Wednesday, September 24

Another fine mess

Very West Ham. Two seasons on, an obscure independent tribunal has decided to rule in favour of Sheffield United over the Carlos Tevez affair and it might cost us a mere £30 million in compensation.

You do wonder why we didn’t go to court over this as we have a strong case. The Premiership punished us with a £5 million fine, so surely any fault is theirs? You also wonder why Terry Brown and Paul Aldridge have not been called to give public evidence and why Tevez’ then-owner, Kia Joorabchian, is still apparently advising West Ham over transfers and indeed criticizing Curbs’ transfer record after the man has resigned.

And how can a tribunal rule that Tevez was worth an extra three points? Martin Samuel has written an excellent piece in today's Times on the absurdity of lawyers (the panel was former MCC president Lord Griffiths, Sir Anthony Colman, a former High Court judge, and Robert Englehart QC) predicting the results of football matches. It was 20 odd games before Tevez scored for West Ham! Sheffield’s argument seems to be based on the fact that Marlon Harewood would not have been as good as Tevez... which a good brief could surely demolish as Marlon scored 16 goals the previous season compared to Tevez’ seven.

And anyway, it could be argued that it was the inspired performances of Hayden Mullins that really kept us up. And what about Christian Dailly who was so good that several thousand Hammers fans were offering him sexual relations with their spouses? ("Oh Cristian Dailly, you are the love of my life, oh Christian Dailly you can shag my wife!") Tevez never received that kind of offer.

Another point is that none of the people involved are now at the club — bar chief executive Scott Duxbury whom the Daily Mail claims gave "oral assurances" to Joorabchian's representatives that the third party agreement was still in place, despite the club saying it had been ripped up. This claim is denied by the club. Yet it’s the fans that will, as always, be penalized. And then to have to suffer Neil Warnock being sanctimonious…

Nurse, the screens.

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