West Ham United fans are seriously concerned the club could lose young star Declan Rice over his much-publicised contract impasse.
Rice has been embroiled in protracted contract negotiations since breaking into the West Ham first team last season.
The former Chelsea youth player became an integral part of firstly David Moyes’ setup and now Manuel Pellegrini‘s side.
Negotiations between the players’ representatives and West Ham over a new deal have become difficult in the past few months.
West Ham not budging over Rice contract
Rice, who earns about £3,000 per week currently (Evening Standard), recently rejected an offer of £15,000 per week plus £20,000 for every Premier Leaguestart and a salary rise after every 15 Premier League games.
The key to satisfying Rice’s demands appeared to be offering a higher basic wage.
But West Ham are yet to budge and according to the London Evening Standard, the East Londoners have made their teenage star a final, improved contract offer which remains unsigned.
Crowdfunding… quite literally
On the pitch Rice’s performances have gone from strength to strength attracting admiring glances from clubs like his old side Chelsea (talkSPORT).
That has fans worried and they have been highly critical of co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold for dragging their heels.
Now one of those fans has taken matter into his own hands in a move that will surely embarrass the club’s hierarchy into action.
Greg Richardson, a 19-year-old Hammers supporter, has set up a Go Fund Me page to pay for Rice’s new deal.
If public humiliation is what it takes…
“Declan Rice reportedly wants a new 40k a week contract. That’s about £2 mill a year,” Richardson wrote on the page.
“The board are dragging their heels. Let’s raise the funds to pay for the first year of the contract our future captain desires. #coyi.”
The page, which has a target of £2million but three days in has been snubbed by Richardson’s fellow Hammers who are presumably as embarrassed by the whole sage as the owners.
If the crowdfunding effort embarrasses Sullivan and Gold into taking decisive action it may yet prove worth it.