WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham

Irish Hammer 11:12 Mon Jun 14
(Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Yes it’s long, if it’s not for you fair enough. I remember being on holidays in Spain when the news we signed them first broke, mind blowing. By chance I met a fellow hammer that morning and two of us couldn’t believe it. One of those, ‘where were you when you heard moments” !

Tevez, Mascherano and the wound that won’t heal

The deal, as it turned out, was too good to be true.

West Ham United raised more than a few eyebrows when they signed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in 2006. They were both 22 and, just a couple of months earlier, had been part of the Argentina side knocked out of the World Cup at the quarter-finals stage on penalties by hosts Germany.

Earlier that same summer, Tevez had been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League from Brazilian club Corinithians. But Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United were the clubs understood to be weighing up possible £40 million-plus bids, not West Ham.

Mascherano, a member of the starting XI in all five of Argentina’s games at the World Cup, had also been on the radar of countless elite clubs.

So, it was perhaps understandable West Ham, in a club statement released to confirm the deadline day double swoop, should hail “a massive coup for the Hammers, who have beaten off some of Europe’s biggest clubs to secure the services of the duo”.

The transfers were audacious, ambitious and illegal. West Ham, in bringing Tevez and Mascherano to England, breached Premier League rules governing third-party ownership. Both players were owned by a combination of investors and off-shore companies, and it was they who called the shots on the futures of Tevez and Mascherano rather than the club.

Mascherano moved to Liverpool after a disappointing five months at Upton Park. Tevez, however, stayed and went on to play a pivotal role in West Ham staying in the top flight at the end of that same season.

Tevez celebrates scoring against Manchester United in May 2007 (Photo: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images).
Sheffield United, having lost to Wigan Athletic on the final day as Tevez was scoring a dramatic winner at Manchester United, were the unwitting fall guys. But the south Yorkshire club refused to go quietly and later won a settlement in the region of £21 million from West Ham, who had earlier been fined £5.5 million for the rule breach. The Premier League also outlawed third-party ownership in 2007.

More than a dozen years on and with league combat between the two clubs set to resume this weekend at the London Stadium in their first league meeting since that fateful season, the resentment still lingers.

Kevin McCabe, then the Sheffield United chairman, first heard whispers about the transfers involving Tevez and Mascherano a couple of months into the 2006-07 season.

“I lived in Belgium at the time so didn’t see that many games,” the 71-year-old tells The Athletic. “But, of course, the world of football is pretty small. It is very much like a village.

“It was probably known in the autumn that West Ham had signed these two world-class players in Mascherano and Tevez for nothing. There was a smell. How could West Ham, a struggling team, buy two world-class players and not pay anything for them?”

It was a question many in football were asking.

“They were described as ‘free transfers’ so as far as the Premier League was concerned there was no disclosure of the third-party relationship,” a source who worked at a Premier League club at the time told The Athletic. “It just said these players are coming on a free transfer. There was no transfer arrangement, no fee and you’re thinking, ‘Hang on, why is there no inquiry into this?’ It’s ridiculous that two world-class players were valued at nothing.”

“The Premier League was run a bit like a gentleman’s club,” says another source who worked in the top flight. “When people would submit documents saying a certain thing, it was generally taken as word that they were submitting correctly filled in documents. The rules the Premier League had at that time weren’t about third-party ownership because that was kind of a new thing in English football. So there were no specific rules over third-party ownership.”

Things eventually came to a head in April 2007 when West Ham admitted it was in breach of rules relating to third-party influence over the club. A three-man commission appointed by the Premier League to investigate the two transfers imposed the £5.5 million fine that represented a record for English football, easily dwarfing the £1.5 million Tottenham Hotspur had to pay in 1994 for financial irregularities.

Crucially, though, West Ham — by now under new ownership following a takeover led by Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson the previous December — avoided a points deduction. Tevez was also allowed to keep playing.

“If it had been anyone else involved I am sure the outcome would have been different,” says Neil Warnock, Sheffield United’s manager at the time. “But because it was little old Sheffield United, the Premier League didn’t take the points off (West Ham). It was wrong.”

