Tuesday, 19 June 2007

First Day Review

The majority of the morning papers are concerned with the sudden appearance of Liverpool's chief executive, Rick Parry, as a witness at the Premier League tribunal hearing yesterday. Nick Harris, writing in The Independent, states Parry was called to the stand because he was the first chief executive of the Premier League in the 1990s, and Sheffield United wanted him to answer questions about the establishment of certain League rules. Harris claims that it is purely incidental that Parry first drew attention to West Ham's rule breaches over the signing of Carlos Tevez when Liverpool signed Javier Mascherano from them in January. It is a stance supported by David Bond in The Telegraph who reiterates Parry's purpose as a witness was solely as someone who was instrumental in drawing up the Premiership regulations.

The people at the Mirror have a slightly different interpretation and believe the Anfield official was called by the Blades to answer questions over legislation on player ownership after being the Premier League's first chief executive from 1992-1998. In typical sensationalist fashion, The Sun insist league chiefs were amazed and astounded when the 'Kop bigwig' apparently supported the Blades’ argument that West Ham’s punishment was wrong. Premier League supremo Richard Scudamore was aware of Parry’s presence but it was assumed he would merely 'follow the party line' that justice had been done.

The Times offer the most detailed break-down of events from yesterday's proceedings. It is claimed Sheffield United focused primarily on why the Premier League cleared Tévez to play within just a few hours of an independent commission’s judgment in April that the registrations breached Premier League rules, when it took Liverpool several weeks to get clearance to play Mascherano. The club want the panel to consider whether the Premier League acted unlawfully by not removing the player registration of Tévez once West Ham were found to be guilty of the breaches. There were three matches of the season left at that point, with Tévez playing a significant role in each of the wins that ultimately rescued them from the drop. In addition, they have asked the panel to determine whether the decision taken by the commission to fine West Ham, rather than deduct them points, was legally flawed.

As a footnote, it also emerged yesterday that Fulham have been granted permission by the Premier League to sit in on the hearing although they will not be able to give evidence in support of United. Fulham, who also protested at the verdict in the West Ham case, had called for the League to set up a separate arbitration into their grievances and they were invited last week by the panel to give submissions.


Baldwin said...

I have read that when players are registered with the PL that there are regularly omissions and irregularities which the PL irons out with the respective clubs. A commonsense approach which I believe all clubs have benefited from over time.

In the Argies case, the PL have openly said that had they received all the facts they may well have registered Tevez in any case going through a similar process.

So had everything been done to the letter of the regs, Tevez would have been playing.

So whats the argument?

Had the PL been more timely with their decision, ie back in January, Tevez's registration would have been remedied during the transfer window which cancels out part of the Sheffield argument.

If Sheffield are succesful, which sounds remote, god help the PL as West Ham would have good grounds for seeking similar penalties against the rest of the league for administrative breaches of regs and/or registrations which have been helped through by the PL.

Jarrett said...

This so called "arbitration" panel by this account is so cosied up with Sheffield Utd that any
subsequent decision to set up a further inquiry will be seriously flawed.

Uri Geller must have got at the Blades arguements, so self serving and justifying it typifies the worst and commonest kind of
football management.

Yet more waste of the fans' money, too. If the end result is a 21 team Premiership next year we can expect the whole shebang to collapse under the weight of protests from those
who have chances in Europe and the national teams' managements.

No bad thing, in a way, as almost any solution to the overccrowded fixture list would be an
improvement, from Euro superleague, to a Premiership slimmed down to 15 (say) teams.

Henry The Cat said...

I have one thing to say? Can any of you who are decrying Sheffield United for this arbitration honestly say that you would not be supporting your team, had they been in Sheffield Uniteds shoes right now? Do you all imagine that your respective clubs would be prepared to "take it with good grade" and "get on with it" had they been in the same situation. Any of you who believes this is the case are either deluded or bigger liars than the West Ham board.

Richard said...

If we are going to punish west ham and their supporters for a rule breakage by the previous management then can we please see punishments also handed out to man utd for stopping tim howard playing, sheffield utd for stopping kabbas playing, liverpool for fielding a weakened team against fulham and chelsea just for being chelsea.


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