The vultures had been circling around the talented players at Upton Park long before relegation was confirmed and Avram Grant had been sacked.
Now with relegation confirmed the questionof who will be leaving Upton Park this summer comes into focus as the board try and decide who they can convince/afford to stay and fight for promotion.
The drop in division will affect many of their players with England ambitions who may feel that a move away is the only way to ensure they stay in the England reckoning.
However with a bloated and expensive to maintain playing squad there will need to be significant changes in personnel regardless of who wants to leave.
Here are some potential players on the move and likely destinations.
Despite a horrid 2010 World Cup the goalkeeper is still held in high regards by many and it is likely that the former Norwich player will want to move to keep any faint England hopes alive.
This means that a move is likely to only be possible if he can find a club where he will be instilled as the number one.
Unlikely to be trusted by any of the main sides he may have to settle for one of the more mediocre or newly promoted sides in the division.
Likelihood of Leaving: If the right club can be found he will be out the door
Potential Clubs: Hard to predict but clubs of stature of Stoke
The Football Writers Player of the Year is almost certain to leave with interest from a clutch of Premier League clubs guaranteed.
With passion, drive and ability almost every club in the Premier League will have Parker on their wish list this summer.
Likelihood of Leaving: Guaranteed, deserves a higher level of football and the club cannot afford to keep him
Potential Clubs: Tottenham, Liverpool
The towering England defender will have a tough decision to make over the next few weeks, remain loyal to West Ham (provided they can afford to keep him) or seek a move to enhance any lingering England ambitions.
As captain this is likely to be tough but a desire to play in the top flight and stay in England contention combined with the financial implications of relegation mean that Upson could be on the move.
Likelihood of Leaving: Fairly likely, finding a club willing to take him on should not be difficult
Potential Clubs: Norwich, QPR, Play-off winner, Stoke, Newcastle
The former Aston Villa midfielder has only been at the club for one season, but his potential availability may attract attention from a host of clubs.
The key question as with most players may be finances, unfortunately any guess at the cost of the German would be speculation but if his contribution to the wage bill is sizeable the Hammers may be forced to put Hitzlsperger up for sale.
However after making only 11 appearances due to injury the German may feel that he has something to prove at West Ham and want to stay which would be a real boost to the club.
Likelihood of Leaving: 50/50 if the club can afford to keep him then he could be the kind of player they need in the Championship.
Potential Clubs: Unknown
Like Matthew Upson England and financial considerations may prove the key factors in Cole’s future plans.
If Cole is to stake a claim for a regular England place then Premier League football is vital and should Cole wish to leave there is likely to be a fair amount of interest.
Therefore it is likely the former Chelsea striker could be leaving over the summer.
Likelihood of Leaving: Almost certain should there be interest from the right clubs.
Potential Clubs: Bolton, Fulham, Sunderland
As one of the highest earners at the club, even a fit and healthy Dyer would be likely to leave this summer when his contract expires. With a seemingly endless string of injuries the 32 year olds career may be at an end with his signature likely to be a gamble for any suitors.
Likelihood of Leaving: 100% Guaranteed
Potential Clubs: QPR or retirement
Only on loan for the second half of the season, could have made this permanent if relegation had been avoided.
After a poor spell on loan he will go back to parent club Tottenham unsure of his future.
Likelihood of leaving: A move that both sides would like to forget, he is certain to leave.
Potential Club: Parent club and then possibly onto a mid-table Premier League side
Other players likely to leave include;
Wayne Bridge (on loan from Manchester City)
Victor Obinna (on loan from Inter Milan)