Thursday, September 25, 2008

Did Duxbury Lie to the Premier League?

Sheffield United and their friends The Daily Mail are selectively leaking what is still the confidential FA arbitration panel's findings. In today's Daily Mail leak (the link now doesn't work, so The Mail may have been forced to remove the leak) we learn that the arbitration panel decided that Scott Duxbury reassured Joorabchian that West Ham would honour the third party agreement they had with him over Caros Tevez.

70. Nevertheless, at the same time as West Ham was maintaining towards the Premier League that it had terminated and was having nothing more to do with the private agreement, Mr Duxbury (with Mr Magnusson) was having discussions with Mr Joorabchian and his solicitors as recounted at paragraphs 39 – 46 above. The object of those discussions was to reassure the rights owners that, irrespective of the formal position which West Ham had had to adopt, everything which the private agreement required would be realised in practice. Mr Tevez would be transferred on request in the next transfer window and the cost of insuring him would be reimbursed by West Ham. Nothing could be put in writing because of the position taken by the Premier League, but Mr Duxbury wished to reassure the rights owners that they need not in reality be concerned about the notice of termination which West Ham had only served because of the Premier League’s demands. The Premier League was, of course, not told anything about what was being said to Mr Shear and Mr Joorabchian.

The leak also reveals that Sheffield United claimed that West Ham "made an agreement with Mr Joorabchian to pay him £4.7 million in return for Mr Joorabchian securing that Mr Tevez play for the club in the remaining crucial games of the season." However the panel were not convinced that "a binding contract was in fact concluded."

The panel nevertheless "do consider that West Ham was in breach of its duty to behave with the utmost good faith towards the Premier League in the way in which Mr Duxbury conducted his discussions with Mr Shear and Mr Joorabchian immediately following the notice of termination and in not disclosing those discussions to the Premier League. "

We also think that the Premier League would have suspended Mr Tevez’s registration for West Ham for the last two games of the season if it had known about the discussions with Mr Shear and Mr Joorabchian following the Commission decision."

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