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History (page four)
The fans had a shock when Bonds quit in unhappy circumstances on the eve of the 1994-95 season, having rejected the Board's proposal for him to 'move upstairs' as Director of Football and leave Redknapp to manage the first team alone. But Redknapp, whose efforts on the training ground and in the dressing room, had played a key role in regaining top flight status and he was up for the challenge of keeping Hammers there. It has been a tough battle, however. Lacking the financial resources of the wealthiest clubs, notably Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leeds United, and others whose bigger stadiums generate greater revenue than the 26,000-capacity Upton Park, West Ham United have done well to remain a respectable Premier League force.
We have done so largely due to the manager's uncanny ability to wheel and deal in the transfer market – signing players for free or on the cheap and selling others for more than their real market value. After too many seasons of struggle near the wrong end of the table, narrowly avoiding the drop in 1997, Redknapp and his new assistant, brother-in-law Frank Lampard (senior), guided Hammers to fifth place in 1999 and a brief return to European football via the Intertoto Cup.
As Hammers enter the new millennium, there is a fresh sense of optimism about the club. Moore, Hurst and Peters will probably forever remain the three most famous players in West Ham United's history and it is with a deep sense of pride that we remember them as the finest products of the club's thriving youth policy of the late 1950s and 60s. But even in the modern era, where Premiership players routinely change clubs for multi millions and receive a weekly wage the average fan would be pleased to earn in a year, West Ham's tradition among the leading entertainers in British football remains undiminished. So, too, is our reputation for discovering and producing exciting, young talent.

The England trio of Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick are modern-day examples of Premiership stars who cut their football teeth as members of the famed West Ham United Academy, while Rio Ferdinand, sold to Leeds United in November 2000 for an astonishing £18 million.

With relegation from the Premiership in Season 2002/03 West Ham Utd have struggled to keep hold of their home grown talent. With the likes of Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Trevor Sinclair and Freddie Kanouté all leaving to new Premier League clubs

With the new signing of Manager Alan Pardew West Ham will hopefully now settle down in Division one and make a good go of getting promotion again. With Loan signings of Mellor, Deane and Kilgallon and singings of Mullins, Connolly, Horlock and Quinn west ham have now got the basis of a good side again. Hopefully things are on the up.

Three FA Cup victories and a solitary triumph in Europe may not compare very favourably with the achievements of some of our more illustrious Premiership rivals, but West Ham United and its supporters are nevertheless proud of our virtues.

Win, lose or draw, enterprising football, played by largely home-grown players for supporters who appreciate the finer points of the game. That says so much about what West Ham United represents.

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