Martin Samuels - A New West Ham Hero
Martin Samuels has quickly become my favourite football journalist. Today in The Times Samuels again tears apart the FA tribunal's conclusions.
Samuels points out that Phil Jagielka and Michael Tonge are the only Sheffield Utd players from their relegated side who are now playing in the Premier League. This hardly supports the players' case for compensation and also hardly supports the panel's findings that Sheffield Utd would have avoided relegation if it was not for Carlos Tevez.
Samuels rightly has a pop at Lord Triesman for complaining that West Ham are trying to appeal the decision. Triesman has complained that “If it goes through the courts, it is going to drag on and on”. Samuels points out that the FA are the one's to blame for this. Despite a verdict from a Premier League commission, after a process that all Premier League clubs had signed up for, a High Court hearing and an arbitration tribunal the FA decided to try and get its own back on the Premier League by allowing this tribunal to go ahead. It should simply have turned down Sheffield United's appeal and can hardly complain if West ham now take their turn in appealing.
Samuels also has little time for the bleatings of Neil Warnock, asking why, if he is such a good manager, Crystal Palace are currently 22nd in the Coca-Cola Championship. Furthermore, Samuels asks why Warnock told a local paper two days before Sheffield United collected three points against Watford that “Steven (Kabba) can’t play. I actually checked myself yesterday to make sure - you can’t afford to take any chances.” Samuels believes that such a campaigner for justice as Neil Warnock will want to clear up that little case of third party influence.
Samuels concludes by saying that his published view after the Premier League commission fined West Ham was that the club should have been relegated by the Premier League. However the revelation of other third party influence, including Sheffield United's own refusal of letting Kabba play for Watford has made him change his mind.