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West Ham feared Magnusson's strengthening power-base

West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson was booted sideways yesterday over concerns of his increasing power-base, it has been revealed.

The Sun says the Hammers chairman lost his executive status - and his six-figure salary - in a shock boardroom shake up.

The move came after West Ham spent a fortune offering players such as Craig Bellamy, Lucas Neill and Scott Parker wages topping £60,000 a week.

There was also increasing alarm at the way Magnusson has been projected as the man in control, even though he only owns five per cent of the club.

An insider said: "It wasn't really Eggert's fault, but everyone seemed to think he ruled the club and there was no one else in the background."

Owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson will now be more hands-on and take specific interest in building a new 60,000-seater ground near to West Ham tube station.

That has moved a step nearer after club sources confirmed Hammers have been granted exclusive negotiating rights to buy land for the £250million stadium.

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