Thursday, 16 August 2007

Just When I Thought I Was Out...

Sheffield United have announced they plan to sue West Ham for the cost of their relegation from the Premier League. The Blades failed last month in their high court bid to force new Premier League disciplinary action against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair; they had hoped to pave the way for a retrospective points deduction that would send West Ham down while keeping United in the top flight. Once that avenue of attack was cut off, they revealed they would consider suing West Ham for compensation of between £30milion and £50million, the equivalent of the club's estimated share of the Premier League television rights money. Paul Stothard, Sheffield United’s solicitor, had said at the time: "You can be fairly confident that the issue won’t rest here. Sheffield United are not precluded from taking further action against the Premier League or West Ham. The compensation would be top of the agenda because there are significant consequences financially for being relegated wrongfully, as we believe we have been."

It is reported in The Times that Sheffield United are expected to argue that each club enters into an agreement to act in good faith with other clubs and that agreement was broken when West Ham admitted breaching the rules in the transfer of Tevez and Javier Mascherano. They may also argue that West Ham breached their contract with the Premier League. The BBC think the Yorkshire club will claim West Ham gained an unfair advantage by signing an illicit player and also that they may possess new evidence concerning West Ham's termination of Tevez's third-party ownership. In reports emerging this morning, a member of the Sheffield United legal team is quoted as saying: "After consideration and discussion with our legal advisers Sheffield United are today initiating legal proceedings against West Ham United as we seek substantial compensation for our relegation from the Premier League."

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