Hammers sack Zola
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West Ham United have sacked Gianfranco Zola after narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

The Hammers finished fourth from bottom, five points above Burnley, and owners David Sullian and David Gold have decided a change in manager was needed.

The search for a successor to Zola starts immediately. The club confirmed they have terminated the Italian's contract after months of speculation over his future at the club.

Zola, who took charge in September 2008, struggled to keep the club in the top flight this season despite managing a squad including England players Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole.

A statement on the club's website read: "West Ham United confirm that they have terminated the contract of Gianfranco Zola.

"The Board of Directors would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future. The club will now be focusing its efforts on seeking a replacement. The club will be making no further comment on this matter."