The Guardian is reporting that a third of the Premiership clubs are ready to take West Ham to court, should they avoid relegation, and attempt to bankrupt the club with legal action.
‘Make no bones about it,’ said Sheffield United’s chairman Kevin McCabe, ‘we started looking into this as soon as the announcement came. It seemed to us that the tribunal did not take into any account the effect of playing those illegal players on the other clubs in the relegation battle. It seems only to have considered a breach of the rules and not the implications. It is also very odd that there was a very clear admission that West Ham had told lies.
‘Now that one-third of the Premier League is together, it may have an effect on the League in terms of asking for a review of the decision-making process from the tribunal. That could lead to a different ruling. It seemed obtuse.
‘West Ham have admitted that they fielded players illegally. Tevez is a brilliant player and that gives them an advantage. Hopefully Sheffield United will not be relegated, but we will support any club in whatever they might pursue.’
The likes of Charlton, Wigan, Fulham and Sheffield United are among the third for obvious reasons and their claims that West Ham’s player of the year was fielded illegally are clearly not going to disappear anytime soon.
So for a few clubs, there’s a lot more left to this season than the final match.