May 04, 2007

Can't beat 'em? Sue em!: Wigan, sitting just above the relegation spots, is preparing to sue West Ham (one spot below Wigan) and the FA in order to have points docked for illegal transfers of two Argentinian players. (West Ham has already been fined several million pounds by the FA.) Now, Sheffield United, another team not quite out of reach of the relegation spots, is preparing a similar legal case against the Hammers. Separately, the former West Ham chairman, who oversaw the illegal transfers and subsequently sold the club, is also planning to sue because his ongoing compensation contract was severed by the Hammers in relation to the transfers and FA fines. I wonder if my team, Liverpool (in third place), will get sued by Arsenal (in fourth) for buying one of those players. Let the legal hijinks begin!

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 09:55 AM - 11 comments

My understanding is that Wigan are gonna sue The FA, not West Ham, but this story implies otherwise. I think West Ham did get off light. Points should have been deducted and the ONLY reason they were not is because West Ham collected enough points to possibly save themselves. If WH's regulation were inevitable The FA would have docked them and levied fine. But they are a big club, a big London club, so the powers that be in the EPL want them to stay up. If WH stay they get next seasons 20 million pound balloon payment, minimum, and have to pay a 5.5 million pound fine. If they were to be docked points they lose that balloon, still have to pay the fine, and likely lose Tevez among others. ...will get sued by Arsenal (in fourth) for buying one of those players. Different case altogether. Mascherano wasn't allowed to play until a ruling was made in his favor. Liverpool didn't break any rules. Tevez has been playing all season.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 10:44 AM on May 04, 2007

worldcup, it's all Everton's fault.

posted by igottheblues at 11:03 AM on May 04, 2007

That should be "...Liverpool (currently in third place)..." ;) Good luck in the Champions League Final Liverpool supporters, but feel free to have an EPL swoon.

posted by scully at 12:43 PM on May 04, 2007

Terrapin, I feel for you but not when the last two matches are two teams playing out the string, Fullham and Charlton. Compared to Chelsea, who need the win to keep an EPL title shot alive, and Portsmouth, who need at least a point to keep a UEFA Cup spot.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:12 PM on May 04, 2007

I think Wigan have a case, for the reasons r8rh8r27 gives. I wasn't too impressed with Leeds' administration thing either, waiting til they were (effectively) down to go into admin, then rushing to complete it to take the points hit in a dead season. Seems like gaming the system.

posted by Abiezer at 04:53 PM on May 04, 2007

Whoa. Joining the pile-on are fellow strugglers Charlton (a relegation candidate, second from bottom) and Fulham (still feeling the heat, just one point above from West Ham). This is starting to look like a gang-bang.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:46 PM on May 04, 2007

Totally disgusting. As happens every time mass litigation is possible, the lawyers are licking their chops. I say, put the clamps on the whole damn thing. Keep sports out of the courts or, more accurately, keep lawyers out of sports. As for Leeds, they did what they had to do to stop the bleeding. The humiliation of relegation and administration are quite enough. Starting 10 points down next season could lead to yet another relegation and completely destroy the club.

posted by TerpFan at 10:15 PM on May 04, 2007

billsaysthis: Arsenal have the motivation to get 3 points this weekend because of the Carling Cup final this year, and they haven't lost to Chelsea or ManU this year, so who knows. The match is on FSC, so I'll be watching even if the Gunners are only playing for 3rd.

posted by scully at 10:25 PM on May 04, 2007

I'll be watching too, especially after the Reds went kablooey today, but Chelsea (I hope) have to have the bigger motivation from losing earlier to the Gunners and ManU's narrow win. Minor silver lining: Clint Dempsey got his first EPL goal. More on topic: Will today's 3-0 score make a lawsuit more or less likely?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:25 PM on May 05, 2007

The queue to sue grows. Sounds like nearly a third of EPL clubs are ready to sue. Regardless of whether West Ham stays up or goes down, the clubs claim, "We will bankrupt you."

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:17 PM on May 05, 2007

The reason why this happens, of course, is that relegation and promotion are huge. Syzmanski had an excellent post on this a couple days ago- he argues that the payoff from getting promoted to the EPL makes the game for the last promotion slot the biggest single-game prize in all of sport. That is why the lawyers are out, not some decline in society or whatever. Huge money and unpredictable, possibly politically manipulable rules are not going to ever encourage people to sit on their hands.

posted by tieguy at 09:21 PM on May 06, 2007

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