West Ham co-owner David Sullivan accepts he got it wrong over Charlie Austin as fans react on Twitter

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has attempted to draw a line under the Charlie Austin saga after an internet backlash from the striker and fans.

The outspoken owner was being interviewed in the latest episode of the Knees Up Mother Brown Podcast, when he responded to a question as to whether the club were interested in signing Queens Park Rangers star Austin.

Sullivan implied that the England man was too big a gamble for West Ham given what he had heard about his injury history.

“He (Austin) failed a medical at Hull a couple of years ago," Sullivan said in the KUMB interview.

"They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows?

"To sign a player for £15m is a big risk. He could go on for years but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that’s the end of it."

'An outrageous slur'

When Sullivan's words were made public on Thursday it provoked an angry response from the player himself, who took to social networking site Twitter to issue a statement.

In it he lashed out at Sullivan calling his comments 'outrageous'.

He said: "For a senior figure to insinuate I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making me the footballer than I am today.

“For the record, there is nothing wrong with my ligaments, as has been suggested.

"I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort or pain."

This vehicle is reversing

After a backlash from football supporters, including his own, Sullivan has now responded to Austin and accepted he was wrong.

“I fully accept that day to day he is fine and that his recent form is fantastic,” he told KUMB.

“The question is whether past injuries will impact on the longevity of his career. I hope Charlie plays on until he’s 37 or 38 as he’s a fantastic player who I admire.”

Well actually for most West Ham fans the question seems to be why? Just why their owner feels he has to make such unwelcome headlines and bring negative publicity.

Other chairmen do keep quiet, and for good reason

Sullivan was lauded by the unofficial West Ham website for agreeing to do the interview saying the likes of 'Manchester City's Sheikh Mansour and Chelsea's Roman Abramovich wouldn't be seen interacting with supporters like that'.

Well there is good reason for that because it inevitably leads to situations like this where West Ham have their reputation tarnished.

You can see it now, Austin signs for a Premier League rival and goes and gets the winner at the Boleyn Ground.

His comments were unnecessary for a man in his position and left him open for ridicule.

And ridiculed he was on social media.

Here is a selection of tweets on Sullivan's comments from fans.

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