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The former England international striker agreed to slash the pay that he was getting in the top flight to continue his footballing career with the Hammers in the Championship

West Ham striker Carlton Cole has revealed that he accepted his wages being halved upon the Hammers' relegation from the Premier League a year ago.

The forward's salary was reportedly cut from £28,000 to £14,000 a week after the Londoners dropped into the Championship and his loyalty was further tested when he had the chance to return to the top flight with Stoke City.

The former Chelsea man helped West Ham return to the Premier League at the first time of asking after scoring the opening goal in Saturday’s Championship play-off final victory over Blackpool at Wembley.

“I’ve kept my mouth shut for quite a while but I did take a wage cut to stay in the Championship. Half of my wages just went,” Cole told reporters after the match.

WEST HAM BACK IN THE BIG TIME
Victory over Blackpool at Wembley means an instant return to the Premier League
“But I thought: ‘You know what? I want to help this club get back where we belong.’

“I didn’t want to leave the ship, I am that sort of guy. I would not have been able to live with myself.

“It is just such a reward to get to the Premier League again with West Ham at the first time of asking. This was D-Day for all of us.

“I can’t explain how proud as a player, person and family man I am to be here.”

Cole confirmed that he is yet to enter discussions over a new deal at Upton Park but is excited to tackle top-flight defences again next season.

“No contract talks have been planned but we will see what happens,” he said.

“I have a year left and we will see where that takes us. Hopefully both sides will be happy that I sign a new contract.

“I am here to help West Ham and if they want a relegation clause then I am happy to have it. You can’t be on Premier League wages in the Championship.”

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