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30m: the price of hypocrisy

Filed: Monday, 22nd September 2008
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United are set to face a multi-million pound claim from Championship outfit Sheffield United after an independent tribunal ruled against them.

According to today's Mail, the Hammers are set to face damage claims of around 30million for losses incurred by the Blades' relegation to the Championship two seasons ago.

Sheffield claim that they lost around 20million in TV revenue and other payments as a result of relegation plus several million pounds from the fee received for defender Phil Jagielka.

The Mail published the findings of tribunal Chairman Lord Griffiths, which are expected to be revealed later today; his statement read:

"On the totality of the evidence, we have no doubt that West Ham would have secured at least three fewer points over the 2006/07 season if Carlos Tevez had not been playing for the club.

"Indeed, we think it more likely than not on the evidence that we heard, that even over the final two games of the season, West Ham would have achieved at least three points less overall without Mr Tevez. He played outstandingly well in the two wins that West Ham secured in those last two games."

It is unclear at this stage whether West Ham United will appeal against the decision, but it would explain why the club felt pressured to reduce costs during the summer. Rumours of a multi-million pound payout first surfaced on the KUMB.com forums last month, and speculation has been rife since.

West Ham United are yet to respond to the news although an announcement will almost certainly follow now that the story has been made public. The club have already been fined a record 5.5million by the Premier League for failing to declare the full details of the contracts given to Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

Sheffield United were themselves investigated by the Premier League for breaking the same rule that West Ham United were penalised for in regard to the transfer of Steve Kabba to Watford - a faux pas which led to charges of hypocrisy.

It was later revealed that the Blades also attempted to force another former player - Lilian Nalis, who they sold to Plymouth in January 2006 - to sit out a game a month after the transfer took place; both clear cases of third party influence.

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Your Comments

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by Rosco
08:23AM 24th Sep 2008
''This is yet again a farce on a global scale. Yes we owned up that there was something afoot with the Tevez and Mascherano transfer, yes we received a RECORD fine from the Premier Leauge for our error, and yes we have pulled of a magnificent run of games to stay up. However have we not just seen the same thing with Fulham last season, Did Sheffield United only need to draw to stay up and could not manage that on the last day with there good pal Wigan.

This is again the Mccabe and Warnock show that was shamefully played out for the whole season that they ventured into the Premiership, Had Sheff Utd not played so consistently bad throughout the season then they would not have been in that position to start with. And exactly how we can be blamed for a contract loophole on Jagielka, How are we responsible for a negotiated contract between Sheff Utd and a player?

Again this shows that we should have no dealings with Joorbachian and should end his services immediately. This also shows this naiveity of the past board, yet again the dealings of Terry Brown, Scott Duxberry and ALL other members of the board that have left us in this mess. We must now seek the compnesation that these people have received from us.

The one thing that we must do is get behind the team from now on. We have the chance now to form a team with an exciting new line-up, management and style that we have not seen for many years. I for one shall be even prouder to be a Hammer and this weekend I think all of us should show our pride even more than usual. ''

by Morris Hickey (Hammers supporter since 1946)
09:08PM 23rd Sep 2008
''Surely the responsibility of the manager at the time - Alan Pardew?

Sheffield United were relegated, and failed to bounce back 12 months later demonstrating clearly that they are not worthy of the Premiership. As for "no doubt that West Ham would have secured three fewer points", then what about the one point that Reading should not have had last Saturday, but will retain?

Professional football is not a sport any more - it is big business with all the dirty and underhand tricks that go with it. Bloody disgraceful.''

by miki
09:01PM 23rd Sep 2008
''I don't know how legally binding this tribunal process is but I really would like us to go to a proper court with this - it's a stupid, insane decision that hasn't been thought out at all. I'd like to say more but I can't write a complete sentence without swearing every other word! ''

by TrevorH
07:45PM 23rd Sep 2008
''This is a sad day, not only for West Ham but for football in this country.

What grieves me is that Warnock will not take the slightest responsibility for the relegation. Tevez did not directly influence their season, indeed they beat us 3-0 with Tevez in our team. So they could compete with us.

The original decision may may have been wrong, but a decision was taken and that should have been the end of it. I cannot believe that this is the end of the affair and one suspects that it will run for a long time yet.

I understand that under certain circumstances West Ham can appeal the decision. And that is if they can prove that the decision is palpably wrong they can go back to court and challenge it.

