Monday, 23 July 2007


Fifa are today expected to give the green light for its troubleshooters to take on the Carlos Tevez affair. Officials from football's world governing body will meet a representative of the FA today to discuss the Argentina striker's proposed move to Manchester United as fears continue to grow that any transfer may not go ahead until January. A Fifa spokesman confirmed: "A meeting will take place on Monday. My understanding is that it will be with members of the FA, not the Premier League. It could be that someone from the Premier League comes along as well. My understanding is that a senior lawyer from the FA will come to Zurich to meet our senior legal people."

West Ham and Tevez's representatives remain at loggerheads over the player's Upton Park contract and both sides believe the paperwork should be passed on to Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), which has specialised in sorting out such arguments - without the need for court action - since its formation in 2002. But, state the Mail, Fifa must first decide if the Tevez row warrants the DRC's intervention and should not be purely a matter for the English football authorities. They quote sources close to the situation as saying a DRC move is highly likely because the Premier League, who were in close contact with the FA throughout their discussions on the matter, have so far failed to find a solution.

Speculation has mounted over the last few days that any move would have to wait until the first transfer window of 2008 after it also emerged that the DRC is not due to meet until the second week in August, just before the season starts on Aug 11.
The Telegraph say that United chief executive David Gill has asked for the dispute to be given special priority by Fifa in the knowledge that the DRC, who investigate around 30 cases each time they convene, allow 60 days to resolve each dispute. It has already been made clear that they would not hesitate to postpone any decision on Tevez until September, outside the transfer window, if they were not satisfied. According to the paper, one high-ranking DRC officer has even refused to offer any guarantee that the Tevez case would actually be heard in August. "Even if it is, there are several precedents for cases being postponed and there is absolutely no certainty it would be completed at the August meeting," he said. "Our next meeting would then not be until mid-September. There is huge pressure to resolve this because it involves Manchester United, but it could well be that the arbitrators need more time."

West Ham have continually thwarted United's attempts to browbeat the Tevez transfer through normal channels and behind the scenes remain convinced that they hold the player's registration and a contract that legally binds him for another three years. However, the player's representative, Kia Joorabchian, maintains that his company, Media Sports Investments, still own all economic rights and that a deal has already been struck with United. "We have to determine what is the role of this company and whether there has been a breach of contract," said the DRC member. "Only then can we decide on any level of compensation. No one can say for certain when it will be judged." However, another DRC member, Mick McGuire, the English board member of FIFpro, the international body for professional players, believes Fifa could still fast track the Tevez case. "Regulations don't give total comfort that it could be heard by the end of the transfer window," he said. "But when English football sneezes, everyone catches a cold, so because of the high-profile nature of our country it could work in their favour."

As if to heap more pressure on the authorities to find a quick resolution, Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that the club have no Plan B if they fail to cut through the red tape. Ferguson's efforts to lure Carlos Tevez to Manchester United have ground to a halt amid a deluge of legal arguments over who owns the player's registration. Despite the intransigence of the Premier League's position that West Ham own the player, after they tore up the third-party agreement with Tevez's adviser Kia Joorabchian, The Independent insist United remain totally convinced that Fifa will eventually rule in their favour, an outcome which would cause the Premier League huge embarrassment. Ferguson said: "I am confident Carlos Tevez will sign and I am happy to wait until clearance comes along. If it became obvious that the situation wasn't going to turn our way we would have to reconsider our plans. But I have nothing as a fallback position at this moment in time."


Deano said...

Can someone tell me how you can just rip up a legally binding contract, as West Ham suggest they did.

Surely, Joorabchian has some rights.

Time to accept than Sheffield United have a case, take it to court and let the 'real' facts be made public or let United have Tevez and move forward.

Lawro said...

It's more than a bit rich for the media to accuse West Ham of mudslinging. Up until Thursday West Ham have declined to comment regarding the rantings of Joorabchian et al, but understandably felt that enough was enough. I am sure the rights and wrongs will ultimately be revealed, and I as a West Ham supporter can hardly wait. Far too much has be said by ill informed individuals and speculative reporters while the club itself has maintained a dignified silence.


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