The season had begun amid a wave of optimism at both Upton Park and Bramall Lane. West Ham, under Alan Pardew, had finished ninth the previous campaign and reached the FA Cup final. But for Steven Gerrard’s bullet of an equaliser in stoppage time, it would have been the London club parading the trophy around the Millennium Stadium rather than Liverpool.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, were back in the top flight for the first time in a dozen years. Warnock’s side had won ten of their opening 11 games in the Championship and promotion had been thoroughly deserved.

The step-up was expected to be a demanding one but decent money had been spent on the likes of Claude Davis and Rob Hulse. Warnock was confident his side would cope.

West Ham, too, had been busy in the transfer market. Carlton Cole arrived from Chelsea, while Robert Green joined from Norwich City and Lee Bowyer returned to the capital from Newcastle United. It was, though, the additions of Tevez and Mascherano that really caught the imagination. Even their new team-mates were excited — once they got their heads round it all…

“I was in a gym at Canary Wharf,” says former West Ham midfielder Hayden Mullins. “It was the last day of the transfer window so we were all watching with interest to see who would go where. Then we got wind that we were going to sign Carlos and Javier and we were taken aback to be honest because we weren’t expecting two big stars from Argentina to be joining us.”

Marlon Harewood, then a striker at Upton Park, was equalled surprised. “It was a strange one because no one really knew they were coming,” he tells The Athletic. “I don’t think Alan Pardew even knew what was going on because (Tevez and Mascherano) just turned up at the training ground.”

Mullins adds: “The first day of training was mad — there was a lot of press and a lot of attention. I just remember both of them really fitting into the group. They socialised with us and were just really good lads. They both liked a laugh and a joke and you could take the mickey out of Carlos and sometimes he would give it back. Javier wanted to speak English as much as he could and he really put a lot of effort in to learn the language and converse with the boys.”

The club’s English contingent, in typical fashion, did their bit to help the new boys settle.

“We would teach them the normal words — and bad words, just for the banter,” Harewood chuckles.

Tevez, presumably with some colourful new terminology, made his debut from the bench in the 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa that followed the season’s first international break. His fellow countryman did the same, this time in a starting role, a week later as Newcastle triumphed 2-0 at Upton Park.

The expected uplift in results, however, failed to materialise. Mascherano quite often found himself starting matches on the bench, with Mullins picked ahead of him.

“We were going through a bad spell, so it wasn’t that I was keeping him out of the team, more that sometimes the manager would try different tactics,” recalls Mullins. “Plus it must have been tough for him due to the language barrier and the speed of the game in the Premier League. It was just a matter of time before they got up to pace with the Premier League and adjusted to life in a new country.”

By Christmas, West Ham had won just five times and were struggling in the bottom three. Alan Curbishley had replaced Pardew as manager but New Year’s Day brought further woe in the form of a 6-0 hammering at Reading.

“The reaction (to Curbishley’s appointment) wasn’t particularly good because when you’re down there in that situation and a new manager comes in all he’s going to do is pick faults,” says Mullins. “What he was trying at the start just wasn’t working, so he had to quickly change his mindset.”

Sheffield United also endured a torrid start to 2007, picking up just one point from a trio of matches against Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Reading. Nevertheless, Warnock’s side were still sitting a couple of places above the relegation zone.

Mascherano left East London for Liverpool on the final day of the January transfer window. He had managed just three starts, the last way back in October. West Ham lost all seven of the matches in which he featured.

The midfielder had become unsettled in London having failed to cement a regular starting spot. Agents working on behalf of Mascherano offered him to Liverpool, who had to untangle a complicated web of third-party ownership before finalising the deal. It took three weeks for the transfer to be sanctioned by the Premier League, which irked the Anfield club.

“The Premier League is satisfied that the contractual arrangements proposed by Liverpool FC are consistent with its rules; particularly that the relationship between club and player is not subject to third-party influence,” an official statement eventually read.

The Athletic understands Liverpool were also offered Tevez that January, but opted against the move owing to concerns over the forward’s temperament. Like Mascherano, Tevez had also struggled at Upton Park and had yet to score a goal. Things were certainly not going as smoothly as expected.

