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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 17:34 UK

Sheff Utd win West Ham tribunal

Carlos Tevez
Tevez's goals helped West Ham avoid relegation in 2006-07

An independent tribunal has ruled against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair, says Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe.

United claim Tevez was not eligible to play at the end of the 2006/7 season, yet played a key role in West Ham's Premiership survival at their expense.

The club is claiming more than 30m in compensation from West Ham.

The tribunal will decide on the amount of compensation to be paid at a later sitting, probably early next year.

West Ham are currently considering their next move, but their options seem limited.

The Football Association's rule K5c states that by signing up to arbitration, "the parties shall be deemed to have waived irrevocably any right to appeal, review or any recourse to a court of law".

We need to digest the full findings of the arbitration panel and will consult our lawyers on the next steps we might take before making any further comment

West Ham spokesman

This precludes the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and only a very limited ability to challenge the merits of the award in the Commercial Court.

West Ham were found guilty last April of acting improperly and withholding vital documentation over the ownership of Argentine duo Tevez and Javier Mascherano when they signed in 2006.

A three-man Premier League arbitration panel fined the Hammers 5.5m, but did not dock them points, and they went on to survive the drop on the final day, while Sheffield United were relegated.

Having failed in their attempt to have the original punishment overturned, the Yorkshire club invoked a Football Association rule that allows clubs with a legal dispute to go before an independent tribunal.

McCabe told his club's official website: "I can confirm that both clubs have been notified of the ruling. The arbitration panel has awarded in our favour.

"The matter is still legally in process so I do not wish to comment any further until we have completed that process."

A club statement added: "The Blades began their legal fight for reinstatement some 16 months ago, which also included an arbitration hearing against the Premier League.

"This award could now pose a question as to what the Premier League will do."

Neil Warnock, who was manager of the Blades during the 2006/7 season and is now at Crystal Palace, told BBC Sport: "It's justice eventually. Thankfully it has gone to an independent tribunal, they've listened to all the facts and the truth has finally come out."

Sheffield United's claim was considered by former MCC president Lord Griffiths, Sir Anthony Colman, a former High Court judge, and Robert Englehart QC.

For clarity, the FA did not sit in judgement on this case, did not have any influence on the decision and did not appoint any of the tribunal members

FA statement
A West Ham spokesman told BBC Sport: "We need to digest the full findings of the arbitration panel and will consult our lawyers on the next steps we might take before making any further comment.

"It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."

The Football Association emphasised that the process had been independent and that it "did not sit in judgement on this case...have any influence on the decision (or) appoint any of the tribunal members."

Tevez and Mascherano, who now play for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, were brought to Upton Park from Brazilian club Corinthians on the final day of the 2006 summer transfer window.

With nine matches remaining in the 2006/07 season, West Ham were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and 10 points adrift of safety, while Sheffield United were two places above the drop zone.

Tevez scored five goals after this, including the winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the final day of the season, to secure West Ham's survival.

see also
Tevez tribunal decision explained
23 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Blades set to hear Tevez outcome
10 Jul 08 |  Sheff Utd
Sheff Utd fight for compensation
07 Nov 07 |  Sheff Utd
Blades seek Hammers compensation
16 Aug 07 |  Sheff Utd
Tevez saga prompts rule changes
09 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Blades lose appeal on relegation
03 Jul 07 |  Premier League
Sheff Utd lose High Court appeal
13 Jul 07 |  Sheff Utd
West Ham not to appeal over fine
09 May 07 |  West Ham
West Ham receive Tevez clearance
28 Apr 07 |  West Ham
West Ham sign Tevez & Mascherano
31 Aug 06 |  West Ham

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