WEST HAM manager Avram Grant has the “100 per cent” backing of the club’s board, according to co-owner David Sullivan, after it was confirmed that the Israeli would remain in the Upton Park hotseat yesterday.
The former Portsmouth and Chelsea boss was widely expected to be replaced by Martin O’Neill after Saturday’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal appeared to hammer the final nail in Grant’s coffin.
But after O’Neill, who has been out of the managerial game since his shock decision to leave Aston Villa last summer, opted against leading the Hammers survival mission, Sullivan and the board backed under-fire Grant (right).
“The entire board is 100 per cent behind Avram,” said Sullivan. “He is a decent person who deserves support.
“West Ham United is a club that does the right thing and the right thing at this time is to support the manager. We will do all we can to bring in players over the next 12 days and once we have achieved that we hope it will keep us up. I urge all supporters to rally behind the club at this time.”
An officical club statement added: “West Ham are committed to retaining Avram Grant as manager and have identified potential transfer targets to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.”
The Hammers also vowed to find and punish the informant who told a national newspaper that vice-chairman Karren Brady had played the leading role in attempting to undermine Grant.
“West Ham United categorically deny the allegations made with regard to Karren Brady,” continued the statement. “West Ham intend to identify the source of these unhelpful and untrue comments and remove them from the club.”
Meanwhile, one of Grant’s main transfer targets, Paris Saint Germain striker Peguy Luyindula, 31, admits the idea of a move to the capital is a tempting prospect.
He said: “West Ham is London, and I have half my family in London. In football, nothing is impossible.”