“I remember once, the manager was talking to Carlos through an interpreter,” says Mullins. “Carlos obviously responded in Spanish. When the manager walked out, I remember the interpreter looked at us and said, ‘I’m glad he doesn’t speak Spanish because if he did he would drop Carlos…’”

It wasn’t until early March that Tevez finally found the net in a 4-3 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur that left West Ham rock bottom of the table with nine games to play. Worse still, two days earlier the club had been charged by the Premier League over breaching rules B13 and U18 in relation to the signings of Tevez and Mascherano.

Tevez celebrates after scoring against Tottenham in March 2007 (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images).
“They were talking about us having points deducted and all that stuff,” recalls Harewood. “Obviously Warnock was trying his luck and he’s an outspoken person so it was one of those things that sticks in people’s minds because of the way it happened and the way they went down. They tried everything in their power to stay up.”

A three-man panel, headed by chairman Simon Bourne-Arton QC, was subsequently appointed to investigate and a hearing date set for April 26. Only once this hearing was underway did West Ham plead guilty to the charges.

Bourne-Arton’s 26-page report into the saga made for damning reading. The two players were, it revealed, owned by offshore companies who could influence when either was sold, to whom and at what price.

Only Media Sports Investment Limited and Just Sports Inc, the report went on to say, had the right to terminate the contract of Tevez, who it emerged could have left in the January upon payment of £2 million to West Ham. A similar arrangement was in place with Global Soccer Agencies Ltd and Mystere Ltd for Mascherano.

What made for perhaps more shocking reading were the lengths West Ham had gone to in an attempt to cover up the rule breaches. Three times, Bourne-Arton said, Premier League officials pressed the club over whether such agreements were in place and each time they were told ‘no’.

The judgment also detailed how, on September 8, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore had asked Paul Aldridge, then West Ham’s managing director, “how the club had got the players so cheaply” and whether there was any documentation the governing body needed to see. Aldridge’s denial led Bourne-Arton to conclude “an officer of the club, its chief executive officer, told Mr Scudamore a direct lie“. The panel chairman, while acknowledging the pressure West Ham had been under to register the players before the August 31 deadline, went on to add that the club were “determined to keep their existence from the Premier League”, referring to the documents relating to the transfers.

The report, written by Bourne-Arton in conjunction with his two fellow panel members — Lord Herman Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out, and David Dent, a former secretary of the Football League — concluded: “We are of the view that these are exceedingly serious allegations because they amount to not only an obvious and deliberate breach of the rules, but a grave breach of trust as to the Premier League and its constituent members, because in our finding the club have been responsible for dishonesty and deceit.”

The £5.5 million fine imposed on West Ham — £3 million for acting in bad faith, the remainder for entering into the third-party agreements — was determined by the size of the likely penalty if the matter had gone to court. This was estimated at up to £8 million.

Crucially, though, there was no points deduction. Some of those working with West Ham’s relegation rivals pondered whether the easy option had been taken due to a belief the London club were as good as down. Others closer to the process felt the guilty plea had been a major factor in the punishment being restricted to just a monetary one.

Either way, West Ham’s survival hopes, with just three games of the season remaining, were still alive. Four points separated the London club, second bottom in the table, from Fulham in 15th place.

For Michael Tonge, the Sheffield United midfielder, the decision not to dock West Ham points still rankles.

“It is one of those subjects I try not to think about,” he tells The Athletic. “It still winds me up so much. Decisions like that change people’s lives and careers. That is not sour grapes, just frustration at what went on.

“West Ham signed the player (Tevez). They might have been able to sign him the right way, I don’t know. But the fact is they didn’t. What most annoys me is the Premier League acknowledged West Ham were in the wrong because they got fined. I would rather they had said, ‘There was nothing wrong’ and just carried on.”

For West Ham, the relief at escaping a points deduction was palpable — even if the players avoided getting bogged down by the possible sanctions.

“We weren’t really concerned to be honest because we knew the club had it in hand,” says Harewood.

