Friday, 25 May 2007

Animosity Grows

The animosity surrounding the Carlos Tevez affair escalated last night with Fulham signalling their willingness to support Sheffield United formally when the arbitration panel convenes. Fulham director Stuart Benson has written to the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, outlining his backing for the Blades and his queries about the decision not to deduct points from the east London club for their rule breach. In a fresh twist, Fulham are now threatening further action by informing the Premier League that they intend to "revisit" with leading counsel an application for judicial review in light of the outcome of the arbitration and what appears to be a continuing refusal by the Premier League to conduct a "further investigation as requested in the letter of May 4 from ourselves, Wigan, Sheffield United and Charlton". Benson says that legal experts have been advised of flaws in the independent commission's reasoning process.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the 'hard-hitting letter', poses a series of searching new questions that include:

  • Whether Fulham could join Sheffield as a party in the arbitration.
  • Whether the commission's reasoning was "flawed" because it took into account what Fulham consider to be "irrelevant factors" but ignored what they believe to be "relevant factors".
  • Whether it offered advice about what the appropriate penalty should be, for a transcript of the hearing, and whether penalties imposed for similar breaches were considered.
Fulham also want to know if the arbitration will take place before the AGM of the Premier League next Thursday. Benson wrote: "If the Premier League are seeking to exclude either of these clubs [West Ham and Sheffield United], on what basis will it do so in light that a deduction of points from West Ham or differently constituted commission might result in that club being relegated rather than Sheffield?" Wigan have also written to Scudamore pledging their support for Sheffield United. A letter to Scudamore from the Wigan secretary, Stuart Hayton, said: "We are still not satisfied with the explanations you have supplied in this respect."

Sheffield United are themselves refusing to hand over their membership 'card' to a newly promoted club. Relegated teams have to pass on a certificate of membership at the league's annual meeting, but the Blades are planning to hold onto it until the arbitration process over West Ham's record £5.5million fine for breaking regulations over Tevez's registration is completed. Sheffield United officially lose their Premier League status when they give up the "share", but believe they would be within their rights were they to hold onto it at the meeting scheduled for Thursday. No club has taken this form of action before and the refusal to hand over the share would stop the Premier League issuing fixtures for next season.

As if things were not complicated enough, a story in The Argos claims Brighton have written to the FA seeking clarification over the eligibility of Carlos Tevez for their FA Cup defeat at West Ham in January. The Seagulls are trying to establish whether they have a case for compensation as an investigation into the details of the Tevez transfer to Upton Park continues. Martin Perry, Albion's chief executive, said: "We have written to the FA but we haven't had a response yet. The issue revolves around whether or not he was eligible, it isn't an issue about ownership as far as we are concerned. The fact is the Premier League are insisting he was eligible. In that case we haven't got anywhere to go."

4 comments:

Lester said...

Its a sad state of the game these days. When West Ham looked dead and buried I did not hear too much protest. The commision made their ruling good or bad. All the teams above knew their target for survival to obtain more point than West ham. I don't see much praise for West ham in doing a miracle and staying up. Now these clubs especially Sheff Utd have only themselves to blame. The witch hunt for west ham by the press etc is unforgivable. A decision has been made by an elected panel agreed by the league and it should stand. In some way I wished that West ham had been docked points and made up that gap and where would clubs stand now. Its all very sad and all about money and not football on the pitch. I think that the commitee thought West ham were going down anyway and left it at that. A decision have been made like a ref blowing his whistle at the end of match. The famous four should be charged for bringing the game into disrepute and not abiding by the commitees decision.

Bill said...

1993 Sheffield United were founder member of the Premier League, they had a say in making the rules for judgement by an independent panel. West Ham have abided by the commission's judgement and accepted a fine. They made rules, not West Ham. Because the punishment does not fit Sheffield United's needs, they are stamping the feet in an almighty tantrum because they can not have their own way. If they carry on, just expel them from the P/L., because every time there is a judgement that dose not suit a clubs particular needs, they will contest it, thus override the P/L. authority.

IB said...

The reason that the Tevez debate continues is that a number of clubs believe the punishment wasn't "legal, fair, and reasonable".

The commission brought this upon themselves by saying that they allowed the timing of the punishment as well as the players’ and fans’ feelings to influence the punishment. Without that influence the commission said that they would have deducted points, and WHU would have been relegated. The failings of the commission were further compounded by the Premier League deciding that an agreement between two parties (WHU and MSI) could be terminated by just one party (WHU). In addition, the PL was concerned that termination of Tevez’s registration (which the commission ordered them to consider) would have invalidated the results of the matches he’d previously played in.

WHU are also victims in this affair since they cannot be held responsible for the failings of the commission and the PL to deliver “legal, fair and reasonable" punishment.

Ritchie said...

It's sad state of affairs when you can bend the rules and get away with it. May be you should read the commission report.


The Rules of the FAPL allow us to penalise a club by
deducting points. That is a course that we consider would normally follow from such a breach of these Rules.
and one of the reasons for not doing so?
we have considered the position of the players
and the fans. They are in no way to blame for this situation. Of course, if the impact upon players and
fans was to be the overriding consideration, there may
never be a deduction of points. However, in this case,
the fans and the players have been fighting against
relegation. They have been doing so from between
January and April. They have been so doing against the
ever-present threat of a deduction of points. Those
efforts and that loyalty would be to no avail were we to
now, on what on what might be termed the eve of the end of the season to deduct points.

 

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