Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Media Response to the Arbitration

The Times claim that Sheffield United are considering taking their case to the High Court to force Kia Joorabchian to hand over documents that The Times believe 'could have important ramifications'. This is the second time The Times have made sly comments about these supposed documents. As today's judgement made clear West Ham served papers on MSI stating that it tore up the offending agreement between the two parties, so unless these documents are from West Ham saying 'we're only kidding, you still have third party control over us' the documents would make no difference. And it is hard to imagine West Ham would be so stupid.

As I think I said when The Times originally made this allegation it seems to me that Sheffield Utd are feeding The Times a load of old bollocks and the paper are biting hook line and sinker.

This is unfortunate because not all their journalists are so naive. Martin Samuel, also writing in The Times points out the double standards of Sheffield United, who on one hand bleat about fairness whilst on the other were involved in third party agreements of their own,

"Sheffield United hopped up and down in fury over West Ham’s Carlos Tévez, while Neil Warnock, their manager, talked quite openly of an agreement with Watford that stopped a former player, Steve Kabba, turning out against his former club. He saw nothing wrong with that, no double standard.

Indeed, Sheffield United launched a campaign for fairness as if there were a difference between a written agreement in which an illegal arrangement is kept secret, and a gentlemen’s agreement in which an illegal arrangement is not put in writing."

In general the media seem to be of the opinion that in the long run West Ham were a little lucky to not have had points deducted originally but the decision was made and then upheld so The Blades should now let matters lie. For example, The Telegraph says,

"... yesterday's decision should draw a line under the controversy and leave West Ham and the Premier League free to concentrate on planning for next season."

It was left to The Mail to lose all sense of reality by claiming that the arbitration panel believed "that Sheffield United and not West Ham should now be preparing for the new Premiership season."


At 1:21 PM, Blogger RapidHammer said...

I think there's a significant difference between the first three-man panel which fined West Ham and the arbitration panel which had to decide in the matter of Sheffield Utd. The first commission was an independent Disciplinary Commission of the FA Premier League of which the members had been appointed by the FAPL. Therefore no one of the judges had been named by West Ham. The second panel was installed pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996. According to this Act each of the parties had the right to name an arbitrator and these arbitrators chose the chairman of the panel. I don't think that any of the members of this panel had been biased but this panel should never have mentioned that "in all probability" they would have deducted points from West Ham if they had to decide in the disciplinary hearing. This statement should not have been made in the verdict because an Arbitration panel like this one would never have been installed in an disciplinary hearing!


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