“The fact that Sheffield United were chasing the money and saying they wanted compensation from West Ham and all that kind of stuff didn’t affect us as players,” adds Mullins.

Less than 24 hours after the verdict had been delivered, Sheffield United claimed a precious three points at the expense of already relegated Watford. West Ham, with Tevez up front, also beat Wigan, while Fulham lost 3-1 at Arsenal a day later.

West Ham had moved up a place in the table and were level on points with fourth bottom Wigan. Fulham were a further point ahead in 16th. Suddenly the Craven Cottage club, without a win since February 3, looked the most vulnerable to the resurgent Hammers.

The relegation picture, however, changed dramatically again on the penultimate weekend as Fulham beat a Liverpool side featuring nine changes owing to Rafael Benitez having one eye on the upcoming Champions League final against AC Milan. Sheffield United lost 3-0 at Aston Villa, Wigan also crashed at home to Middlesbrough and West Ham beat Bolton Wanderers 3-1. Tevez scored twice to take his run of goals to six in nine games, a remarkable turnaround for a striker who had not found the net until March 4.

“Tevez made such a difference,” says Warnock. “To me, Tevez was worth eight to ten points that season. I know a couple of West Ham season-ticket holders. They know exactly why West Ham stayed up that year. Tevez. They hadn’t got a cat in hell’s chance without him.

“We had beaten West Ham (3-0 at Bramall Lane) a few weeks before the end of the season. Tevez had a rare off night and without him, they looked like a relegated team. I didn’t think West Ham had a chance of staying up after that.”

The final day of the Premier League season. Charlton have joined Watford in being relegated. One from Wigan Athletic, West Ham United and Sheffield United will also be kicking off the 2007-08 campaign in the Championship.

Adding to the spice of the occasion is that Paul Jewell’s Wigan, occupying the final relegation place, must travel to Bramall Lane in the knowledge only victory will be enough to survive. A draw will be enough to keep both the hosts and West Ham up.

If Wigan can triumph, however, all eyes will be on Old Trafford, the home of the recently crowned champions Manchester United. Victory for Wigan will mean West Ham, level on points with Warnock’s side but having an inferior goal difference, need a point to leapfrog the south Yorkshire club and save their own skins.

“I was confident going into the final day,” Warnock tells The Athletic. “I made the week leading up to Wigan as normal as possible and there was a good atmosphere among the lads.”

The first inkling the afternoon may not turn out as planned for Warnock came via the television in the corner of the home dressing room at Bramall Lane. The teams from Old Trafford were being announced. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo were all missing, rested by Sir Alex Ferguson with the following weekend’s FA Cup final against Chelsea in mind.

“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” adds Warnock, still exasperated all these years on. “Rob Hulse’s injury (United’s top scorer broke his leg two months earlier), Fergie playing the weakened team on the final day and Benitez doing the same against Fulham.

Warnock (left) looks despondent at Jewell celebrates Wigan’s victory on a day “everything went wrong” for Sheffield United (Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images).
“There were two or three players in that Liverpool team who never played for them again. And the Champions League final was ages away anyway.”

Sheffield United made a slow start as Wigan quickly settled on a sodden pitch. Paul Scharner put the visitors in front after 14 minutes. Jon Stead equalised but the hosts still went in behind at the break after David Unsworth had converted a stoppage-time penalty awarded for handball against Phil Jagielka.

Once back in the dressing room, the same television that had relayed the weakened team fielded by Ferguson had even more bad news for Sheffield United to report. West Ham were ahead. Tevez, perhaps inevitably considering his form, had scored the goal with a delightful finish past Edwin Van der Sar.

Sheffield United had 45 minutes to save their Premier League status. Danny Webber hit a post for United, then Lee McCulloch was dismissed for Wigan with 16 minutes still to play. There was, though, to be no final reprieve and it was Wigan’s ecstatic players who were celebrating in the pouring rain at the final whistle.

Less than 50 miles away at Old Trafford, West Ham were also hailing their own ‘great escape’ courtesy of Tevez’s first-half strike. Having looked completely and utterly doomed just a couple of months previously, West Ham were safe. So what was the turning point?

