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The truth will out

Filed: Saturday, 14th July 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

Sheffield United have said they will consider taking legal action against West Ham United in a bid for 'compensation'.

The Yorkshire club were refused permission by the High Court yesterday to appeal against an arbitration panel's decision to dismiss their claims over the Carlos Tevez affair as the court decided that the panel had acted within the law. A request to send the case to the Court of Appeal was therefore denied.

Paul Stothard, a solicitor for Denton Wilde Sapte who are currently representing the Blades subsequently revealed that his client would be seeking financial compensation from the Hammers having seen their bungled attempt to be reinstated to the Premier League end in failure.

"You can be fairly confident that the issue won’t rest here," Stothard said last night.

"Sheffield United are not precluded from taking further action against the Premier League or West Ham. Compensation would be top of the agenda because there are significant consequences financially for being relegated wrongfully, as we believe we have been."

Sheffield United had claimed that their campaign for reinstatement to the Premier League had been based upon 'Fairness in Football'. They said that West Ham had been treated too leniantly over the Tevez/Mascherano transfers - despite the Hammers landing a world-record £5.5m fine - and even sent a group of fans, headed by actor Sean Bean, to march on London under the 'Fairness' banner.

However somewhat embarrassingly for Mr.Bean and his fellow Blades it was then discovered that their club had broken the exact rule (rule U18) they were claiming West Ham United should have been expelled from the Premier League for, when it was revealed that they had prevented Steve Kabba from playing against them for Watford despite the Blades having sold him four months previously.

As a result the phoney 'Fairness in Football' campaign sunk without trace, disappearing almost overnight, whilst the real reason for the Blades' spiteful campaign has come to the fore - greed, and an attempt to extort as much money as they possibly can from the situation.

Sheffield have previously claimed that relegation cost them up to £50m, whilst their legal bills since relegation was confirmed after losing at home to Wigan on the final day of last season will no doubt run into millions.

West Ham United are yet to comment.

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