briefing the press oncerning their side of the story. Curbishley went to the Guardian and in an article by Dominic Fifield, the former manager is quoted at length. Curbishley told Fifield that he had been assured after the sale of Ferdinand that no more departures would be required. "On Sunday morning I went into a meeting at Upton Park with Scott Duxbury, hoping to bring some loans in, and I was told that I wouldn't be in that position unless someone left the club. Straight away I told them I was quite happy to stick with the squad. But that ended up not being the case. After the result at the weekend I was just looking forward to the next game. When I came off the pitch at Upton Park [after beating Blackburn Rovers 4-1 to climb to fifth in the Premier League table], leaving was the furthest thought from my mind. But Sunday changed that. I couldn't sit around and do nothing."

A report in the Telegraph suggests that one of the reasons Curbishley resigned was that: "Dean Ashton had been offered to Tottenham and fellow forward Craig Bellamy to the new Arab owners at Manchester City as part of the West Ham fire sale."

Jason Burt, of the Independent relies on information provided by the West Ham board, gives a very different view of the situation:

West Ham rejected a £4.5m bid from Sunderland for McCartney in July. Soon afterwards, the 27-year-old signed a new contract with the club adamant he was not for sale. Curbishley believed that was the end of the matter and so did West Ham. Instead McCartney, a volatile character, returned over the weekend with a written transfer request citing personal reasons – his wife, Elaine, has failed to settle in London and their relationship had become strained – for his desire to go. West Ham reluctantly agreed and Sunderland came in with a £6m offer for someone who they sold for only £1m two years ago.

It appeared compassionate and good business – a relief for West Ham and McCartney. Yet the timing, amid claims that West Ham were conducting a fire sale and with the transfer window closing, was terrible. They tried to get Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira but the Portuguese refused to move. Eventually they signed Herita Ilunga from Toulouse – hardly the kind of player Curbishley will have heard of.

The misunderstanding, disagreement or, as Curbishley put it, "point of principle" was at the heart of his problems at West Ham. While technical director Gianluca Nani was scouring Europe for imaginative recruits such as Lazio's Valon Behrami, Curbishley wanted to sign 32-year-old Ben Thatcher. While Curbishley felt he needed strength and depth, the board was looking to cut the wage bill. While Curbishley prayed for the return of Craig Bellamy from injury, the board pondered why Julien Faubert looked so lost.

When he took over at West Ham 21 months ago, after Alan Pardew's sacking, Curbishley admitted to being "quite emotional". It's been emotional ever since. It appeared a good fit. Perhaps too good. After all, Curbishley, a local boy, had played for the club, and established 15 solid and successful years as a manager.

Yet even on the day he was approached to take over Curbishley had misgivings. He had spoken about the need to get out of the comfort zone at Charlton Athletic, had been left bruised when he was interviewed for the England job, and needed the challenge. But he was worried – about going back to West Ham and worried that he did not really know the new Icelandic owners or the board. Curbishley never left those concerns behind.

He always felt, as one club insider put it yesterday, "uncomfortable in his own skin" at Upton Park where, it must be remembered, his playing career wasn't the happiest. And the fans never really took to him, which was another of his initial reservations.

Curbishley was chosen because, with West Ham desperately fighting relegation and with a chairman, Eggert Magnusson, who, to be frank, was out of his depth, they needed a safe pair of hands. And Curbishley was just the kind of methodical, doughty manager who could grind West Ham out of trouble. He was never the man to take them where they eventually wanted to be – European football, Champions League, whatever was deemed possible then – but he would ensure a period of continuity.

Despite the whispers last season, when West Ham had a season of calm – finishing a credible 10th – following the astonishing drama of the previous campaign, the board and owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson remained fully behind him. It was only towards the end of the campaign that serious doubts started to creep in and they grew quickly over the summer. Sure there had always been concerns about the unadventurous football that Curbishley wanted to play but the board accepted the reasons for that were partly to do with an horrendous injury list.

At the same time West Ham's board was dealing with the huge over-spending of Magnusson, which was one of the main reasons why he was ousted as chairman. Difficult decisions needed to be taken. A board meeting took place at the start of the summer in which finance director Nick Igoe said there could not be another spending spree. Some players would have to go. West Ham – crucially – maintain that after that meeting, which Curbishley attended, every name discussed, such as Bobby Zamora, was agreed with him.

At the same time West Ham were undergoing a major overhaul of their infrastructure. That started with the appointment of Nani from the Italian club Brescia and it was part of his role to fill in the blanks that Curbishley admitted existed in his knowledge of the world transfer market. West Ham also drew up plans for a new training ground at Rush Green and completely revamped their medical facilities. The claim is that Curbishley, who brought a whole team of people with him from Charlton, did not show much interest in any of this.

