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West Ham handed record £5.5m fine

John Simkin

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BBC Report


West Ham have been fined £5.5m after being found guilty over the transfers of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

But the Hammers have avoided a points deduction which could have ended their hopes of staying in the Premeirship.

The club was found guilty of acting improperly and withholding vital documentation over the duo's ownership.

The hearing report also said that the Premier League could terminate Tevez's registration, and if West Ham want to play him they will have to re-sign him.

Tevez and Mascherano were part-owned by Media Sports Investment, the company formerly run by Iranian-born businessman Kia Joorabchian.

The transfers were negotiated by former chairman Terence Brown and managing director Paul Aldridge, both of whom have left since the takeover by current chairman Eggert Magnusson.

Magnusson has already indicated he would never have agreed to the terms of the deal negotiated by Brown and Aldridge and the new regime will consider legal action if the judgement goes against West Ham.

Representatives from the club, including chairman Eggert Magnusson, and from the Premier League attended the hearing in London.

West Ham are three points from safety heading into a vital game with fellow strugglers Wigan at the JJB Stadium on Saturday.

Latics' chairman Dave Whelan led calls for West Ham to be investigated, and manager Alan Curbishley: "Wigan have voiced their opinion, and if the boot was on the other foot I'm sure we would have done the same."

The fine is the biggest in English football, dwarfing the old record of £1.5m imposed on Tottenham in 1994 for financial irregularities.

A West Ham statement read: "West Ham received a fair hearing. The club's submission that the contracts gave no actual influence to any third party was accepted by the commission.

"The club regrets the fact that they fell foul of the FA Premier League regulations, but the new owners of the club now want to focus on matters on the pitch and remaining in the Premier League. The threat of a points deduction has now been removed and the club's fate remains in its own hands.

"The club believes that promotion and relegation issues should be decided on the pitch and we are pleased that the commission agree with that view.

"The club will reflect on the financial penalty that has been imposed and will take advice before commenting on the possibility of an appeal or any further steps that might be taken. "

Hopefully, West Ham will be able to obtain this money back from previous owners. The worse news is that it seems that Carlos Tevez will be unable to play for the remainder of the season.

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