Thursday, 17 May 2007

Showdown Talks

Richard Scudamore, the FA Premier League chief executive, has held showdown talks with Dave Whelan after the Wigan Athletic chairman called on him to resign over the Carlos Tevez saga. Scudamore phoned Whelan today in response to an email in which the Wigan chairman said the chief executive and Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, should consider resigning "over a dereliction of duty". A Premier League spokesman said: "The Premier League board and Mr Whelan have spoken today and both parties have agreed to continue their discussions in a manner more appropriate to League business. As such Mr Whelan has agreed to submit his remaining questions of the board in full and in writing. The board will respond in due course." It is understood Scudamore told Whelan that the commission had not ordered them to consider terminating Tevez’s registration, but stated the League had the power to do so if they felt the third-party agreements had not been ended. The League, however, were satisfied that West Ham did end those agreements on April 27.

West Ham have insisted again that they acted properly in cancelling Carlos Tevez's contract. The statement was prompted by Dave Whelan's comments, and also those of Kia Joorabchian, who said today he had handed the matter to his lawyer. The response reads: "West Ham acted in accordance with the requirements of the Premier League commission of inquiry in terminating the third party agreement. Carlos Tevez has a player's contract with West Ham and is properly registered with the club. There has been no resolution with Media Sports Investment but we will deal with how they respond to the termination of the contract." Elsewhere, Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney is refusing to get involved in the Carlos Tevez dispute. When asked what he thought of the row and The Blades' proposal of a 21-team Premiership, Mawhinney replied: "As chairman of the Football League it's got nothing to do with us. It's a matter for the Premier League, they're handling it. Do I have confidence in the people who are running the Premier League? Of course I do. But it's not our issue. For four-and-a-half years I've made it a point of not interfering in what happens in the Premier League. Thank you for the invite, but I'm not going to start now. We will wait to receive from the Premier League the three teams that come down. We will make them very welcome. We will embrace them as part of the Football League family while always understanding that they will want to get back to the Premier League as quickly as they can."

On the transfer front, The Independent claim
Yossi Benayoun will have a showdown meeting with West Ham United today in which he is likely to ask for a move from the Premiership club. The Israeli midfielder is unhappy at the way he has been treated by the manager Alan Curbishley, who has endured a difficult relationship with several players at the club. The 27-year-old Benayoun was close to leaving West Ham last summer when there was interest from Liverpool and Arsenal but, in the end, no bid was made. He was offered a new contract, which would have earned him about £40,000 a week, but the deal was not signed. It is believed that Curbishley was particularly unhappy that Benayoun was able to play for Israel in their European Championship qualifier against England at a time when he was apparently struggling for fitness.

The meeting comes the day after Curbishley met with West Ham chairman
Eggert Magnusson to discuss the club's summer transfer targets. The article states that at the top of the list will be Barcelona's Eidur Gudjohnsen, although he is not believed to be keen on a move to Upton Park. We now know that there is little truth in this. Speaking this morning in the Icelandic press, Magnusson confirmed the stories are not true. "I have not talked to Eidur and his name has not come out during our discussions of new players. As soon as the transfer window opens the stories will intensify and more often it is the agents talking their players up. I am not saying that is what is happening with Eidur but I think these stories are popping up because West Ham has Icelandic ownership. As far as I know Eidur has a long term contract with Barcelona and he is the type of player who will get stronger when the going gets tough." Magnusson also revealed that he is looking forward to the return of Dean Ashton, a player he views in the Gudjohnsen mould. "We have a phenominal player in Dean who didn’t play last season because of injury," he added, "but he will be ready and roaring to go next season. He is an outstanding player and its annoying how the media tends to forget that he actually exists. How can they forget such a player?"


Ritchie said...

It amazes me that people are actually saying that the issue should be dropped and that the punishment was fair enough. The Independent Commission effectively said they should have been docked points, but because the "fans" and the "time of season" they gave them a fine that amounts to a drop in the ocean for a Billionaire Icelandic Biscuit Magnate.

So what's occurred now is a free ticket, particularly for those clubs with Billionaire owners, to do whatever they like. Imagine the scenario next season, a club's a few places off the Champions League, they know a dodgy agent who wants to keep their contracts but will let them play to get them exposure. Bob's your uncle, £5.5 millions nothing compared to Champions League riches. The list is endless what clubs can now get away with.

The Sport already appeared to be morally bankrupt before this debacle. Now it can't enforce it's own rules in an age of dubious foreign billionaire owners, you genuinely have to fear for the future.

Anonymous said...

It's really not very complicated. West Ham admitted the crime. As a result they were fined the unprecedented sum of £5.5 million. The reason they were fined so much was because the panel felt the club's behaviour was a disgrace. But if it was a disgrace then surely the normal penalty would have seen West Ham lose points. I'm not arguing that West Ham should be relegated for theiroffence. They should be docked points for their offence. If that means relegation, that's just tough.

As for Dave Whelan's point about West Ham tearing up the contract; it seems spot on. West Ham are saying the contract was no longer in place because they wrote to the third parties to tell them so. Does this mean I no longer owe my bank the monies due on my mortgage if I write to them and tell them so. Obviously not. I feel sorry for West Ham fans who had a miserable season which ended with such joy. But the justice of the situation demands that West Ham are docked points.

Barrythecabbie said...

Whatever the merits of points deduction or fine, you cannot excape the fact that the punishiment came from an independent tribunal, that had previously been backed by all the PL chaimen. Its time these chairmen grew up. Instead of badmouthing the PL and the tribunal, just get on with their job and change the rules at the next oportunity, They can also sort out the loan agreements that stop players playing against their real owners. Legal challenges in sport are always a bad idea.. One mans bad decision is another mans right decision, will we start to take referees to court next season for a "wrong" decision.
This gang of Four are a collection of Sour Grapes and Big Chip on Shoulder merchants that should be taken as seriously as the chelsea doggy story.

Whitey said...

Obviously despite the claims of West Ham fans there are several quesions for consideration:

If West Ham were not quilty why did they accept the fine? Why did Brown lie?
Why were the panel so lenient? Other clubs have been docked points.
Why were the panel so concerned about the effects of a point deduction? Surely it is not their place to be as they are there to serve justice only.
Why should Sheffied U not have the right to appeal? Every court decision in the land can be appealed against.
If West Ham sold Tevez tomorrow for £30m where would the money from the sale go?

Full marks to Whelan & Co for their stand and UEFA for their support. They obviously feel they have a case and if West Ham are innocent then they have nothing to fear.


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