14 July 2007

The Blades suffer another defeat

Sheffield United’s slim hope of remaining in the Premiership next season have been dashed. The Blades have been refused leave to appeal against the Premier League arbitration panel's decision to fine West Ham £5.5m over the Carlos Tevez (left) and Javier Mascherano transfers but not dock points. An arbitration panel had already upheld the original decision not to dock West Ham

Blades chairman Kevin McCabe "I firmly believe along with many others that (Sheffield) United were unfairly relegated, but that it has been difficult to probe the legal community." The Hammers were found guilty of acting improperly and withholding vital documentation over Tevez and Mascherano's ownership on 27 April and fined £5.5m. When they were registered as players, West Ham failed to disclose that they had entered into an agreement with third-party companies.

A couple of months away from the end of the season I doubt anyone would have cared if West Ham were docked points or not as relegation seemed certain - The Hammers were 10 pints adrift from safety with no realistic prospect of getting the wins needed to make the difference. Amazingly they did get the wins and sealed their premiership place with an away win over Man Utd.

In my view we got off lightly by having points deducted so I do feel sort of sorry for the Blades.On the other hand our season ended on a high note while theirs was marked by defeat by Wigan another side doing their best to avoid relegation. A drop to the Championship is expensive (they will lose millions form broadcasting fees) but I doubt further legal action will bring them an extra penny.

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