Curbishley quits as West Ham boss

Alan Curbishley
Curbishley took over from Alan Pardew in December 2006

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 50-year-old had grown disillusioned at the club’s transfer policy, which had led to the summer 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 continued: “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 to Sunderland, stating that the sales were “right for the club” and “based on our best long-term interests”.

The club added: “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.”

Curbishley took over from Alan Pardew as West Ham manager in December 2006 and was promised significant transfer funds to help achieve the objectives of a five-year plan, which would ultimately culminate in qualification for the Champions League.

606: DEBATE

He signed the likes of Kieron Dyer, Lucas Neill and Freddie Ljungberg during a summer of lavish spending in 2007 but his terms of reference changed this summer.

Gudmundsson told Curbishley he had to reduce the club’s wage bill and that money was to be focused on training and medical facilities rather than signings.

Full-back Valon Behrami, who arrived from Lazio for £5m in July, was West Ham’s only significant signing of the summer, while Jan Lastuvka, David Di Michele and Herita Ilunga joined on loan.

Yet first-team squad members John Pantsil, Bobby Zamora, Richard Wright, Ferdinand and McCartney all departed.

Technical director Gianluca Nani has been responsible for the club’s transfer policy since being appointed in March.

Last May a senior boardroom member at West Ham explained to BBC Sport that the club’s transfer policy was about to change.

“We have probably the biggest first-team squad in the Premier League and our transfer strategy has to be carefully planned going forward,” he said.

“West Ham have a first-team squad of 40, so there is considerable room for manoeuvre. The last thing you should do when you have a problem is to throw money at it.”

Curbishley oversaw a miraculous escape from relegation in the 2006/7 season, when Carlos Tevez scored the winner against Manchester United in their final league game.

The club finished 10th in the Premier League last season and are currently fifth in the table.

Former Hammers defender Slaven Bilic has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Curbishley, with Harry Redknapp the second favourite.

West Ham’s next manager will be their fifth in the seven years since Redknapp left in 2001, a stark contrast to the record of six managers in an 88-year period from 1902 to 1990.

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