Hammers, Blades & The Damage Done

Such was the effect of Bryan Robson’s predictably disastrous spell of Sheffield United in charge the following season, the saga of The Blades, West Ham United and Carlos Tevez has been largely forgotten by the media over the last twelve months or so. The story has, however, roared back into the headlines following the release of the findings of the arbitration panel which studied the case. As you may remember, there was controversy surrounding Tevez’s transfer to West Ham United from day one, and the irregularities rumbled on until the FA stepped in and confirmed that the third party agreement concerning his ownership by Media Sports Investments was against their rules. Tevez’s contract was quickly tidied up, and the FA fined West Ham £5.5m but, controversially (since there were only a couple of weeks of the season left), didn’t dock them any points. The supreme irony came on the final day of the season, when Tevez scored a highly improbable winning goal for West Ham at Old Trafford to send Sheffield United, beaten at home by Wigan Athletic, down in their place. In the couple of weeks between the judgement and the last day of the ruling, it had been Dave Whelan of Wigan Athletic who had been the most vocal in public condemnation of the ruling, though his opinions on the matter were slightly more muted after Wigan...

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