“It happened at Charlton away (a 4-0 defeat for West Ham in February),” says Harewood. “We lost that game but had a little heart-to-heart in the dressing room after. There were a lot of players that cared a lot about what was happening so we had to lay out a few home truths and ground rules in order to get out of the rot we were in. After that we started pulling in results.

“It was a strange one really because it was the first time I had ever celebrated staying up. It meant so much staying in the Premier League and obviously Tevez played a big role in that.

“He scored a lot of important goals for us and West Ham fans loved his passion. We were on the verge of going down and then Tevez comes along and pretty much saves us. Now it speaks for itself what both of them went on to achieve in their careers.”

Naturally, Sheffield United were far less enamoured with Tevez’s rescue mission.

“After what had happened with West Ham just getting a fine,” says former Sheffield United midfielder Tonge. “It felt like fate in many ways. For West Ham to go to Manchester United and Tevez to score the winner, it was almost written in the stars.

“We had such a good team. It frustrates me that I believe we would have stayed up for years to come had we managed to avoid relegation that first year. We went down by a goal, too. That made it worse. I am not sure that has ever happened before but it happened to us.”

As the dust settled on a dramatic final day, the row over the failure to dock West Ham points rumbled on. FIFA announced an investigation just 48 hours after the season had ended, while Sheffield United filed arbitration proceedings against the Premier League in an attempt to overturn the decision to only impose a fine on West Ham.

Actor Sean Bean petitions with Sheffield United fans near Westminster after speaking with MPs on behalf of Sheffield United in June 2007 (Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images).
The following week, an arbitration panel was set up by the League but Sheffield United subsequently lost. Talk turned to a possible High Court appeal on the basis of an “error in law” having been made by the arbitration panel in not referring the case back to the original independent three-man panel. This possible avenue, though, was also closed down on July 13 following a private hearing at the High Court.

McCabe vowed to fight on and his plan was revealed five days into the 2007-08 season. West Ham, he said, would be sued for the cost of the Yorkshire club’s relegation. West Ham described the action as “desperate” but McCabe’s decision proved a masterstroke. Thirteen months later, an independent arbitration hearing ruled in favour of Sheffield United in their claim for compensation.

“The important thing is to see justice done when you have been so badly hurt,” says McCabe ahead of this weekend’s resumption of league rivalries between the two clubs at West Ham’s London Stadium.

“You are in charge of an institution. And that institution has to be protected. We had been relegated and it was very clear in my mind that we had been relegated immorally and illegally.

“That is why our first port of call was to sue the Premier League. They shouldn’t have allowed West Ham to have just a monetary fine. They should have deducted points because that is what we all expected.

“We took the Premier League to a tribunal and morally we won. By the end of the tribunal they very clearly said, ‘If we had been the tribunal we would have deducted points but on a point of law we cannot overturn their decision’. We won morally. But we lost in terms of having to accept being relegated.

“It was a case of saying, ‘I ain’t finished with this yet’. That is what we led me to carry on. There was an instinct in a Yorkshire lad who came from bread, dripping and tin baths to say ‘This is not right’.”

A source from another club denies any conspiracy theory, though. “There was a lot of talk about the Premier League wanting West Ham to stay up more than Sheffield United because they were a bigger club. It was a load of bollocks.”

For Warnock, the legal victory for the club he had supported as a boy was bitter-sweet. He was glad some form of justice had been served via a settlement in the region of £21 million. But, having stepped down in the immediate aftermath of United’s relegation in 2007, he had since moved on to pastures new as Crystal Palace manager.

“Points really should have been taken off West Ham,” Warnock says. “It was the only decision they could have made in the circumstances. Or that’s what I thought. Just ridiculous that it ended up being a fine.

“I know we went down because we didn’t get a draw from that last game. I saw Jags (Jagielka) recently and he still couldn’t answer why he handled that ball. He never did it again in his career. But the Tevez element changed everything.