The cracks became wider. The club was furious at the way Curbishley talked about the sale of Anton Ferdinand, who had refused to sign a new contract that would have paid him £35,000-a-week. Having rejected the deal, Curbishley was consulted and asked if Ferdinand could be sold. He agreed. The board were then horrified to hear Curbishley say that "the decision was taken out off my hands". His future may have been also but, instead, Curbishley acted.

Gary Jacob in the Times also seems to rely on the West Ham's board's version of events:

Curbishley often pointed out that West Ham finished tenth last season, despite injuries to as many as a dozen players at the same time, including Dean Ashton, the England striker. But clearly not everyone shares his conviction that results are all that matter. Win, lose or draw, an entertaining, adventurous approach and a slick passing style have been taken as read at Upton Park. He regularly faced chants of, “It's just like watching Charlton,” a reference to the organised style of football he oversaw at his previous club, but he argued that he should be judged on his promise of attractive football when he has a near full-strength squad.

Often, Curbishley appeared to be as negative and defensive as his tactics, making a victory seem like a defeat. “I took the criticism in a dignified manner and was taking it all on the chin and trying to turn things around,” he said. “A lot of fans would have seen I was doing a decent job. I know they wanted more and I just got a little glimpse of that at the weekend, with one or two more players returning, we would be on the right road.”

He considered stepping down last season, when the team lost 4-0 in three consecutive matches at the start of March, prompting the West Ham board to issue a statement declaring their continued support for the manager. But the club asked Gianluca Nani, whom they had appointed as technical director but who was still the general manager at Brescia in Italy at the time, to identify possible managerial candidates.

Curbishley, who had spent 15 years as manager at Charlton, began his reign at West Ham with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in December 2006, but a run of ten league matches without a win owed much to the players' unhappiness with his regimented training methods and disciplined manner. At least three players, including Nigel Reo-Coker, submitted a transfer request in the window at the end of that season.

West Ham stayed up on the back of seven wins in their last nine matches, which owed at least something to the players' desire to perform to secure a move elsewhere.

The former footballer, Tony Cascarino, also has contacts within the club, his comments are very disturbing:

The moment is perfect for Curbishley, though: fifth in the table after a 4-1 win. He must have realised that it was not going to get any better at a club where troubled relationships and cost-cutting were strangling him. He knew that he was about to run out of air. A couple of defeats in the coming weeks and he would have gone anyway, although perhaps with a big compensation deal if he had been forced out rather than quit.

He is smart to leave now, though. The table does not show it, but unless they can find a friendly billionaire sheikh, West Ham face a bleak future. Low morale, money tight, perhaps a few more stars out of the door in January: it is a recipe for relegation trouble. Yet expectation levels from fans and the board will remain high. It is not the most appealing prospect for Curbishley's successor, is it?

All the papers suggest that Slaven Bilic is the board's first choice. However, Bilic is believed to have been alarmed at events at the club and the strength of the squad he would inherit and is likely to say no. Harry Redknapp is another one who is likely to say no.

In the Sun this morning he says: "Alan Curbishley may have gone as West Ham boss - but there's no way I'll replace him.

Curbs quit because he feels he has been undermined and shown a lack of trust by the owner. I take my hat off to him for sticking to his principles. Don't get me wrong, West Ham is a fantastic club, with fantastic fans and - having gone there aged 15 - it has a special place in my heart. But I love it at Portsmouth and I have one big advantage over a lot of Premier League bosses these days - I've got an owner who lets the manager manage."

According to Gary Jacob in the Times, Gianluca Nani, was told last March to find a new manager. Understandably, he wants to bring in one of his mates from Italy. Top of the list is Davide Ballardini, the former manager of Cagliari. However, it has been reported this morning that he is to join Palermo. Other names mentioned include Roberto Mancini (sacked by Inter Milan in May) and Pierpaolo Bisoli (the current manager of Foligno).

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There are a few interesting postings on KUMB about their feelings about what is going on at West Ham.

It feels to me like Alan Curbishleys departure was the final step in becoming West Ham United - the Brand

West Ham used to be:

A club that raised its local players through a well repected academy, supported by mostly local supporters who identified with the area and ethos of the club. The manager would be supported and trusted by, the board, the players who were often at the club for the majority of their football careers and the fans. Managers and Players could become heroes because of this stability and identity.

West Ham is now:

A foreign owned business, run by a foreign board, with soon to be a foreign manager, with half of a foreign squad. The kids being brought into the academy will be mostly foreign. Any which are any good will be sold. The manager will be asked to make a squad of players chosen by the board, to play successfully together. If he doesn't succeed he will be sacked or undermined, if he does succeed then he will choose to go to a better team. Likewise if any of the players (including academy kids) are any good, they will either be sold for profit or they will demand they left the club to play for a better club with a higher salary than the offensively high salary they already earn. West Ham United will only ever be a stepping stone to get somewhere better. So there is no point in thinking any of them will stay at West Ham , they wont, so what is the point of fans in taking an interest in them?

