West Ham have confirmed the permanent signing of Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain after the goalkeeper impressed during a loan spell at the London Stadium last season.

Areola kept eight clean sheets in 18 games for West Ham during the 2021-22 campaign, including 11 appearances during the Irons' run to the Europa League semi-finals.

David Moyes' side will play in Europe again next term, having qualified for the Europa Conference League by finishing seventh in the Premier League, and have moved to consolidate their goalkeeping options with the permanent acquisition of the 29-year-old.

Having signed a five-year contract with an option for a further season, Areola told the club's website: "I feel good, I feel great, I'm happy to sign and happy to stay here permanently, and I can't wait to start to train and to do the job.

"The main thing is that I felt the love of the supporters last season. Something for me that is really important is to feel that I'm loved. 

"I know that I have to do my job and to do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my team-mates, the staff and [goalkeeping coach] Xavi Valero as well. The vibe of last season was great, so I just wanted to do everything to stay here.

"When I'm signing with a club, I want to feel that it's like my second family. Obviously, we're here every day and we are sharing lots of time together, so I have to feel comfortable with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well, so I just feel comfortable here."

Meanwhile, Moyes hopes the experience of Areola, who has three senior caps for France and was part of Les Blues' 2018 World Cup-winning squad, will prove invaluable for the Hammers.

"Alphonse made a huge contribution to the club during his loan spell last season. His performances backed up why we see him as a top goalkeeper," Moyes said.

"He brings proven quality and experience at the highest level, both on the domestic and international scene. We're delighted he's with us permanently and look forward to welcoming him back for pre-season."

West Ham, who also signed Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd last week, kick off their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to defending champions Manchester City on August 7.

West Ham have completed the signing of Nayef Aguerd from Rennes for a reported fee of £30million including add-ons (€34.9m).

The Morocco international joins on a five-year deal as Hammers manager David Moyes strengthens his backline ahead of next season.

The defender featured in 66 Ligue 1 games for Rennes after joining in 2020, while also helping his country to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar after overcoming DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate over two play-off matches.

West Ham struggled with injuries last season, especially at centre-back, but Aguerd provides much-needed depth ahead of another challenge for the European qualification spots next season.

"I am delighted to welcome Nayef to West Ham United. We have tracked his progress for some time and I'm very pleased that we have been able to complete the signing," Moyes told the club's official website.

"He's a great addition that will add to our defensive options."

Aguerd pinpointed the interest of Moyes as a crucial factor for him joining the 2021-22 Europa League semi-finalists.

"I was really excited when I heard about West Ham United's interest," Aguerd said after penning his contract with the Hammers.

"I talked with the manager and he showed me that he was very interested, so it was easy to choose to come to West Ham."

David Moyes apologised for losing his cool with a ball boy after he was sent off as West Ham missed out on a place in the Europa League final.

Manager Moyes was ordered to the stands late on for kicking a ball thrown by the ball boy as West Ham lost 1-0 on the night to Eintracht Frankfurt and 3-1 on aggregate.

"I kicked a ball back at the ballboy, so I apologise for that, he threw the ball very softly at me," Moyes said on BT Sport.

Television footage of the incident showed an angry Moyes lashing out.

Moyes' team were forced to play most of the match with a numerical disadvantage after Aaron Cresswell's 18th-minute sending off made him the first Englishman to receive a red card in a European semi-final since John Terry for Chelsea against Barcelona in the 2011-12 Champions League.

 

According to Moyes, West Ham have faced better teams than Oliver Glasner's Frankfurt on their European run, but Rafael Borre's first-half goal condemned the Premier League side to a semi-final exit.

Cresswell also became the first English player to be dismissed twice in the same edition of a major European competition, having also seen red in a quarter-final draw against Lyon.

While Moyes said sorry for his own actions, he was unhappy with the decision to dismiss Cresswell, and suggested West Ham's previous knockout opponents Lyon and Sevilla were stronger than Frankfurt.

"[We have] lots of complaints," Moyes told BT Sport after the defeat. "We've enjoyed being in the competition. I don't know if we've enjoyed the officiating, but we have enjoyed the competition. I just feel disappointment, because I think this was a chance. I think we probably played better teams than Frankfurt.

