Hammers to fight claims

WEST HAM have insisted that they will fight any new claims for compensation after a queue of potential claimants emerged with their hands out, writes DAVE EVANS. The ink on the compensation settlement between the Hammers and Sheffield United was barely dr

WEST HAM have insisted that they will fight any new claims for compensation after a queue of potential claimants emerged with their hands out, writes DAVE EVANS.

The ink on the compensation settlement between the Hammers and Sheffield United was barely dry when former Blades' boss Neil Warnock, a lawyer representing their players and even Leeds United chairman Ken Bates jumped on the legal bandwagon

It is unclear at this stage whether the fish and chip shop outside Bramall Lane will making a claim for loss of earnings against West Ham as well! But you never know.

However, after the interviews conducted by Warnock, West Ham decided to release a statement of their own, dismissing any such claim against the club.


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"The club have settled the matter of compensation, as ruled upon by Lord Griffiths, with Sheffield United and can see no basis for claims being brought outside of the arbitration process, established by the FA, which has now been brought to a close," it read.

From the statement though, it would appear that the club hadn't been prepared for the new wave of litigants to emerge from the shadows.

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The statement continued: "It is now becoming clear that the ruling by Lord Griffiths has encouraged a potentially endless legal chain of claims and counter-claims, which can only be damaging to English football.

"As a club we will strongly resist any attempts to prolong this matter through the courts, both to protect our interests and those of the wider game."

Warnock resigned three days after his Sheffield United team were relegated on the final day of the 2006-07 Premier League season, something that the manager seemingly has never got over.

"I don't think anything can compensate you for losing your Premier League status," he asserted, although presumably he wants West Ham to do just that. "I think we could have been an established Premier League side and we had high hopes of taking the club forward, spending money in our first summer to keep us up.

"Even West Ham fans know, if you ask them why they stayed up, there is only one word and that is Tevez!"

Ken Bates, meanwhile, wants to claim for money his club lost over the sale of players to the Blades.

"We sold a number of players to Sheffield United with contingencies," he said. "When they got relegated on the last day of the season we missed out on a substantial sum.

"That's what we lost and if they are being compensated for their loss, we believe we should be."

Sheffield United players from that season are looking into suing for the �5million they would have received in bonuses had they stayed up. But surely both they, Leeds United and any other potential claimant should be receiving their cash from Sheffield United, now that the Championship club have been compensated.

West Ham are looking to make the latest development into a matter concerning the whole of football, not just themselves.

"There is a lot more at stake than the finances of West Ham United and we will do all we can to stop this matter ending in a form of legal anarchy," concluded their statement.

It looks like this sorry saga is not going to go away in the near future.

And West Ham also have to contend with a new Premier League inquiry into their playing of Carlos Tevez in the final three games of the season.

If they are found guilty then they could well face a points deduction for the beginning of next season.

They thought it was all over - it isn't yet!

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