Charlie Austin was left with no alternative but to reply in public to some outrageous published comments this morning.

The quotes called into question just what physical state the striker is in, if another club wanted to buy him.

The fact the comments were made by a Premier League club owner, David Sullivan, should surely see action taken against him, with unfounded accusations based on hearsay or less.

These are the remarks made by the Co-Owner of West Ham – David Sullivan:

‘Firstly, we haven’t got £15m to spend under the Fair Play rules.

Secondly, he failed a medical at Hull a couple of years ago.

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!

If we had £100m to spend we may say ‘we will spend £15m and gamble one-sixth of our budget’. But it’s not one-sixth of our budget, it would smash our budget to bits.

And he didn’t keep Queens Park Rangers up. If he had kept them up single-handedly you might say it was different – and a few of those goals were penalties.

16 goals is still very good, but when we played Queens Park Rangers last year they had to win to stand any chance of staying up and he wasn’t very good.’

In reply, Charlie Austin has this afternoon published the following statement:

‘I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised today by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history.

It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer.

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

 My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don’t think there is any doubt that my match sharpness is as good as ever.

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

Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on matchday is non-existent.

For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that 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. I am fit, strong and looking forward to Saturday’s home game against Rotherham.’