Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A Higher Authority

Fifa has today been asked to arbitrate in the ongoing dispute over Carlos Tevez's future after talks between United lawyer Maurice Watkins and West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson at the Premier League's offices in London ended in stalemate yesterday. West Ham resolutely refused to consent to a planned medical for Tevez this morning, instead confirming they have written to the Premier League requesting the matter now be referred to Fifa. "It now makes sense for this to be dealt with by Fifa," said a West Ham spokesman. "All parties agree this is the best way forward and of course we will be involved in helping this be resolved as quickly as possible."

The United chief executive David Gill, who remains confident that Tevez will eventually become a United player, confirmed that West Ham and the player are to take the problem to Fifa's dispute resolution chamber, and suggested the issue should be rushed through to ensure a speedy resolution. "Hopefully the case will be heard on an expedited basis but we are not sure whether we will have him signed in time for the new season," said Gill. "It may take up to two weeks for the body to be formed, all the paperwork has to be put together and then the case has to be heard. Even given that timetable we hope by the time the new season kicks off, Carlos will be training at Carrington." The Premier League champions are increasingly confident that the deal will be judged legally sound because of the similarities with the transfer which took Javier Mascherano from West Ham to Liverpool last term. According to an article in the Mail, United have monitored the legal aspects of that move in fine detail and are sure that a transfer cannot be blocked by either West Ham or the Premier League. Speaking at a press conference in Seoul, Gill told reporters: "We're very confident, as is the player, that the situation will be resolved in favour of Tevez. He will then be free to achieve his, and our, wish to join United. Based on what we've seen, and the discussions we've had over the last few weeks, we're very confident this will be resolved and that he will be a major of Sir Alex's squad this season."

West Ham concede they are unlikely to convince Tevez to stay, even though they offered him improved terms — ironically making the offer via Joorabchian. Chairman Eggert Magnusson feels the club are in a strong position because they have the full backing of the Premier League. Insiders are also confident they have the upper hand because, state the Mail, Joorabchian has not followed through with his threat of legal action after West Ham tore up their third-party agreement on 27 April. Whatever the merits of the legal arguments, Fifa have reiterated they would only be able to intervene if the proposed deal is considered an international transfer. The sticking point is whether the transfer is between two Premier League clubs or whether the involvement of Tevez's supposed owner Kia Joorabchian, the Iranian-born businessman, makes it an international move. "If a complaint is submitted to Fifa our legal department will take a look at it and see whether we are the competent authority to deal with the matter," said spokesman Andreas Herren.

Meanwhile Carlos Tevez, who flew in from Venezuela yesterday, was said to be holed up in a Manchester hotel awaiting further instruction. The Mail predict that rather than being kept in limbo Tevez, who needs rest after playing in the Copa America, is now expected to go on a short holiday. Presumably, that will not be anywhere near Austria where the rest of the West Ham squad are currently based.


Shilts said...

Carlos Tevez done a great job for West Ham last season. He needs to move on much to my regret and he needs to kick this so called owner Kia Joorabchian into touch and get on with what he is good at (playing football). I wish he could be playing with West Ham - realisticaly I do not think we can afford him. But I will enjoy his talent no matter where he plays in the Premiership. Good Luck Carlos and thanks for helping to keep us in the Premier League.

Graham said...

It is this not arrogance of the highest order? Man United will push ahead with a medical for Tevez and ignore the fact that the Premier League and West Ham United have refused to acknowledge the fact that it is still to be officially ratified by the official bodies. Ferguson and the bully boy that he undoubtedly is, continue to treat the official footballing bodies with total disdain and is it not time the official footballing authorities, put Manchester United firmly in their place and state that no transfer can be pushed through without the necessary paperwork being completed correctly. Alas, Ferguson has for many years treated the official bodies with contempt and unfortunately without punishment. One rule for the likes of Sheffield United of the footballing world and alas, another for the Premier League big fish called Manchester United, it is a disgrace, but, I fear, once again money talks.

Matty said...

I get the picture that the MSI/Joorabchian contract is legally sound and would be found so in a court of law. Therefore, what the Premier League are trying to enforce here would be totally unenforceable upon scrutiny (i.e. you cannot just tear up a contract). I think Manchester United's show of strength by forcing this medical through proves they know this to be the case. It is also widely believed that the Premier League made a huge mistake when they allowed the Hammers to tear up the MSI contract, so it is obvious that they would stick their guns in this way, otherwise it's an admission of wrongdoing over choosing to fine, and not deduct points, from West Ham. All in all, a court case will only favour Joorabchian and Man UTD - so it is not really in the other parties interests to have this go to court at all. Effectively, it is a catch-22 situation for West Ham. Damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

Tel said...

I think if you refer back to last September, Joobrachian himself stressed that the two Argentinians were NOT on loan to West Ham but were on 4 year contracts.

Why does it not surprise me that you are taking Man U's side in this affair. All Man U are trying to do is bulldoze West Ham into a decision. Perhaps West Ham should approach a player of their choice, agree terms and ask him to take a medical (all without referral to the club of course). West Ham can then approach the club for their agreement - after all this is what Man U have just done!

Cotbus said...

It would appear from what West Ham and the league say, that West Ham do own the rights to Tevez, but ManYoo - in their normal arrogant way - think they can just ride roughshod over West Ham, and West Ham will just accept it.

I hope if West Ham can prove they have the rights to Tevez, they complain to the league about tapping-up, and ManYoo get the well-overdue points deduction, especially in view of their appalling history of tapping-up.


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