It may have hung over the Premier League like a bad smell for nearly two years but the Carlos Tevez transfer saga appears to have finally been resolved.
A tribunal was due to convene today to decide the amount of compensation due to Sheffield United for West Ham United illegally fielding Carlos Tevez in the 2006/07 season.
The proceedings are no longer required as both clubs have settled on a figure of just over £15 million.
Sheffield United maintained that they were relegated as a direct result of West Ham playing Tevez whilst fully aware his contract was in breach of Premier League rules.
The specific statues in question cover the murky area of third-party ownership of players. During the season in question Tevez’s registration was Toto Hk shared between West Ham and MSI Sports Management.
Sheffield United’s outspoken chairman Kevin McCabe is pleased with the eventual outcome even if it did take 22 months to come to fruition.
“We are happy and satisfied with the settlement with West Ham.
“Throughout the finalisation of the terms for the agreement, the discussions were friendly, co-operative and in the best of spirit with both the Blades and Hammers advisory teams.
“We are two clubs with a fantastic footballing history who now want to move on and focus on the business of playing football, hopefully for us against the Hammers in the Premier League next season.”
For his part the West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury is also relieved the protracted wrangling has been put to bed.
“For everyone concerned, the time was right to draw a line under this whole episode.
“We have had very positive discussions over a number of days with Sheffield United and acknowledge their willingness to resolve this in the best interests of both clubs.”
It is understood that the £15 million or thereabouts is due to be paid in instalments over the next five years.
West Ham United could have ended up paying more if the matter had gone before the scheduled tribunal. On the other hand Sheffield United are keen to get some cash as soon as possible to cement their assault on promotion back to the Premier League.
This payout by the Hammers comes on top of the £5.5 million they were fined by the Premier League back in April 2007. On this occasion West Ham were found guilty of breaking third-party ownership agreements from the moment Tevez and his compatriot Javier Mascherano arrived at the Boleyn Ground.
Although fined West Ham did avoid a points deduction which would have lead to the club finishing below Sheffield United and being relegated in their place.
This seeming injustice prompted Kevin McCabe to push the Blades grievances through the courts. It was Tevez’s crucial goals at the tail end of the season which took West Ham above Sheffield United in the final Premier League table.
A joint inquiry between the Premier League and the English Football Association launched earlier this year will further investigate some West Ham employees’ actions in the saga.
Meanwhile Carlos Tevez finds his future up the air at Manchester United, again as a result of his unique ownership arrangement.