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Zola speaks out after West Ham exit

Gianfranco Zola has expressed his "disappointment" at his sacking as manager of West Ham and fired a parting shot at co-owner David Sullivan.

Zola was dismissed by the club earlier today after a dismal season that saw them narrowly escape relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship.

But as Zola attempted to steer the team out of danger at the foot of the table, he was also having to deal with comments from Sullivan.

The co-owner apologised to supporters for a "shambolic" and "pathetic" performance against Wolves in March as Zola's position became increasingly isolated.

There were also suggestions Zola was unaware of moves to make the entire first team squad, except for Scott Parker, available for transfer and that he was kept in the dark over a bid for West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans.

In a statement issued through the League Managers' Association, Zola declared: "I am extremely disappointed to be leaving West Ham United.

"Over recent weeks, I have been the subject of various adverse comments, from within the club, which have been widely reported in the media.

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"Despite what has been a very difficult period for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at West Ham.

"I would like to sincerely thank the players and my staff for their continued support, hard work and commitment. I am extremely proud of their efforts, over a long and difficult season, in retaining West Ham's place in the Barclays Premier League.

"West Ham is a great club, with fantastic supporters and I wish the club every success in the future. The termination process of my contract is now in the hands of the LMA and I therefore will be making no further comment at this stage."

LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan hinted that Zola had little support from the owners - who took control of the London club in January.

He also believed that Zola would not have to wait for another crack at management.

"Clear communication and a supportive framework at the top of a football club are essential for stability and delivering results," said Bevan.

"Gianfranco has had to manage his team through a period of significant uncertainty at the club and has shown dedication, resilience and commitment to his players, staff and the fans.

"Without a doubt Gianfranco is a talented young manager and I am sure that in the fullness of time he will be back working in the game."

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