"To be honest, we probably lost the game in the first 30 seconds at the London Stadium, where we conceded a goal [scored by Ansgar Knauff] and we've been chasing the game ever since."

He added, on West Ham TV: "We had a sending-off tonight and I think over the two games, for some reason, a lot of things haven't gone our way.

"But maybe we have to learn a little bit more about officiating in Europe and different things. We've now had two sendings-off in games – one in the quarter-final as well, when we had to play 45 minutes with 10 men.

"Tonight, we had to play the best part of 75 minutes with 10, so the players are brilliant. How they've worked and their resilience to keep going… and actually, I thought they tried to take the game to Frankfurt and had chances."

West Ham travel to relegated Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday as they aim to secure a top-seven finish.

While West Ham missed the opportunity to reach a first major European final since they lost to Anderlecht in the 1975-76 Cup Winners' Cup trophy match, Frankfurt have now reached their third such occasion, having been European Cup runners-up in 1959-60 and UEFA Cup winners in 1979-80.

Glasner's men will face Rangers in the final in Seville later this month after the Scottish outfit overcame RB Leipzig 3-2 on aggregate.

Manchester United have been proven wrong by David Moyes, who deserved more time at Old Trafford, according to Phil Neville.

Neville left United as a player to join Moyes at Everton and then returned to his former club as part of the new manager's backroom staff in 2013.

But Moyes' United tenure did not go to plan after he was appointed with the backing of outgoing legend Alex Ferguson.

The Red Devils were reigning Premier League champions but finished seventh in a season Moyes failed to see out, sacked with four games remaining.

Since then, Moyes has endured mixed fortunes, struggling at Real Sociedad and suffering relegation with Sunderland before restoring his reputation across two stints with West Ham.

The 59-year-old will lead the Hammers out in a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, with the club on course for a second successive season of European football having been battling relegation when the manager returned to London Stadium.

Meanwhile, United – one place above West Ham in sixth – are turning to Erik ten Hag as their sixth appointment since Ferguson's retirement (including incumbent interim boss Ralf Rangnick).

Neville feels the club would have been better served giving time to the man named as Ferguson's successor.

"If you look back now, it was totally wrong the lack of time that he was given," the Inter Miami head coach told Sky Sports. "It was totally wrong the lack of backing, the lack of finance in terms of the investment that other managers have had.

"I'd say that's the biggest thing. When we both left the club at that time, we needed another season.

"Ten months at Manchester United, in a difficult period when the greatest manager of all time had just left, wasn't enough. He had unbelievable plans to take the club forward in that summer.

"I'd say that, looking back, it was probably one of the biggest mistakes United made since Sir Alex left, not giving David Moyes more time.

"I think he's proven now at West Ham: with time, he can build a football club to sustain, with quality and to be successful.

"That, for me, was probably one of the biggest disappointments in football, when he was sacked by Manchester United."

West Ham manager David Moyes declared his side needs Declan Rice "to drive us on" if they are to come back from a 2-1 deficit against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-final.

The first leg, played at London Stadium, got off to the worst possible start as the visitors scored inside the opening minute, with Michail Antonio replying in the first half before Daichi Kamada scored the Frankfurt winner after 54 minutes.

Whichever team advances to the final will meet the winner of RB Leipzig and Rangers.

Rice has been the driving force behind West Ham's season and has become one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League. Now, Moyes wants the 23-year-old to push the Hammers into a first major European final since 1976.

"I say to Declan Rice every week 'you have to drive them on, every day in training – the levels and standards have to be taken higher'," Moyes told a news conference.

"Every day you have to drive them on, the levels. He has the chance to work with some of the best players in the country when he goes away with England – Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, you name it – and he has to bring that back to our camp and demand it from the other boys.

Rice has, quite literally, played a key role in progressing West Ham to this huge tie, having made 182 ball carries in the Europa League this season, second only to Barcelona's Eric Garcia (191).

The total distance of Rice's carries amounts to 2,083 metres, more than 400 metres more than any other central midfield player this campaign. Moyes did stress, though, that it is important not to put the onus all on one talismanic player.

"We also mustn't put too much on Dec’s shoulders! I’m the one who's said it because he's such a quality player and he's got tremendous abilities," Moyes continued.

