Thursday, February 22, 2007

West Ham Close to Inquiry Conclusion

According to today's Telegraph the Premier League could announce the results of their enquiry into West Ham's ownership of Tevez and Mascherano by this weekend.

The paper says that Tevez and Mascherano were given deals worth £1.7 million in annual wages by West Ham and that if the consortium headed by Joorbachian had succeeded then Brown was due to receive a £1.5 million bonus plus a £1.5 million annual salary while Aldridge was to receive a one-off payment of £1.1 million plus a new salary of £1.1 million-a-year.

Ex-managing director Paul Aldridge believes that although the club did not show the Premier League the contract outlining the details of the deal in September they did not breach League rules. In addition, Aldridge does not feel he can be personally held responsible for the deals and is sticking to legal advice he received in August.

The new owners of West Ham West Ham say the rules are too vague and, if charged, will challenge the League to prove that the contract "materially" influenced the policies and performances of the team. But if they were to lose that argument and West Ham were docked points, the club will appeal. They will claim that a new regime cannot be held accountable for the actions of an old one.

They will use the example of Sp@#rs, who in 1994 were docked 12 points and thrown out of the FA Cup for making illegal payments to players. Sir Alan Sugar, the chairman at that time, challenged the penalties and the FA Cup ban and points deduction were both overturned.

West Ham will also look at taking legal action against Brown and Aldridge on the possible grounds that they were legally liable for the deals in the first place.

However the paper seems to believe that the Premier League are treating the incident seriously and are not only investigating a breach of rule U18 which states 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" but are also looking at whether rule U6 has been broken, a regulation aimed more at the power of agents. The rule states: "No person may, either directly or indirectly, be involved or have any power to determine or influence the management or administration of more than one club."

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