Friday, 6 July 2007

Tevez Turmoil

Carlos Tévez is expected to complete his transfer to Manchester United in the next 24 hours according to the Times. The Argentina forward will join the Barclays Premier League champions on an initial two-year loan, at the end of which United will have the chance to buy the player permanently for a fee that could be more than £20 million. The deal is complicated because West Ham United do not own Tévez outright, but it is thought that Eggert Magnusson has agreed to hand over the player’s registration rights to United so that the transfer can be sanctioned by the Premier League. In turn, United will pay two annual fees of about £3 million to Kia Joorabchian, the businessman whose Media Sports Investments (MSI) firm owns the economic rights to Tévez. The article says it is still unclear whether West Ham would receive any payment from United after a spokesman for the Premier League said last night: "As far as the Premier League is concerned, any potential deal for Carlos Tévez must be struck directly with West Ham United."

The Mirror believe West Ham will have to be adequately compensated if they are to relinquish the rights to the player, while the Daily Mail insist West Ham will agree to take a cut of the fee in what will be one of the most closely scrutinized transfers in Premier league history. Speaking from the Copa America in Venezuela, Tevez said: "I am a player who thrives on challenges. I went to England to triumph in the Premiership and with West Ham I have achieved the first stage. Now I'm ready to move on to the next stage. I remember with emotion the last match with West Ham at Old Trafford. I scored and the response of the people was amazing. To be there as a member of United would be spectacular. I've had options in Italy but they were difficult."

While it is now clear what Tevez's intentions are, The Independent believe the transfer could lead to a round of legal action, with West Ham United fearing they will be urged by the Premier League to clarify Tevez's registration and ownership by taking Kia Joorabchian to court. In the light of the highly-sensitive inquiry into Tevez's transfer to Upton Park, West Ham would clearly not want to take that step. Jason Burt, known to have good connections at West Ham, writes that there are real concerns at the club as to exactly how they can now extricate themselves from the saga without hurt being caused, especially as Joorabchian could present potentially damaging evidence against them in court. The Guardian claim the Premier League's intervention could even scupper the transfer, which would leave West Ham and Tevez's agents on a legal collision course.

After the disciplinary commission, West Ham had the choice of renegotiating terms with the player's handlers, who are led by Kia Joorabchian, in a deal akin to that which took Javier Mascherano to Liverpool in January. But that would have been a potentially complex discussion and Tevez was needed in a relegation fixture at Wigan the next day. The most expedient route was to rip up the third-party agreement that connected them to MSI and JSI, but that meant West Ham were effectively taking a £20m-plus-rated player as their own, despite never having paid a transfer fee. West Ham are now bound by the terms of their undertakings in response to a letter sent to them by the Premier League on May 4. According to the transcript of the arbitration proceedings concluded on Tuesday, they agreed "to contend that the Tevez Agreement was invalid and unenforceable and, from the club's perspective, terminated, and the club would not perform in accordance with it". This was interpreted by the Premier League as a commitment to treat any transfer of Tevez as being from West Ham and as having no consideration for the perceived rights of MSI and JSI. On that basis alone was Tevez permitted to continue playing for West Ham, scoring the goals that saved them from relegation.

MSI and JSI have refused to recognise West Ham's decision and instead prepared a path for the player to Old Trafford. The player's handlers insist the old agreements are still enforceable and that they entitled West Ham only to a one-year loan for Tevez. They claim any attempts to prevent his move to Old Trafford will be an actionable restraint of trade. The Guardian claim the only way West Ham and the companies Joorabchian represents may now avoid the courts is if a negotiated settlement can be reached. The Premier League will permit the club to share a transfer fee with MSI and JSI but West Ham would have to secure a fair market rate for themselves before forwarding any surplus. But with Manchester United's directors seeking to pay only £6million to take Tevez on a two- season loan with a future option to make the deal permanent, that looks unlikely.


Roberto said...

the future of tevez is quietly hanging in too many hands, west ham are the ones who should solve the trouble and not let manchester united deal with that, in that case manU can make a clean move for tevez, and leave the problem with the trio of the agent west ham and premiership.

Anonymous said...

Ahh all West Ham's chickens are coming home to roost! Let the fireworks begin! From the fiasco I gather that to cancel a contract you only need to tear it up - I think my bank manager and mortgage lender would be interested when I inform them that I've cancelled my contracts with them! By the time this is over I think Mr Egg will wish that he stuck to biscuits!!

Bobby said...

It's obvious that this deal stinks and reeks of infighting between West ham and Joorabchian. This alone shows that Joorabchian had not been cut out of the picture as West Ham said when Tevez was allowed to play the last 3 games from last season. The Premiership has screwed up royally here and needs to clean house and make things right for Sheffield Utd!

Bill Boots said...

Mr Anonymous

You miss the point completely about the agreements signed with the third parties. They are not enforcable in UK or EU law, this was clearly stated by the original Independent Tribunal. So West Ham were well wthin their rights to tear them up.

To use your anology, if the terms of your bank account and mortgage were contrary to the law you would be well within your rights to refuse to be bound by their terms. The bank or lender would then seek recourse of the courts to decide the matter.

This situation was inevitable from the time that West Ham terminated the side agreements, leaving only a binding 4 year contract. MSI and co are now seeking to assert their control over the player, on the basis that the third party agreements are still valid. West Ham are maintaining that they exercise control for the next three years based on the 4 year contract, minus the terminated third party agreements.

This dispute and West Ham's position demonstrates that they have not lied to the PL. The courts now need to sort this out.

WeeWilly said...

tevez is a great player and single handedly kept us up last year but i believe that with ashton and zamora up front west ham will still be able to push for europe i would love it if tevez stayed but if he did not it would not be the ned of the world!


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