Daily Mail reports that West Ham United players are planning to make demands of the club’s management over their pay following the latest incident involving defender Kurt Zouma.
Zouma joined the Hammers on a permanent four-year deal in the summer and Daily Mail reported back in September 2022 that the French defender became the highest paid at the London stadium with his £125,000-per-week wages.
The Daily Mail reports from September 2021 also claimed that many West Ham players were not happy with Zouma’s wages at the time. However, the issue died down until the latest controversy surrounding Zouma.
The 27-year-old was filmed abusing his pet cat by his brother Yoan and has since been subject to media bashing as well as calls from fans to West Ham to take stronger action against “animal-abusing” defender.
West Ham, in response, fined the defender £250,000, the maximum fine for indiscipline at the club, which was reported to be worth two weeks wages for the Frenchman.
The return of Zouma’s wages to public domain has now triggered many of the club’s players, who will now be seeking redress with the club according to Daily Mail’s latest reports.
Forwards Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko reportedly earn around £100,000-per-week with bonuses at the club, while earnings of other key figures including Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals and Vladimir Coufal are reported to be ‘significantly less’ than Zouma’s.
West Ham could be in for more problems following the latest reports as their “appalling treatment of a serious issue” has already led to loss of revenue in the form of sponsorships.
The French defender has seen his world tumble since the release of the video by The Sun. His brother, Yoan, who filmed the event has also been suspended by his club until the issue died down.
The British animal safety authority, RSPCA, has repossessed both his cats and are currently investigating his treatment of the animals. Adidas have also suspended their boot deal with the player.
West Ham have released a statement condemning the defender’s actions, as have Dagenham and Redbridge, the club where Yoan Zouma plies his trade.
The actions are reportedly not enough as calls for Zouma’s sack by pundits and fans have intensified, with one pundit even claiming that Zouma’s treatment of his cats is “worse than racism”.
However, pundit Kevin Campbell has claimed that all the calls are hypocritical and that West Ham should pay them no heed.
Campbell spoke to Football Insider on the issue. “It looks terrible,” he said.
“You are talking to a hypocrite though. I can say that’s animal cruelty and yet there is pictures of me in leather jackets, I have a leather belt and I eat meat. Where do you draw the line?
“Listen, it doesn’t look good. The video was appalling, I totally get that.
“You are talking to a hypocrite though because I eat meat. Maybe people have to tell me. Where is the line? We need to be careful.
“Kurt Zouma will regret it, that is for sure. To call for him to be sacked? He’s not going to be sacked for it. He is going to apologise and be fined but to be sacked over it? Come on now.”