"I challenge him a lot, but we need to get a whole team performance and everybody needs to perform well. 

"We need Dec to drive us on, but we need him to play with a really steady, experienced head for somebody who's young."

Moyes' second spell in charge has seen West Ham transform from relegation candidates to being on the brink of a European final in the space of two years.

"Our climb over the last two years has probably been faster [than we'd expect] and sometimes you have to come down a little bit to go again – but hopefully, we continue to build and grow, and that’s what I'm trying to drive home," Moyes added.

"The biggest thing I've seen is the mentality change in the players here – it's incredible. The demand really is that we try and improve, and I put it on them.

"They need to be the ones who do it as well. The manager is always the one who gets found out if it happens or not, but sometimes the players need to be the ones who roll their sleeves up and not accept anything other than the best."

David Moyes acknowledged that West Ham being one step away from the Europa League final may have stunned most, including himself, last season.

West Ham qualified for UEFA's secondary club football competition by finishing sixth in the 2020-21 Premier League and have adapted well to European football.

The Hammers also emerged as early contenders to qualify for the Champions League this season, but now sit seventh – eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more – with their focus seemingly on Europe.

West Ham defeated Europa League specialists Sevilla and Lyon to reach the final four, where they will meet Eintracht Frankfurt, who defeated Barcelona at the quarter-final stage.

Indeed, it will be West Ham's first semi-final in a major competition since 2013-14, when they lost 9-0 on aggregate against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

While Moyes expressed his surprise that his side had made it this far in their first year in Europe since falling in the 2016-17 Europa League play-off to Astra Giurgiu, the Scotsman remains confident.

"It's good to be nervous," Moyes told reporters at a pre-match news conference on Wednesday ahead of the first leg at home to Eintracht on Thursday.

"It makes you realise the level of the game, but you want the players to play with confidence and do a lot of things naturally in the game – but I think nerves are really important for the players to understand the level we're at.

"It's a great game. We're hugely excited by it. The thrill of qualifying for Europe last year was great.

"If you'd have said to us in May last year 'you're going to be in the semi-finals of the Europa League, with the chance of getting to the final,' I think we'd have all said, 'you're joking'.

"We're in a really good place and I think we're worthy of it. Beating Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea at home shows that on our home patch, on our day, we can be a good match for just about any team."

Central to the success of West Ham has been the presence of England international Declan Rice and the scoring form of Jarrod Bowen, who has 17 direct goal involvements in the Premier League this season.

Only Mason Mount (19) and Harry Kane (20) can boast more among English players in the Premier League, leading to calls for Bowen to feature in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad at Qatar 2022.

Moyes cited former Hull City forward Bowen and Czech Republic duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek as vital for the upturn in West Ham's fortunes.

"When I first returned, I honestly thought if I could get it going, I'd get a team challenging around the top of the league. That's what I planned," Moyes added.

"I think for most of my career, I've been closer to that than the bottom, even though I've come back a couple of times to take over a team near the bottom, but I always felt if I could get a chance to get it done...

"On that journey, you need to make sure your recruitment is good. We signed a couple of Czech boys on the journey who have been brilliant for us, and we took Jarrod Bowen from the Championship, whose gone on to do great things. Sometimes you need bits of that for all those things to happen.

"Is it by luck, by plan or design? I hope it's a bit of both. Sometimes it doesn't always go right when you're a manager, and for the majority of managers it's very difficult, but I always felt that if I could get it going here, I could get a team challenging."

It will be Moyes' first semi-final since 2013-14, when his Manchester United side were defeated by Sunderland in the EFL Cup, while he is the first Scottish manager to reach the semi-final stage of the UEFA Cup or Europa League since 2007-08.

But Moyes appreciates the job is not completed as his side prepare to meet Eintracht in European competition for just the second time, West Ham previously eliminating the German side at the semi-final stage of the 1975-76 Cup Winners' Cup.

"I've still got a long way to go. I've got to win a two-legged semi-final and then I would need to, if I was good enough to do that, try to win a final – so from my point of view, there's still a long way to go," he said.

"To bring West Ham from where it's been, to where we are today, is huge.

"People who know West Ham far better than I do will tell you that to get to the semi-final of a European competition and give ourselves a real chance of getting to a final is something really special. It's not easy to do.

