Thursday, 12 July 2007

Intrigue And Interpol

West Ham have been warned (again) by the Premier League that they face disciplinary action - which includes the option of a points deduction - if the dispute over the proposed transfer of Carlos Tevez to Manchester United is not concluded to their satisfaction. A Premier League spokesman said: "We have made it clear to West Ham that we will take action against them if they agree to Tevez's request to terminate his contract." An article in The Guardian states the Premier League believes that West Ham have severed all links to Tevez's representatives and are said to be unhappy at the prospect of Kia Joorabchian being the main beneficiary of a deal with Old Trafford, after being given assurances this year that West Ham, who own the player's registration, had cut all ties with the businessman and his company, MSI. "We are satisfied the agreement between West Ham and MSI no longer exists. Joorabchian says it does. The only way MSI can proceed is to sue West Ham for breach of contract," said the league spokesman.

In a related issue, the same paper suggests Joorabchian is prepared to hand over all the documentation relating to Tevez's contract at West Ham if tomorrow's high court ruling goes in favour of Sheffield United. The relegated club are pursuing legal action after the Premier League inquiry decided not to dock West Ham points for breaking two regulations in their signing of Tevez and his fellow Argentinian Javier Mascherano. The Independent go further and insist Joorabchian is so frustrated with the Premier League after it blocked Tevez's £35m move to Manchester United that he is threatening to appear as a witness for the Yorkshire club, if they win the right to a High Court challenge over the Premier League's handling of the affair. It is stated that he considered appearing as witness for the Blades at last month's arbitration hearing but decided against it. Now Joorabchian feels he may have little choice but to become involved if Tevez is to win the right to move clubs. For their part, Sheffield United accept that there is no time for them to be reinstated to the top-flight but are demanding up to £50million compensation because West Ham were fined rather than deducting points over the controversial signings of Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

Premier League chiefs insist they will not be intimidated by Kia Joorabchian's threats to produce “explosive” evidence supporting Sheffield United according to a report in the Mail. A Premier League source said that because West Ham pleaded guilty to the two charges brought against them any additional information would be of little consequence. The new evidence, claimed the source, may provide further confirmation the club broke the rules but that issue was not in doubt due to the guilty pleas. The tribunal had to decide whether the offence warranted a fine or points deduction. Sheffield United, state the Mail, will take the opposite view claiming had Joorabchian's evidence been available at the original tribunal West Ham would have been docked points and relegated in their place. Two weeks ago, the arbitration panel rejected Sheffield's claim for a new disciplinary commission to be set up to deal with West Ham over the Tevez affair. The Premier League have described their High Court case as "a very narrow window of appeal" claiming they expect the matter "to be expedited as quickly as possible".

The Telegraph reiterate that Manchester United have agreed terms with Tevez, who is playing for Argentina in the Copa America in Venezuela, and Joorabchian and hoped to have everything confirmed last week. Despite the deal apparently reaching an impasse, they are still desperately attempting to push ahead with the transfer. It is reported tonight that Tevez will fly to Old Trafford to undergo a full medical with a view to completing his move from West Ham to Manchester United early next week. Tevez's adviser Kia Joorabchian released a statement that reads: "On Tuesday Carlos Tevez will fly to Britain for a medical at Old Trafford as part of the process of his transfer to Manchester United. It is our understanding that all parties involved in the transfer are now satisfied the administrative issues will be settled in the next few days. We will not be adding further to this statement at this time." When Joorabchian says "all parties" that still doesn't include West Ham or the Premier League. A report tonight on Sky Sports reiterates no deal has been sanctioned confirming the transfer will go ahead and that the Argentina international remains a West Ham player. "There is no deal in place regarding Carlos Tevez," a statement from West Ham reads. "He remains contracted to and registered with West Ham and there is no change to that situation. Obviously, a move cannot take place without the agreement of West Ham and the Premier League."

Despite the diametrically opposed position of the two factions the Express claim Kia Joorabchian and West Ham are working frantically on a behind-the-scenes compromise that will facilitate the Tevez transfer. Despite Joorabchian and Eggert Magnusson now claiming they are happy for the matter to go through FIFA and the courts, Harry Harris 'reveals' the two parties are working hard to avoid that conclusion. Although both parties insist they have nothing to fear over the Tevez saga, a court date would not be in the interests of either. The article quotes an insider as saying: "You cannot imagine anybody wanting to open up this can of worms." Harris claims Upton Park officials fear Joorabchian would point out he never consented to the termination of the initial third-party agreement that breached Premier League rules. He has already looked into the possibility of having to prove he still holds the economic and commercial rights to Tevez, which would again open up the debate over whether West Ham should have been docked points and relegated, with Sheffield United reprieved. Joorabchian does not fancy appearing in court because there are suggestions his initial third-party contract could be judged to be legally invalid. When an independent commission originally investigated the transfers of Tevez and Javier Mascherano, West Ham QC Jim Sturman argued the agreement was not legally enforceable because there were clauses that represented a restraint of trade. Sturman’s defence won favour with Simon Bourne-Arton QC, chair of the case, who said: "Suffice it to say we see considerable force in Mr Sturman’s arguments. On the face of the documents, there are clauses that appear to us to be an obvious restraint of trade." West Ham would also question whether a third-party agreement that was set up by a previous regime and was in direct opposition to Premier League competition rules could be legally binding.

While Joorabchian seeks to avoid a court appearance here, he may well be facing a date with the law in Brazil. Breaking reports in the South American media this evening suggest Interpol has been asked to detain Boris Berezovksi, Kia Joorabchian, and Nojan Bedroud, the financial director of MSI, while in addition, MSI's assets in the country have been frozen to prevent the movement of any money that they may have in banks. It is hard to ascertain the veracity of these reports at this stage but it could be an interesting development nonetheless.


Simon said...

as a hammer i say if he WANT'S to go we should let him go. but after the spirit and commitment of his performance last season i'm not sure he does.If we own the player as we porport to did we pay MSI a fee?if not eggy put your hand in ya pocket give msi 30 million then sell him to fergie for 40. that should solve it. personally i hope he stays for the full term of his contract and comes to europe with us soon!!

Leaming said...

I don't see why West Ham should have to give up a player that has not long played for them, they wanted Tevez and he signed a 4 year contract, it appears that Man Utd are bullying the player to join their club and West Ham should stand their ground if they want him to stay. I am a West Ham supporter and why the hell should we let him go, when we think he is good enough to stay with the club he is officially signed too. I hope for Tevez to stay at West Ham they are the ones that have him at the moment. United have enough players they don't need anymore and I agree that West Ham should not be made to look like monkey's and hold onto their striker

Walshie said...

Surely the courts are now the only option. Stop me if I am getting confused, but didn't West Ham claim that they had torn up the mysterious '3rd party' contract and Tevez was now 'their' player in late April? How was this ever supposed to happen, namely why would MSI or whoever supposedly owned the 'economic rights' to Tevez agree to hand him over for nothing? Now, it seems that MSI are saying that they still retain these rights. If they do, and they prove that they do, surely West Ham and the Premier league must take their place in the dock? Tevez cost them nothing but wages, saved them from relegation (approx. £60 million worth) but if they adopt this stance of looking for a transfer fee for Tevez, it could cost them their place in the Premier League. Or am I totally off the reservation in how I see it? Someone, please help!!

Anonymous said...

mmm...I'm beginning to suspect that there might be something dodgy about this whole Tevez thing guys. I think it might start to get messy soon.


Trilby said...

Stop acting normal soupnazi!

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