Ashton, 26, finally called time on his career in December after failing to recover from an ankle injury, just 18 months into a five-year contract believed to be worth £50,000 a week.
Hammers chiefs David Sullivan and David Gold have been livid at the financial mismanagement of previous regimes, which have run up debts of £110m at Upton Park.
But Ashton says they will have to find funds for the rest of his deal as the Hammers’ insurers refused to cover him against further ankle problems. “I’m sure they’re ripping their hair out,” said Ashton, who went on to make just five appearances after penning the contract.
“At the time I felt I was not going to have any more problems and that I’d got back to somewhere near my best and obviously [the previous owners] felt that as well.
“At the time five years seemed a lot. I had got back and played really well and was in the team every week, and I felt like I deserved a new contract.”
He added: “My insurance is void. If you are injured when you renew it, they can obviously exclude your ankle [from cover].”
Ashton broke his ankle on England duty in August 2006 but recovered to score 11 times in the 2007-08 season.