"I think when the tournament started, people were asking me if I thought we were favourites in the tournament, and I said: 'No, what a load of rubbish.' All the Champions League team were still to drop in.

"We did a really good job in the group – the whole squad did a brilliant job winning the group – and then we've had two huge ties, which all the teams are going to have.

"We're now in a semi-final. You would always like the second leg at home, but we're at home in the first leg, so we have to deal with that, but I think we're in a good place and we have to try to challenge to get to the final."

Declan Rice has revealed how the antics of Moussa Dembele and a post from Lyon's social media team inspired West Ham to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Prior to Thursday night's rematch between the sides, footage had circulated of Dembele winking to team-mates after appearing to go down easily to earn Aaron Cresswell a soft first-leg red card.

That decision contributed to the tie being finally poised at 1-1 going into the second leg in France; it also perhaps led to some overconfidence from the hosts.

As much could be seen in a reply from Lyon's official English language account on Twitter to the question of which teams looked best placed to progress this week.

It read: "Are you really asking like there's a chance we don't go through?"

Speaking after a 3-0 win saw the Hammers ease through to the last four, Rice confirmed that both perceived slights had ultimately served as motivation.

He told BT Sport: "There were a few incentives for us to go out there and win.

"Obviously, Dembele winking in the first leg at the camera, and then their Twitter admin saying they don't see how they're not going to get through.

"Those things come back to bite you. We stayed quiet, put in a performance, and now West Ham are in the semis. What more could we want?"

Lyon's belief no doubt stemmed from the knowledge they would have a raucous home crowd cheering them on in the return leg.

However, according to Rice, the atmosphere actually pushed the visitors to play their best game.

England international Rice said: "I feel like if you can't get up for these games then you shouldn't be playing football. The roar from the warm-up was spine-tingling, really. It just really gives you that fire in your stomach to go out and perform.

"[It feels] special, very, very special. We knew it was a tough place to come, we knew they had top individual quality.

"But with what we had on the pitch, our attacking players, and what we saw in the first game in terms of them defensively, we knew we could score goals tonight. For all the fans, it's just such a great night."

Manager David Moyes used his post-match interview to reflect on his team's short journey from relegation battlers to European silverware hopefuls.

Moyes said: "We've got a really good group of lads, I'm really lucky. They've been great in the time we've been here. We were trying to avoid relegation and now we're talking about getting to the semi-final of a European tournament, it's fabulous. I think it's been huge what we've done in two years.

"We've not won any trophies yet, we're trying to compete and qualify for European football again if we can.

"But I think to be getting to the latter stages and beating Sevilla and now Lyon - big clubs, big teams who are used to European football...

"You don't win anything tonight, but it was a big night for us. To come away and win 3-0 in Europe - a really, really good result."

David Moyes says it would cost over £150million to prise Declan Rice away from West Ham but the England midfielder is not for sale.

Captain Rice has just over two years remaining on his Hammers contract, with the option of a further 12 months.

The 23-year-old has been consistently outstanding for club and country, attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and his former club Chelsea.

Asked if Rice would command a British record transfer fee of £150m, West Ham boss Moyes said: "If you are interested, well, it will be north of that.

"£100m was cheap last summer. £150m just now would be minimum but he is not for sale. What I do know is that it means there are only certain clubs that could even consider it.”

Moyes wants the Hammers to take a similar approach to the way London rivals Tottenham handled Manchester City's interest in England captain Harry Kane last year.

"I look at what Tottenham did with Harry Kane, albeit in a different way," said the Scot.

"They said, 'No, there is a price and if someone wants to pay the price, then we would probably do it. If they don't, then he's not going anywhere’ and they have kept him.

"There will be times when players have got the power but we have got Declan on the best part of a three-and-a-half-year contract.

"Just like Tottenham, they have got Kane on a contract and they control what happens."

West Ham have made donations to nine different animal welfare charities from the fine administered to Kurt Zouma.

Footage obtained by the Sun last month showed France defender Zouma kicking and slapping his cat, leading to a public outcry.

Hammers boss David Moyes has continued to select Zouma, who alongside brother Yoan is facing the prospect of an RSPCA prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act.