There is no loyalty, identity, trust, faith or respect for anyone at a premier league football club anymore. All they want from you is your money so they should be treated with the contempt they deserve. West Ham United has become as plastic and soulless as those stupid yellow turrets on the Rio Ferdinand stand that signified the start of this metamorphosis.

The West Ham I have known and loved is gone forever it would seem.

I do not recognise what I see at West Ham as being West Ham. That which captured my heart as a young boy. Sure I'm used to us shooting ourselves in the foot, but all this seems more fundamentally wrong than mere incompetance

I'm struggling to connect with what once was a deep part of my psyche. I'm trying to think of positives, but keep drawing blanks. All I can muster up is Mark Noble and the likes of Sears & Tomkins, and the fact that in them I can see something of what West Ham meant to me. Whether they are considered worthy of being part of West Ham's future, who knows. The way things have gone in recent weeks I wouldn't be that surprised if West Ham tried to cash in by selling our proud academy down the river to the highest bidder. Sounds ridiculous, and completely at odds with what West Ham has always been about, but then so much of the last year or two has been like that I've no idea what would be seen as ridiculous to those who hold the reins, as it seems thei view of what West Ham is about is a million miles away from how I've always felt

The only other positive I can think of is the fans. Sure, the last few seasons the fans have been pretty poor at times by our standards, booing our own and the like. But despite the influx of know-nothing mugs, there are still enough proper Hammers around to remind me what I signed up to all those years ago

I have to say that the quality of a lot of the people on this forum is playing as big a part as anything in keeping alive what little love I have left for West Ham.

Over the last few years West Ham have.......

*Promised me in a personal meeting that the bricks I had purchased separately with my recently deceased Dad's

name on and then me and my brothers names on, would all be put next to each other. I double and triple checked.

With excitement took my mum to the first game after the bricks and lo and behold completely separate.

Understandably very upsetting for my mum.

*Removed the concession on my season ticket that I had for disability. I didn't want to sit in the dedicated

disabled part, because I do not have a wheelchair and did not want to deny someone else the seat. I also

was saving the club money and didnt want to take the piss by having a free 'helper' sitting with me. The club

gladly took another £300 + from someone with very little income.

*Did not even reply to a letter and photographs I sent to the club by recorded delivery depicting the state of

my leg in hospital after being crushed against the seat in front of me. I am right next to the aisle, the aisle was

absolutely stuffed with people, we scored. Everyone pushed forward, went over the top of me and crushed my leg

against seat in front which snapped. I suffered several haematoma's to the leg. With my existing condition

I could have been in all sorts of trouble, actually got quite lucky. All seating is supposed to be safer!

So my point being if anyone is actually remotely interested.....(no I dont think I am the unluckiest person in the world,

or that I have the smallest violin) But that West Ham simply do not care.

We were supposed to be a 'family club' or so I was led to believe. However, none of the last few days occurrence's

surprise me in the least. We (the fans) to them are nothing, we are a conveyer belt of money, if I step off who gives

a sh*t, the next one will step on. Fans are the only loyal thing left in football, and yet this loyalty simply makes

us look like mugs, this loyalty is abused.

I remember being about 8 years old, my brother taking me to a game. We were 2-0 down to Barnsley at half time.

We were not very good. We had Dowie up front. I was lifted to the front of the old North Bank so I could see.

We didnt boo, we sang "Stand up West Ham, stand up West Ham". We won 3-2, Dowie scored, we were still

not very good, but we were West Ham. UNITED!

UNITED no longer, the club I grew to love so madly, is as I see it.....diseased and dying. What would Bobby

Moore say....what would my Dad say??

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George McCartney has refuted claims by the board of West Ham United that he handed in a transfer request.

McCartney was sold to Sunderland at the weekend - despite having signed a new five-year deal with West Ham a month earlier.

West Ham, justifying their decision to part with last season's Hammer of the Year runner-up claimed that McCartney had handed in a transfer request.

But no so accoring to the Irish full-back - who told the BBC earlier today:

"I have seen on the West Ham website I handed in a written transfer request. I never did anything of the sort. Probably the board at West Ham are trying to cover their tracks.

"I did propose that for family reasons I would like to move back North. But the manager said 'no' I wasn't leaving and just to concentrate on West Ham.

"I was happy to stay. That was on the Friday and I played my part in the Blackburn game on the Saturday. The thought of leaving was finished as far as I was concerned but then something changed. I got on an indication on Sunday that I could be on my way.

"These are strange times at West Ham and no-one really knows what is going on at boardroom level. They have not been behind Alan Curbishley since the start of the season. It was a difficult time for him - they did not trust him with any money to spend.

"I cannot understand how a manager can be under so much pressure. He saved us from relegation and we finished 10th last year. This season has been the club's best start for years.

"I loved my time under Alan Curbishley, got on well with him and never had any problems with him. West Ham was the place to be and I loved my two years there."

Anton Ferdinand, the first player sold to Sunderland in the transfer window also refuted West Ham United's version of events regarding his sale.

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