Brown Deal Could Take West Ham Down
The Daily Mail are reporting today that a number of Premiership clubs are questioning whether West Ham and Portsmouth have fielded ineligible players this season. Rule U18 says that teams can't field players owned by a third party and it appears that the Tevez and Mascherano deal with West Ham and the Manuel Fernandes deal with Portsmouth could be in breach of the rule. If the clubs are found to be guilty of this it would probably result in a points deduction.
The Tevez and Mascherano deal has always looked suspicious and as soon as The Premier League yesterday delayed over Mascherano's move to Liverpool it began to look like there might be some kind of investigation into the real ownership of the Argentinian underway.
This could be the final nail in a disastrous season for West Ham and Terence Brown's last little crap all over the Hammers.
The irregularities appear to have come to light because of difficulties in Fernandes' move to Everton and Mascherano's move to the Reds. It seems The Premier League were aware that there may be problems and this week privately contacted the 20 top-flight chairmen reminding them that,
"No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract to acquire the ability materially to influence its policies or the performance of its teams."
The League went onto say that they were "giving clubs the opportunity" within 14 days of producing details of any such contracts that were not disclosed when players were registered and once The League receives any responses "the board will consider relevant disclosures and then decide on appropriate action, if any."
The Daily Mail, in its article, seems to be hinting that some of the clubs in the relegation zone are particularly keen to force this issue. They mention Wigan by name but don't mention Charlton, whose manager Alan Pardew would of course be one of the few individuals outside of West Ham who would know of any irregularities in Tevez and Mascherano's contract with the club.