“I was going to stay (at Sheffield United the following season). Or I thought I was anyway. Things could have been so different for everyone. We had already planned for the summer and staying in the Premier League.

“But all that went out the window when we were relegated. I can’t bring myself to even think about what could have happened after that.”

Warnock was succeeded by Bryan Robson. The new manager quickly set about the task of overhauling the squad and there were inevitable departures. One of those to leave was Rob Kozluk. The full-back, then just approaching his 30th birthday, joined Barnsley after making 19 appearances during the relegation season.

“I can’t say it (the Tevez saga) affected us during the last few weeks of the season,” Kozluk tells The Athletic. “We were just focused on the matches. But it did sink in afterwards. How Premier League football had been taken out of our hands. You do look back and wonder, ‘What if?’

“But Tevez and the way we went down does leave a bad taste. It changed so much at Sheffield United. So many lads’ careers, plus the staff behind the scenes.

“I never played in the Premier League again. Would I have stayed at Sheffield United if we had stayed up and the manager (Warnock) had stayed? I don’t know. But the direction of the entire club did change after relegation.

“We were all on bonuses to stay up as well. Obviously, no-one got those. So many hidden things that people probably don’t think about when they look back at what happened that year.”

August, 2014. Upton Park, East London. Sheffield United are the visitors in the League Cup. It is the first meeting between the two clubs since doing battle in the courtroom in 2008.

The final instalment of the £21 million settlement — around £6 million — had been paid to the Yorkshire club 13 months earlier. Nevertheless, there is an edge to proceedings. Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, hints at wanting to exact some form of revenge. “It is about me making sure that they (the fans) go home happy because they feel aggrieved about what Sheffield United did,” he said pre-match. “So if I can do that for them, it will be great.”

Capital One Cup second-round ties rarely attract bumper crowds. But almost 29,000 fans poured through the turnstiles to see the two Uniteds, by now 50 places apart in the football pyramid, do battle.

The game is barely a minute old when the first chant of, ‘There’s only one Carlos Tevez’ can be heard. Around 900 Sheffield voices, housed in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand, immediately reply, ‘Same old West Ham, always cheating’.

Some home fans have brought along Tevez masks, lending a sense of pantomime to a Cup tie that sees the League One club take Allardyce’s side to penalties. Michael Doyle then wrong-foots Jussi Jaaskelainen with the tenth and final spot-kick to dump top-flight West Ham out of the Cup.

What those heading out into the London night once again cursing Sheffield United did not realise is the magnanimous gesture by the Yorkshire club that once helped West Ham survive one of the more troublesome episodes in their history.

“West Ham were in a dreadful, dreadful state,” says McCabe, referring to how the 2008 financial crisis enveloped Upton Park following the collapse of Lansbanki bank in Iceland, whose biggest shareholder was West Ham’s then owner, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

“Iceland had gone bust, never mind the owners. Scott Duxbury and Nick Igoe (West Ham’s chief executive and finance director) were decent blokes. They were keeping West Ham alive.

“So, we structured it (the Tevez settlement) for payments on the drip. That ensured West Ham did not go under. I am not looking for tears from a glass eye. But I am a great believer in football clubs being precious.

“No-one wants to see a football club go belly up. Bury’s demise is a disgrace to the world of football. Bury is a town that needs its club. West Ham were no different.

“With the financial crisis and being owned by Iceland — which had literally melted and sunk — in that sense we did our bit to ensure they could be reshaped and survive, as they have done.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

tanman 5:29 Fri Jun 18
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
The article mentions us being a 'struggling team' early on. When we signed them we were not struggling at all, it was on the back of a campaign where we reached the FAC final and finished 7th I think. At that point the article lost me.

arsene york-hunt 1:57 Fri Jun 18
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
My next door neighbour should have been given a prison sentence. I want to sue him because if he had gone to jail I could have had an affair with his wife. This is basically the same priciple by which SU were aggrieved.

Iron Duke 11:34 Thu Jun 17
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
I read that Sheffield United were the only club that voted against Man City getting a points deduction for breaking FFP rules.

Breaking rules only matters when it can save them from a deserved relegation.

