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West Ham chief Sullivan: McCarthy as fat as me!

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has taken a swipe at South Africa striker Benni McCarthy's fitness.

Sullivan says he signed the roly-poly forward on recommendation of former manager Gianfranco Zola.

"I've always been very supportive of managers," he told the Daily Mail. "I think it's a bad mistake to make managerial changes in mid-season. Hull, Burnley and Portsmouth changed managers in mid-season and all were relegated.

"I believe Mr Zola had every entitlement to remain manager for the season. He wanted me to buy Benni McCarthy, I bought Benni McCarthy. That was the one player he wanted to sign and I signed him.

"Benni McCarthy's body-fat measurement is 24.2 per cent. Mine is 25.4 per cent. Benni McCarthy is nearly as fat as me. I try to do aerobics in the morning but I'm 61 years old.

"He's the one West Ham player I want to go to the World Cup because he might come back fitter.

"Franck Queudrue once came back to Birmingham at 18 per cent but I've never known any footballer over 20 per cent. He got so out of shape. He came to us overweight and got injured and gradually it got worse.

"I don't know at what point this becomes a breach of contract. It probably doesn't. But Frankie Dettori starves himself to get to the right weight. Usain Bolt wouldn't be the Olympic 100metre champion if he put on a stone.

"It is not unreasonable to keep to a diet when you're a professional sportsman. It ought to be a breach of contract."

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Tribal Football Staff

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