West Ham have been fined £30 million after a Football Association Arbitration panel ruled in favour of Sheffield United.
If you don't know the full story, Sheffield United were relegated from the Premiership in 2007. They lost 2-1 at home to Wigan on the 13th May. On the same day West Ham managed to beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford to keep themselves safe—Carlos Tevez scored the vital goal.
Tevez and his former team mate Javier Mascherano were brought to West Ham under controversial circumstances. Businessman Kia Joorabchian played a major part in the transfer, and it turned out that his company part-owned Tevez. This was in breach of Premier League rules that forbid third party ownership, and West Ham were duly fined £5.5 million.
Sheffield United complained that West Ham should have had a points deduction, and if this had happened then they believe they would have beaten the drop, and West Ham would have gone down. What added further support to their argument was the major part Tevez played in West Ham's survival.
For me, it is scraping the bottom of the barrel.
A club's survival is ultimately in their own hands, and so Sheffield United shouldn't have demanded a points deduction and, in my opinion, shouldn't have demanded compensation.
They got themselves into the relegation dog fight so it is their fault.
Yes, West Ham were in the wrong and they paid their fine, but they shouldn't be made to suffer because the Premier League didn't deduct points from them.
Now they have to cough up £30 million, leaving them with a massive financial deficit.
If the Blades were worthy of belonging in the Premiership they would have bounced straight back up in 2008, but they didn't. Furthermore, they are currently languishing in 15th place in the Championship.
Sheffield United are likely to be £30 million better off, but West Ham are thinking of taking legal advice.
I hope they do and I hope they win their appeal. In my opinion, Sheffield United do not deserve such a payout because the Premier League made their initial decision not to make a points deduction, so they should live with that.
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