Derek Llambias: “We had a fantastic season last year.
“It was way above our expectations.
"We worked really hard to keep our players.
"We had interest and pressure from agents and clubs wanting to buy some of our players.
"People perhaps do not realise it can be a difficult task to retain them all. We kept them and kept them happy.
“We brought Vurnon Anita, who I think is going to be a star.
"Then we had the horrendous injury list - and you cannot have a working model that is set up to withstand such a horrendous injury list.
"So we found ourselves in a worse position than we expected. We had too many top players out for too long.
"There was one notable departure, with Demba Ba moving on to Chelsea.
“He [Ba] was offered a decent deal, in many eyes it would be a great deal, but it is what he wants.
“He is 28 and felt he had three or four years left and that is what he wants to do. I wish him well.
“You have to understand if you go back to the basics of the deal. We took a chance on Demba and Demba took a chance on us.
"It sounds like a song from Abba, the Abba deal!
"We sat down with his representatives and discussed his move from Hoffenheim to West Ham to Newcastle.
"However, there was that element for us which was his [knee] condition.
“People criticise us for the clause, but it was part of the gamble for Demba as well.
"Did he want to structure himself in a way where he would not be able to achieve what he wanted to achieve?
"Every player has that to consider.
"Maybe he wanted to prove himself, but for us I have no regrets on the Demba deal or Demba leaving. We have to move forward.
"He went out of the club his way, and we have replaced him.”