Ashton: Contract will infuriate duo
Persistent ankle problems forced Ashton to retire at the age of 26 last November, bringing a devastating end to a career which promised so much, with the former Crewe and Norwich man tipped to be an England regular when Steve McClaren began reshaping the squad after the 2006 World Cup. Ashton's problems began when he was injured in a training session before an August 2006 friendly against Greece, but he fought his way back to fitness and after scoring 10 goals in 31 games in the 2007-08 season, he was rewarded with a new five-year deal by the east Londoners in June 2008. Ashton revealed the compensation process for him and the club is still "going on" but accepts Sullivan and Gold, who revealed West Ham were in debt to the tune of £100million when they took charge, must have questioned the wisdom of awarding a long-term contract to someone who did not play a single minute in the 2006-07 season. Ashton said: "In hindsight I'm sure they're ripping their hair out. At the time I felt I was not going to have any more problems and that I'd got back to somewhere near my best and obviously (the previous owners) felt that as well. "At the time West Ham didn't want to lose a striker. "At the time five years seemed a lot. I had got back and played really well and was in the team every week, and I felt like I deserved a new contract," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "It wasn't up to me but I felt like I'd earned my place back in the team." Ashton revealed he had not received an insurance pay-out following his retirement because he had returned to action after his first ankle injury, and thereafter his insurance did not cover him for future problems with his ankle. "My insurance is void," he said. "There are a lot of things in your insurance where they don't have to pay you out. If you are injured when you renew it, they can obviously exclude your ankle (from cover). "But I'm not going to harp on about insurance companies trying to fleece people. If they were insuring a house and the roof was knackered then obviously they wouldn't insure your roof." Ashton also insisted he had no hard feelings towards Shaun Wright-Phillips, whose challenge led to the injury he suffered in the England training session in 2006. "I really haven't (got any resentment towards Wright-Phillips), there's no point thinking about that at all," he added. "I'm pretty sure he didn't want to break my (ankle), whether it was a bad tackle or not I'm sure he didn't think that. "That was three years ago and there is no point dwelling on that. It could have happened to anybody, it might have been somebody else, it just so happened to be me and there is no point keep going on and thinking about it."