Who would have guessed that the slowly turning wheels of the Premier League and FA’s disciplinary panels would finally get round to re-opening their botched enquiry into the Carlos Tevez affair. I mean it’s only been 4 months since Lord Griffiths ruled that West Ham broke the rules and misled the Premier League over Tevez’s registration. Before I start here, a little caveat for Hammers fans, I have nothing but sympathy for the way your club has been run over the last 2 seasons, you’ve been let down and consistently disappointed by the two boards that are embroiled in this transfer scandal, a club steeped in history and tradition like West Ham do not deserve to be dragged into the gutter. It’s disgraceful that the people responsible will not face any punishment or sanction. I do not understand how someone could lie to the original enquiry, then be exposed by the arbitration board and not think that today’s events would occur and this is the key issue surrounding the case.
The original decision, in my opinion, was a disgraceful piece of fudging by the Premier League and the Hammers should have had Tevez suspended for the remainder of the season at the very least. The Premier League board were lied to when they were told that the 3rd party agreement with Kia Joorabchian had been terminated, no such thing had happened in the Arbitration panels opinion and Tevez should not have been allowed to play in the last three games of the 2006-2007 season.
West Ham won all 3 of those matches, scoring 7 goals with Tevez getting three goals and setting two up and the Hammers survived by 3 points in 15th, from Sheffield United in 18th. Had they been level, West Ham would have been relegated on goal difference and we would have never heard anymore about it. In my opinion, the Premier League assumed West Ham couldn’t possibly win all 3 games and thought they’d go down and everyone would be happy. How wrong they were. In every other incident of illegally registered players I can come across, results are overturned to the opponents or the guilty party are thrown out the competition it applies to, as happened to Droylseden in this seasons FA Cup 2nd Round and Bury a year earlier at the same stage in the same competition. They should have been docked points, plain and simple and to fine them was an insult to the other 3 clubs that were all going to appeal should they have been relegated, Sheffield United, Fulham and Wigan Athletic. West Ham would have been 18th, gone down and probably stormed the Championship the following season and return to the Premiership.
The only problem here is that the for all the people responsible for agreeing the Tevez deal only one remains at West Ham United, the CEO Scott Duxbury, so ultimately only the fans of West Ham will suffer. The Premier League & F.A. will come down hard on them as they’ve been embarrassed immensely by this incident and I think they Premier League and F.A. have only three possible outcomes available to them.
- Dock West Ham the 9 points they won using Tevez illegally.
- Ask for the repayment of the £80 million that West Ham have gained by staying in the top flight for two seasons, a resort that will drive the Hammers to administration, seeing them automatically docked 10 points.
- The ultimate sanction of relegation due to breach of competition rules.
Whichever option they choose, the majority of West Ham’s players will fly the roost, leaving a side bereft of quality struggling at the foot of the Premiership table. Any money raised would probably go to Sheffield United’s compensation or the Premier League, so investment would be non-existent to try and stem the tide and the Hammers fans would be left to suffer the same indignity suffered by Leeds United. West Ham’s board have issued a statement saying they’ve nothing to hide, but let’s be honest, they can’t say anything else now can they?
This is a board that said they would agree with the Arbitration panel’s decision regardless of the outcome, then refused to accept the judgement and appealed to the Court of Arbitration, once again breaking another agreement. I feel dreadfully sorry for the Hammers fans, a more devoted bunch you’d be hard pressed to find in football but ultimately they’ll be the only people connected to West Ham who’ll suffer any of the consequences. If only the Premier League had made the correct decision in the first place, it would never have come to this.
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