Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Barnes Brewing

Someone over at the Mail got bored and so naturally decided to run yet another Carlos Tevez story. According to Alan Biggs, West Ham United will face at least one new inquiry into the Tevez affair after being told that the FA will conduct their own arbitration hearing into Sheffield United's case. A spokesman at Soho Square confirmed that the Yorkshire club, who claim new evidence in their High Court action for up to £50million in damages, have 'served notice of arbitration' on West Ham. The FA have given the Hammers' board 14 days to respond and to nominate a representative on a three-man panel. FA sources explained that there is an automatic trigger mechanism for such a hearing when one club acts against another. Sheffield United and West Ham will each chose a delegate to answer their case, while the identity of the key independent third member of the panel is to be thrashed out by agreement between the clubs.

The article states Blades chairman Kevin McCabe will push for any panel to be made up of football figures rather than the legally-orientated Premier League tribunal who sat in June. Presumably, this is in the hope that such people might not have such a solid grasp on the points of law that saw the previous tribunal back the League's decision to spare West Ham a points deduction. The Mail claim that Sheffield United have since compiled evidence that Tevez was still owned by Kia Joorabchian's MSI Group when he fired West Ham clear of relegation at the Bramall Lane club's expense. McCabe is also pressing the League to mount a fresh inquiry after sending a letter to chief executive Richard Scudamore expressing the fear that his board wanted the matter 'swept under the carpet'. Copies have been sent to all Premier League clubs.
McCabe believes his latest three-pronged offensive will force a compensation settlement from West Ham.

Elsewhere, a surprise story broke today that West Ham United had agreed terms with Derby County for midfielder Giles Barnes. It was reported on a local radio station in Derby that the two clubs finally agreed a fee for the 19-year-old nephew of former Hammer Bobby Barnes following several weeks of negotiations. The deal was said to be worth in the region of £7million and sparked several further rumours that the player was locked in negotiations with Eggert Magnusson this afternoon. Some time later, the Derby Evening Telegraph moved to distance itself from the claims that were originally attributed to its chief football reporter Steve Nicholson. "Not only am I annoyed but I'm also disgusted that my name can be used without me knowing anything about it and without me having said anything about Giles Barnes' possible move to West Ham," he said. "I've got absolutely no idea where this has come from. If fans want to keep in touch with the Giles Barnes position with Derby, they should read the Evening Telegraph and This is Derbyshire."

While the Barnes story was catching fire, reports that Stephen Appiah has once again been linked with a move to Upton Park became somewhat lost in the smoke. The Ghana midfielder is in the country today with the national squad as they prepare to face Senegal in a friendly at Millwall's New Den. Despite currently carrying an injury which should rule him out of the game, Appiah has reportedly travelled to London with the team - fuelling rumours that he is set for talks with the Hammers, with whom he was first linked at the start of the transfer window. The link resurfaced in some of this morning's papers after Appiah's proposed move from current club Fenerbahce to German outfit FC Schalke fell through at the weekend. While the Hammers are said to be closely monitoring the situation there has never been any direct confirmation from the club about interest in the player.

Finally, West Ham United defenders Danny Gabbidon and James Collins have both
signed contract extensions. The pair joined from Cardiff two years ago on four-year deals. They have now each signed two-year extensions. Gabbidon missed much of last season due to groin injuries and has only been on the bench for the Hammers this campaign. Collins, who was outstanding in West Ham's relegation battle last term, is currently struggling with a groin injury that has stopped him fighting for his position at Upton Park. Gabbidon said: "I am disappointed not to be in the side, but at least the new contracts show that the club wants both me and James around. We will both now work hard and fight to prove we are worthy of a place in the side."

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