West Ham fined Zouma the maximum two weeks' wages, reported to be worth £250,000, and promised to donate the money to charitable causes.

A statement from the club on Friday said those payments have now been made.

"A total of nine organisations, supporting the care and wellbeing of animals both in the United Kingdom and internationally, have been identified to receive significant payments which will go towards supporting the fantastic work they do," the statement read.

"West Ham United would like to thank everyone who contacted the club to propose animal welfare charities and good causes, along with our supporters who have been involved in the process of identifying those who have received financial support, ensuring that a huge positive has come from something negative."

Cats Protection, Celia Hammond Animal Trust, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, National Animal Welfare Trust, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, Pussycat Lodge Trust, Humane Society, International Fund Animal Welfare, and War Paws are the charities to which West Ham have donated.

David Moyes ranks West Ham's elimination over Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday among the most special nights in his time at the club.

Andriy Yarmolenko’s 112th-minute winner gave the Hammers a 2-0 win on the night, with the tie locked at 1-1 on aggregate after 90 minutes, following Tomas Soucek's first-half goal.

West Ham have now progressed to their first European quarter-finals since the 1980-81 Cup Winners’ Cup, where they lost to Dinamo Tbilisi.

From surviving Premier League relegation in 2019-20 to Thursday's elimination of the six-time Europa League holders in Sevilla, Moyes was quick to bring it all into perspective.

"This will be as high as we have had,” he told BT Sport post-match. “We have had other nights, avoiding relegation was an incredible high but thankfully we have moved on from that.

"Beating a serial winner of this competition made it a bit more special. They just keep going. You could see the resilience in them. We keep on going.

"Nights like this really help you build. I thought Sevilla were probably favourites for the tournament. For us to beat them over two legs is an incredible result."

Hammers midfielder Declan Rice believes confidence is flowing through the club, and is comfortable with any potential opponent, including Barcelona – who progressed past Galatasaray earlier on Thursday.

"I’ll take anyone [in the quarter-finals],” he told BT Sport. "There's no one to fear. Sevilla were probably the favourites. We can go anywhere and get a result. Teams come here knowing they’re in for a game.

"It would be special to go there [to Barcelona]. That's what this club deserves, there's a big buzz around the place. David Moyes deserves massive credit.

"I'm lost for words. Walking around the pitch, taking it in. I love West Ham fans. They care so much about this club. They demand 100 per cent and if you do that, they treat you as one of their own. It was special to be on the pitch tonight."

After scoring upon his return against Aston Villa on the weekend, Yarmolenko's winner provided a poignant moment amid the backdrop of armed conflict in his native Ukraine, according to Rice.

"Yarmolenko was a little bit emotional away from the lads afterwards," Rice said. "For what he's been through to perform like this is a credit to him – his desire, the way he chased players and scored two crucial goals.

"He deserves this. He's stepped up, I'm delighted for him."

West Ham manager David Moyes believes his side are still well-placed to progress from the Europa League round of 16, despite a 1-0 loss to Sevilla on Thursday.

Munir El Haddadi's 60th minute winner was enough to separate the two sides at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, having come into the Sevilla team in place of midfield talisman Ivan Rakitic, who sustained an injury in the pre-match warm-up.

West Ham grew into the match but, aside from an early Nikola Vlasic chance, lacked any tangible threat in the first leg. Nevertheless, Moyes was encouraged by the performance.

"We came up against a really good European team, an experienced team and I thought we came really close tonight to getting a draw," he said afterwards.

"We've just got to turn these games [into results] – on Saturday at Liverpool we could easily have turned that into a draw, tonight we could probably have had a draw.

"It's a lack of concentration a little bit for the goal, then there was a period for 15 or 20 minutes in the second half when they got their tails up and we had to weather it, which we did. I feel that we can be proud of the work we put in. We're right in the tie.”

West Ham were without Jarrod Bowen, who picked up an injury against Liverpool, meaning Vlasic was given a rare start. Said Benrahma was given the task of impacting the game off the bench, along with a late cameo from Arthur Masuaku, but the Hammers failed to achieve parity.

According to Moyes, though, there was enough in the first-leg performance to suggest his side will turn the tie around at London Stadium as long as they defensively disciplined.

"We'll get a goal next week, I've got no doubt about that, and what we need to do is make sure we don't concede any," he said.