ChesterRd 11:18 Thu Jun 17
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
No mention of Steve Kabba, no mention of West Ham averaging more points per game when Tevez wasn't in the side, no mention of there being no precedent for points deduction. It's basically a one sides account and that side aint West Ham

Billy Blagg 11:03 Thu Jun 17
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Mike Oxsaw 4:52 Mon Jun 14
Can I join you in that pint, Mike?

What West Ham did or didn't do doesn't matter. The fact Sheffield United could only stay up if we had points deducted tells you all you need to know there. Glad they'd gone again and hope they're not back for a long, long time.

Sven Roeder 3:25 Tue Jun 15
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
My recollection was that when we were to be punished the other clubs were pushing for a fine as they thought we gone and a points deduction would be irrelevant.

Still dont understand how having an outside party being able to sanction one of our players to be transferred was regarded as an advantage to us.
The players were effectively on loan and their ownership would revert to Joorabchian. Thats the reality of the arrangement.

I dont believe other clubs (particularly Chelsea) didnt have similar ownership arrangements in place.

Westside 12:50 Tue Jun 15
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Warnock et al, say a points deduction instead of a fine.

Why do they insist it would have been 3 points, the amount needed to relegate us?

There have been deductions of 1 and 2 points, in the top division (Arsenal 2 points deducted in the early 90's, Man United 1 point).

, 12:27 Tue Jun 15
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
The biggest football crime that season was lowly Fulham facing a Benitez selected Liverpool reserve side. The scouser’s first eleven would have won that game and Fulham would have gone down instead of SheffU.

Nothing got done about Liverpool’s team selection that day unlike when Mick McCarthy chose a second eleven Wolves to play up at ManU and the club was subsequently fined.

Irish Hammer 6:45 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
I love that it still rankles with them and Warnock. It’s fucking brilliant !

Mike Oxsaw 4:52 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Plenty of bitter in that, but a pint of bothered for me please.

Moncurs Putting Iron 4:44 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode

Spot on. The whole thing came about at a time where the squad had players that were playing out of their skins and were young and positive.

It really set us back in that regard.

charleyfarley 4:39 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Cheers Irish

Dandy Lyon 4:22 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Agree with that Stewie Griffin.

Similar to how Vaz Te gets credit for the playoff final when Man of match Cole often gets ignored.

flyingV 4:03 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
I’m pleased I read this because prior to it I had no idea that Iceland had LITERALLY melted and sunk, so thanks to Kevin McCabe I won’t book that weekend in Reykjavik.

RBshorty 3:21 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode

arsene york-hunt 3:00 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
I started to list all the incorrect details but got fed up. Suffice to say it was not an illegal transfer and they were registered as West Ham players. There was a minor clause about being able to transfer them when the owners of the players wanted, in a seperate side contract, between the club and the agent, a clause which in no way would have benefited West Ham. We pleaded guilty and got a world record fine. That should have been the end of the matter.

The arbitration judgement was outrageous, how could SU possibly think they were hard done by? They went down on merit . If they had benefitted from our getting a points deducytion it would have been an incidental benefit, not a fucking right. That they still moan about it is somewhat bemusing.

zico 2:46 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Is there a time limit on a confidentiality agreement when a manager leaves a club as I think Pards signed one when he left. Otherwise a couple of chapters in his autobiography would certainly make interesting reading.

Mr Kenzo 2:41 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
IIRC wasn't there a group of West Ham fans that went down to the protests purely just to wind them up?

Alwaysaniron 2:30 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
Move the fuck on you whinging northern monkey cunts.

El Scorchio 2:18 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
There's clearly an angle to that article, what with all the contributions from people connected to Sheffield United.

They are still not over it, the pathetic cunts.

zico 1:37 Mon Jun 14
Re: (Long) Article on Tevez & Mascherano episode
stewie griffin 1:00 Mon Jun 14

Plus Rob Green, was it Arsenal away he produced a world class display? I seem to remember Liverpool benefitted from a bending of the rules by asking FIFA for special permission to play Mascerano because he had already played for Corinthians and West Ham in the same season.

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