Gold issues relegation warning

West Ham United co-owner David Gold has admitted relegation from the Premier League would have disastrous consequences for the Upton Park club.

Gianfranco Zola's struggling side are just three points clear of the drop zone with three games remaining in a disappointing season.

Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan have regularly revealed the extent of the club's financial difficulties following their takeover in January and the former has now spoken of his fears should the Hammers be relegated to the Championship.

"I know the club has been relegated in the past and bounced back, but the Hammers have never gone down carrying the burden of debt that myself and David Sullivan inherited when we took over in January," warned Gold.

"We're talking about £100million debts and that's not easy to manage in the Premier League, let alone the Championship.

"I'm not saying the club would go to the wall or anything daft like that. But we'd have to make some pretty meaty cuts.

"David and I would need to put our hands into our own pockets again – which isn't something you care to do too often when you've already forked out £50million for the club – and it would still need a massive overhaul from top to bottom.

"When you have to swing the axe like that, it makes the task of coming straight back up that much harder.

"For every club who do what Newcastle have done this season, there are at least two or three like Leeds and Forest who sink even deeper."

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