West Ham’s new owners have reignited the Carlos Tevez affair by launching a legal challenge against the club’s former solicitors, and the F.A., for their handling in this long running problem. David Sullivan and David Gold feel the Hammers were badly advised by their legal team during the Tevez saga which landed the club a £5.5million fine, plus around £19m in compensation and costs to Sheffield United.
In attempting to recoup the losses, Sullivan and Gold have already dismissed match-day ambassadors and have ended club credit cards and mobile phones. This all comes after inheriting a £110m debt at Upton Park last month; therefore the owners are attempting to get the cash back. Overall, Sullivan feels that West Ham were badly advised by their old legal team during the whole Tevez episode.
In a backdrop to the financial difficulty at Upton Park, another of the £110m debt relates to former manager Alan Curbishley. West Ham have paid up the compensation to Curbishley who had asked for £3.2m, plus £500,000 costs, and it is believed he received more than £2m in the end.
Amongst all the speculation, it is certainly within the realms of possibility that the owners will launch court proceedings. However, this could be hard to nail down due to the fact that this whole story has had many twists and turns. David Sullivan had suggested that the Hammers were making an error in pleading guilty in losing the compensation case against Sheffield United. This all comes after a successful claim in the courts, from Sheffield United, regarding their relegation to the Championship in the season of 2006/07. West Ham has to pay out, and with seemingly no way out of it, could they offer to pay a lump sum in the hope that a lesser amount can be given?
The outline of the situation is that it is more to do with Gold and Sullivan being unhappy with the way things appear to have been conducted. The action that they are willing to take is brave, yet West Ham fans may salute them for stamping their foot down on the way things were done previously, but would it have been better just to leave alone what looked like finally dying away? It is hard to see how the Hammers can seek benefit from what the owners intend to do. It is questionable as to whether they are fully justified because this is something that does not involve the new owners in the first place. This is an offense from the previous owners.
The fact that the story has come in to the public eye, after the latest revelations, is news that may worry West Ham supporters. Therefore, it might have been better for the club to move on, but even that will be difficult now that they have opened the doors. If anything does happen then the fans have every right to question whether the owners have done the right thing or not. As this is only the beginning of yet another twist, supposedly, then there is the potential for things to become uglier.