Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Read It And Weep

The Sun have gained exclusive access to the six-page letter that Premier League officials sent to all 20 chairmen outlining why West Ham were not docked points over the Carlos Tevez affair. The missive states that the Hammers have satisfactorily terminated the "offending third party agreement" surrounding Tevez's move and are therefore "not continuing to be in breach" of Premier League rules. Chief executive Richard Scudamore and chairman Sir Dave Richards have put their name to the document which states that the punishment meted out to West Ham, in the form of a £5.5m fine, was "in accordance with our Rules". The key extracts from that letter are as follows:
  • "At no point were West Ham United charged with playing an ineligible player - both (Carlos) Tevez and (Javier) Mascherano were registered on August 31. All the required documentation was received by the Premier League and the usual confirmations received and sent. Registration is definitive as to the status of the player. At no time has Mr Tevez’s registration been revoked or terminated and at all times he has been eligible to play for West Ham."
  • "The Independent Commission was...convened strictly in accordance with the rules as agreed by all member clubs. Its chair, Simon Bourne-Arton QC, acted very promptly and properly, laying out directions for the hearing in the shortest possible timescale."
  • "The Independent Commission carried its work out fully in accordance with our rules, having adopted practices entirely consistent with formal judicial proceedings. In reaching their decision the Independent Commission clearly considered the matter very carefully and did not deliver an irrational or extreme judgement and delivered the sanction that only they (having considered the matter fully and in light of copious evidence) deemed to be proportionate and appropriate."
  • "The media, and of course those aggrieved by the decision, have analysed the seven reasons given by the Independent Commission for not deducting points and concentrated on those that to them seem the least convincing. However, there are others that have a less convenient truth, particularly the one that says, 'had the club in time made disclosure of the third party contracts to the FAPL, then, in all probability, contracts could have been entered into which would not have offended the rules'."
  • "The League could not function if other clubs could effectively intervene in an attempt to overturn decisions not to their liking."

Whether it will be enough to satisfy the aggrieved clubs in this matter is unclear. Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe still insists he has not given up hope of salvaging his club's Barclays Premiership status after what he described as the "unjustness" of their relegation last weekend. To that end Sheffield United served arbitration procedure notice on the Premier League today and McCabe has also issued a letter to all MPs in an attempt to increase momentum for what he clearly sees as a fight for justice. "It is up to the FA Premier League to find a way round this exceptional circumstance where a club which has played by the rules has been relegated at the expense of one club who have fielded ineligible players," McCabe said. "The simple answer is why not have 21 clubs in the Premiership next season and relegate four of them at the end. It is not my decision to make but it seems like a very simple solution." McCabe also blamed the ongoing Tevez saga for the departure of Ted Warnock today- at least it's not all bad news for them then.

Matt Scott in The Guardian claims West Ham are set to pick up a multi-million-pound windfall if they sell Carlos Tevez this summer, a situation which is bound to infuriate the "gang of four" clubs who continue to contest the striker's right to play in the Premiership. It has emerged today that, under the terms of his four-year playing contract, only West Ham will benefit from the forward's sale. This is because the only document relating to West Ham that remains legally enforceable from the complicated sheaf of paperwork that dictated the terms of Tevez's arrival in London last August is his playing contract. That means he is West Ham's player and that the club alone would be due any fee from his sale. In reality, the offshore companies still retain commercial contracts with the Argentinian player. These would permit the companies to sue for damages in a commercial court if West Ham refused to pay them a consideration for any transfer fee they received - and with Real Madrid linked with a £30m bid for Tevez, that could be considerable.

If West Ham were to sell Carlos Tevez then some of the money would be re-invested into the signature of Newcastle United's Scott Parker. An article in the Mail claims Alan Curbishley is set to make a £6million move for the combative midfielder, a player we first enquired about in January. The England player would be the first star to leave Newcastle following the arrival of Sam Allardyce and would cast further doubt over the future of current Irons skipper Nigel Reo-Coker.

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