"They [Sevilla] are a good team who keep the ball and they might make it difficult for us. We're going to have to probably chase the ball at different times, but ultimately we will go into the game feeling that we are right in the tie."

The Hammers will face Sevilla in the return leg next Thursday, but first host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

Declan Rice has outlined his and West Ham's support of team-mate Andriy Yarmolenko, who has been given compassionate leave by the club.

West Ham announced on Friday that Yarmolenko had been granted time off by manager David Moyes after Russia invaded Ukraine, his homeland.

The forward, who grew up in Chernihiv and played club football in Kyiv, is a 106-cap Ukraine international.

Speaking after a 1-0 Premier League win over Wolves, Rice highlighted how tough recent days had been for Yarmolenko and pledged the team's support for the people of Ukraine.

"It's so, so important for me, for the team, for everyone at the club to support [Yarmolenko]," Rice told Sky Sports.

"The day it all started, we saw him at the training ground and he was in bits, and so were all the lads for him.

"We're all there for him, we're all there for the people of Ukraine. It's horrible what's happening, but we're all there with Yarma and the little tap on the shirt [bearing Yarmolenko's name] to start the game obviously brought some good luck.

"Tomas [Soucek] has spoken to him a little bit more, but we've all sent him a little message and he sent us a message in the group chat before the game saying 'good luck boys', so I'm sure that brought good luck for us today."

Hammers boss Moyes had earlier stated Yarmolenko was "not in a really good position at the moment".

London Stadium was lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag prior to Sunday's match, accompanied by a message which pledged "love and prayers to Andriy Yarmolenko and the people of Ukraine".

Meanwhile, the West Ham players warmed up in t-shirts bearing Yarmolenko's name, while visitors Wolves wore pre-match shirts displaying the message "no to war".

West Ham boss David Moyes says he hopes the actions of defender Kurt Zouma don't serve to "blight" the "good things" being done on and off the pitch at the London club.

French defender Zouma attracted consternation from across the game after a disturbing video of him kicking and slapping his pet cat emerged last week. The RSPCA have since taken Zouma's animals into care, and Zouma was fined the "maximum amount possible" by West Ham.

Despite describing his player's actions as "terrible" and "diabolical", Moyes attracted widespread criticism for choosing to start Zouma in a 1-0 win over Watford, and the defender was in line to start again at Leicester City, before withdrawing from the line-up through illness.

The West Ham boss now said the incident should not detract from either the club's good work in the community or the team's promising season on the pitch.

"We should not allow this to blight anything which has gone on before," Moyes told Sky Sports in the aftermath of the Hammers' 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium. 

"A player has made a mistake, and there are plenty of managers with players who have made mistakes.

"Somewhere along the line you always hope there is a little bit of forgiveness, people are willing to accept they made a mistake, [they have] given an apology and we hope that is the case.

When asked about Zouma's condition, Moyes responded: "He was ill before the game, he wanted to play, we wanted him to play as well."

David Moyes will continue to pick Kurt Zouma despite the West Ham defender being the subject of an investigation after attacking his pet cat.

A disturbing video surfaced this week showing Zouma kicking and slapping his cat.

The player's two pets have since been taken into the care of the RSPCA, which is investigating the clip with the support of West Ham.

The Hammers have already fined Zouma "the maximum amount possible" – reported to be £250,000 – but he remains available for selection.

Zouma, who has apologised, played against Watford on Tuesday and will again be among manager Moyes' options against Leicester City this weekend.

Moyes said ahead of that game: "There are different views whether he should be available. We decided he should. I stand by that.

"I don't think a club could have taken action any quicker than they've done at the moment. West Ham have done a really good job.

"I'm not condoning him, his actions were terrible, they were diabolical, but we've chosen to play him and we stand by that.

"We will get him some help. We are trying to do as much as we can as a club, as a team, to help him.

"Like people who maybe have drink-driving offences, most of them have to go to classes to learn the reasons and the damage that can be done.

"I think RSPCA are going to provide us some courses for Kurt to understand about animals and how to treat them.

"He's incredibly remorseful. Like everybody else, in life sometimes you need a bit of forgiveness. He's hoping he is forgiven for a bad action."

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