Zola set to walk away
SUCH is the intense pressure being felt by Gianfranco Zola that the West Ham manager is considering walking out after today's vital relegation battle against Stoke City -- even if his team are victorious.
Zola could stay until the end of the season, but what appears increasingly certain is that he will not remain in charge for the next campaign, even though co-chairman David Sullivan offered him his "100pc" support this week.
Zola, it is understood, thought that he would leave in the summer but wanted to make sure he steered West Ham to safety before he did so. If he were to walk out now it would mean he might forego a pay-off from his £1.9m salary.
Club sources insisted yesterday that it was "by no means certain" Sullivan would sack Zola if West Ham lost today although, given the chairman's public criticisms this week, the relationship between the pair appears to have collapsed. Sullivan would require the permission of Straumur, the failed Icelandic bank which still owns half of West Ham, to remove Zola.