With the decision by the arbitration panel today ruling against Sheffield United, the precedent has been set for clubs to be deceitful in the future regarding transfers, face the penalty of getting fined but avoid a points deduction.
If West Ham United can do it, what’s stopping other teams from following suit in future seasons?
The difference between success and failure is so massive that the £5 million given to West Ham a couple of months is insignificant compared with the amount of TV money the Hammers will make in the 07/08 season. Even the bottom placed team in the Premier League will earn £35 million beginning next season.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, isn’t giving up yet. They’re seeking professional advice whether they should take the matter to court. Despite the Premier League and arbitration panel ruling against Sheffield United, the club must feel they have an opportunity to win an appeal. Considering the amount of money at stake, the Blades may end up fighting the Premier League.
In the meantime, the clubs that have supported Sheffield United’s efforts have offered little or no comment regarding the announcement. Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Charlton and Fulham, where are you?
The sad thing about this affair is who knows how long it’ll be before Sheffield United returns to the Premiership again. Will the team quickly fade from our memory and be condemned to Championship football for the next few years? I wouldn’t be surprised.