McCabe is a wealthy man. He doesn't need the money so he must be fighting for a principle. Does he realise the damage he is doing to football by challenging decisions that were made by the ruling body at that time?

Still one thing is certain. West Ham are in the Premier League and Sheffield Utd are not. That is unlikely change in the near future.''

by The Monkeydog
06:15PM 23rd Sep 2008
''How can you base a decision on what-if's? Why aren't they mentioning Masher too? During one of the rare times he got on he waved at the crowd one time and I'm sure we played better because of it! Now that's got to be worth another few quid to Sheffield Utd? I agree with most like Dave H, Jonno and Hugh (Jardon?). I think we should start to threaten to sue the Premier League and FA for every tiny bad thing that happend to us starting with Ashton's injury costing us a Champions League place etc. Then we should sue the arbitration panel for distressing our team due to their decision and costing us whichever games we don't win!

Seriously though, this will have a knock on effect and snowball in to many other ridiculous claims and counter-claims. However I don't believe we will be fined anything near the 30m quoted, more like 6-8m. That amount would be enough to squeeze out of the club without them kicking up too much of a fuss.''

by JackTheHammer
05:53PM 23rd Sep 2008
''I am in complete shock over this ruling...

How can they put it all down to Tevez that we stayed up that season and pulled off all those wins? Tevez played many games before the run-in and didn't even come close to scoring.

Mark Noble played outstandingly, as did Bobby Zamora. So to say 'Mr.Tevez was responsible for at least 3 points' is a ridiculous statement to make.

I wasn't going to go to the Fulham game but after hearing the news this morning I rushed to buy a ticket. Our team is going to need all the support they can get and the last thing we need at this stage is to start perfomring badly on the pitch.

From this point on, with my season ticket in hand, I will make it my duty to sing even louder than before for the rest of this season and to make sure that as a fan, my support for the team I would gladly give an arm for to see in the top 6 will never die down. The least we can do as fans is to give our team the atmosphere and support they need.''

by Stelios J
05:40PM 23rd Sep 2008
''This is incredible! ANY team achieving 38 points in a season are likely to go down! That's what Sheffield United managed, and they rightly were relegated.

Can those tossers on the arbitration panel now watch the first 30 games of the season and conclude that we probably would have secured an extra 20 points if we had been wthout Tevez and Mascherano?

Furthermore, weren't Javier and Carlito both with other clubs for a full year before, respectively, Liverpool and Manchester United signed them from MSI? Perhaps Chelsea can now claim last year's title and Champions' League!''

by Geoff Moore
03:19PM 23rd Sep 2008
''"8 million for Phil Jagielka is a joke"
So you dont think that a 24-year-old who went on to be capped for England and was at the heart of a team that finished 5th in the premier league and in the quarter finals of the UEFA cup is worth a decent amount of money? I've seen plenty of Anton Ferdinand and if he's worth 8m then Jagielka is worth over 20m, (which he isn't but that's how ludicrous spending more than 3m on Anton Ferdinand is).''

by New Orleans Irons
01:29PM 23rd Sep 2008
''Surely this is all wrong. If we were fined by the FA and PL and that was their ruling and our penalty/fine was paid then any legal action by Sheff U should have been targeted at them? If we were docked the points as we all expected we would have all have accepted that - been highly pissed-off but would have accepted it. If this does happen does it not pave the way for us to claim against the PL and or Brown?

P.S. 8 million for Phil Jagielka is a joke.''

by foss
01:02PM 23rd Sep 2008
''We must recall that the FA itself allowed Tevez to take the field after it had made the judgement. What followed was a remarkable fightback by a TEAM that had had its name dragged through the mud throughout most of that season. This most ludicrous decision motivated by a a vindictive individual to defend what was a poor performance by Sheffield United to land themselves in the Championship. Shame on the poor direction that this decision will take our game.''

by Dave H
12:32PM 23rd Sep 2008
''Maybe we can pass on any fine imposed to the FA? After all, we probably wouldn't have been in the relegation positions in the first place if Dean Ashton hadn't been injured whilst training with England. That's as good a hypothetical argument. ''

by Alfie Atkins
11:27AM 23rd Sep 2008
''The issue is what happened after West Ham were fined and were told Tevez could not play until the 3rd party ownership issues on his contract were resolved. West Ham then informed the Premier League this had been sorted allowing Tevez to play in last few games. It's clear that Tevez was still not actually owned by West Ham - who will actually get the 30m fee when he is sold to Man U? - but the Premier League decided to accept that this was true. It's actually the Premier League who are most at fault for being so naive, but West Ham should not have suggested the 3rd party ownership had been resolved when it clearly was not. Scudamore should now resign!''

by Hammer-by-the-sea
11:23AM 23rd Sep 2008
''What? This is absurd - even if the original guilty verdict was right, the club did not set its own punishment! If that punishment is now deemed to be wrong, then any compensation should be paid by those who made the wrong decision since it was their decision that caused any loss suffered a result.

