WEST Ham have denied producing a new away kit for next season featuring the Barclays Premier League logo after a mock-up picture appeared online and apparently riled play-off opponents Blackpool.
Seasiders’ defender Ian Evatt branded West Ham “disrespectful” after hearing of the photo, and also accused the east London club of being overconfident going into Saturday’s Wembley showdown.
“If you listen to them, they’re already up aren’t they?” Evatt said.
“If I was them I wouldn’t be counting my chickens just yet because what I have learned over the past five or six seasons is these players never give up.
“A guy has just told me that their new kit’s come out with Premier League badges on, which I think is jumping the gun a bit and it’s disrespectful towards our group of players.
“I’m not going to sit here and say Blackpool are going to win, but we’re going to give them a better game than they think we’re going to give them.”
Yet West Ham’s build-up to the final has been deliberately low-key, although the club have now been compelled to respond to Evatt’s remarks.
A statement read: “West Ham United can confirm that reports of replica shirts being produced with Premier League badges on ahead of Saturday’s play-off final are completely erroneous.
“The photograph of a shirt is a hoax and in no way connected to West Ham United Football Club.
“Comments made as to the conduct of our club in regards to our opponents on Saturday, Blackpool, are also false and have again, nothing to do with the club.”