Wednesday, 2 May 2007

The Dog's Dinner

There are further reports this morning that Carlos Tevez could be refused permission to play on Saturday against Bolton. An article in The Times claims the club have until Friday to agree a new contract with MSI. Tévez was cleared to play for the rest of the season because the club told the FA Premier League that they had “unilaterally” cancelled their contract with Kia Joorabchian, who owns the rights to the player and could stop him playing for them. However, Joorabchian has denied that he has given permission for the contract to be annulled because he would then have no guarantee that Tévez would return to his control at the end of the season. The Iranian-born businessman says he is willing to make necessary amendments to the contract that would satisfy the Premier League, but he has been unable to meet West Ham officials this week. Unless an agreement is reached, he is unlikely to allow Tévez to play against Bolton on Saturday and Manchester United eight days later. The Premier League has said that is a matter between the club and Joorabchian. “West Ham United can’t just tear up a contract more than anyone else can. It is legally binding on both sides,” a source close to Joorabchian said. “Kia is frustrated because this is not of his doing. He has great affection for the people at West Ham and has absolutely no gripe with the club, the directors or the chairman. He wants them to do well and he is, of course, very close to Carlos and wants the best for him. He has made himself available to West Ham this week [for talks] and hopes they can come to an amicable settlement before the game on Saturday.”

A piece in The Sun clarifies the situation further. Shaun Custis believes it was only a 'gesture of goodwill' from MSI that allowed Tevez to play at Wigan last Saturday. There are apparently a number of problematic legal and financial matters still to be sorted out, not least concerning who would be liable if the Argentinian suffered a serious injury. It appears that despite claims made by a Hammers spokseman yesterday that Tevez would still be able to play in the final two crucial games, it is now understood that West Ham are not in a position to dictate terms — and that they had promised to sort out terms regarding his continued employment at Upton Park.

Elsewhere, The Guardian's expert on football finances, David Conn, has written an article that asks : "How do we make sense of the dog's dinner that is West Ham's punishment?" Conn states that the independent commission has managed the rare feat of uniting football. Nobody seems to like it. Not Eggert Magnusson, who is said to be shocked at the record fine and considering a legal challenge; not Paul Aldridge, who believes his personal and professional reputations have been besmirched; and certainly not the other clubs around the bottom of the table, for who a legal challenge is almost a certainty. Conn concludes, "if Tevez continues to rampage the Hammers to safety, it is difficult to imagine that the clubs relegated instead will accept their fate quietly." The Daily Mail have picked up on that last point in The Screamer section. They suggest five clubs are set to mount a legal challenge against the Premier League’s decision to fine West Ham £5.5million for fielding ineligible players. Fulham, Sheffield United, Charlton, Wigan and Middlesbrough are angry that West Ham have not lost points for playing Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore met Wigan chairman Dave Whelan yesterday to try to smooth over the row but a senior official at one of the clubs said: "It is within the Premier League rules to challenge the decision and we will be looking at it. They said it was a serious breach of rule U18 and, according to the rules, that should carry a points deduction."

The Daily Mirror claims Richard Scudamore's summit meeting with Whelan was the first of a whirlwind tour of all those clubs threatening revolt over the independent inquiry. Relegation battlers Charlton, Fulham, Wigan and Sheffield United are at the heart of the fight, but insiders reveal there may be as many as six in support of action and are threatening court action. Scudamore is frantically trying to appease the rebels whose anger is fuelled by West Ham's admission that they were guilty of breaking a rule and lying to cover it up. Also, in the same paper, there is a story that Watford defender Danny Shittu is a £3million target for the Irons. Strangely, the article claims that boss Alan Curbishley is "desperate to strengthen his central defence" despite this being one of the areas of the team where we have too many players already on our books. The piece states that even if we do go down there will be money to spend.

Lastly, there is excellent analysis in the Martin Samuel column in The Times that looks at the loan system and how it is open to abuse.


RichardHerts said...

If the issue was whether the agreement with the third party was capable of improper influence to be placed on WHU (i.e. to transfer the player in a transfer window without the agreement of the player or WHU) then the fact that WHU have unilaterally voided the contract with the third party is obviously adequate. It does not matter what the thrid party says. If they don't like it they can sue WHU, or maybe they will just sell CT to them anyway! As soon as 2 of the gang of 4 are safe then they will soon forget about the others. They are all making fools of themselves and these clubs are showing why they do not deserve to be in the top flight.

Anonymous said...

Wigan 0 West Ham 3

Enough said.....Wigan deserve to go down (Chris, ISTANBUL)

Brackman said...

Richard of Radlett said "If the issue was whether the agreement with the third party was capable of improper influence to be placed on WHU ... then the fact that WHU have unilaterally voided the contract with the third party is obviously adequate."

No, it isn't. If Joorabchain had rights against West Ham, those rights still exist whether the Hammers acknowledge them or not. If all it took was for West Ham to refuse to accept the influence, then there was no case against them in the first place. If those rights don't exist, then they shouldn't have been fined. Since they were fined, the commission presumably concluded that the influence was real and the PL ought not to have accepted West Ham's claim that it ended when they wrote to Joorabchian.


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