All that West Ham have done is to abide by that decision. It is quite wrong and against all natural justice to make West Ham pay compensation for the consequences of a decision they did not make and had no power to alter, even if they had wished to.''

by JonnoWHU
11:02AM 23rd Sep 2008
''I'm not sure I can get my head around this verdict?! They have basically ruled with Sheffield United on the basis of what-ifs! What if we had never signed Tevez? Maybe the team wouldn't have been so visibly disrupted at the beginning of the season and we wouldn't have even been thinking of relegation? Or what if Dean Ashton hadn't broken his ankle? Do we get to sue England and Shaun Wright Phillips now?

And another thing, how come when the original verdict 'went for us' we had to pay a record fine and now its gone the other way we have to pay compensation too? Feels like we are being punished twice for not being as crap as Sheffield United, if that was the case then surely all of the Premiership and most of the Championship are guilty..?''

by John J
10:05AM 23rd Sep 2008
''I hope that WHU refuse to pay compensation. This matter was considered by the PL panel in March 2007 and they made a decision to impose a record fine, which many thought extortionate. It is worth remembering that at the time, WH were so firmly rooted to the bottom, relegation seemed certain.

It was only later towards the end of the season that Sheffield, Fulham, Wigan and Birmingham began shouting 'foul', when WH turned on remarkable form, winning 7 out the last 9 games. In that period Zamora scored as many goals as Tevez.

WH were adjudged to have broken a rule which permitted 3rd party influence, a decision that is at least debatable as the 3rd party contract did not specifically allow this. The threat was seen to come from a possibility that Kia J could have asked Tevez to make less effort if he had a January transfer in mind. It was accepted that this did not happen, but it was the mere possibility that was deemed sufficient to breach the rule.

WHU's biggest mistake was lying when asked if a 3rd party contract existed. However, the panel made it clear that Tevez's registration was in order so he was able to play.

The panel knew this when it gave its judgment and chose to fine rather than deduct. It must surely be wrong now to go back and remake that decision merely because Sheffield's final performances were not as good as ours?''

by BAC
09:36AM 23rd Sep 2008
''The panel's decision is ridiculous, in my opinion, because it is the Premier League's role to administer its rules, and to deal with any breaches, and it had already done that. This ruling opens up any number of possibilities, of one club suing another, over the consequences of injuries caused to a 'key' player by the other club's employee, for example.

However, even if the club is forced to pay out 30 million to lowly Sheffield United, I'm confident they wouldn't want to swap places with them.''

by Jamie Maguire
09:01AM 23rd Sep 2008
''How the hell have they managed to win this?

Tevez's registration was never in doubt and was always correct. The contentious issue was with his contract of employment which contained a clause which could have led to a third party having influence over team selection during a season.

Tevez was always a registered player!
There was NO third party influence as he played the full season! We were fined 5.5m for that discretion. The clause was removed from his contract of employment so that his loan/rental deal was the same as it is now at MUFC and we played out the remaining games of the season.

How did a clause in a contract of employment, that if acted upon would have been to the detriment of West Ham United relegate the blunts?''

by Hugh Jargon
06:25AM 23rd Sep 2008
''Sad day for West Ham United. We MUST appeal otherwise everything we have stood for before and after todays news is worthless.

In the eyes of many we are confirmed cheats following todays announcement, if we accept the charge I will be finished with West Ham.

This will open the floodgates for other teams as well ... where do you draw the line? Who did we knock out of the cup with Tevez? Who finished 8th instead of 5th, 6th or 7th..?''

by Max in Canada
12:22AM 23rd Sep 2008
''*sigh*... when will they drop this?''

by The 6th Green
12:11AM 23rd Sep 2008
''"even over the final two games of the season, West Ham would have achieved at least three points less overall without Mr Tevez." ...do they mean the games he was CLEARED to play in? Lord Griffiths, what do you know of this mysterious game of football? One player a team does not make. How very dare you.''

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