Originally posted by Angry Boy
Fielding an ineligible player is in nearly all cases a points deduction. Technically Mascherano and Tevez were ineligible to play for West Ham under the contracts they signed.
I am a West Ham fan and I do feel sorry for Blades fans. The Premier League chose not to deduct West Ham points and then chose to allow Tevez to play for the rest of the season. It is those two decisions that in the end allowed West Ham to stay up.
That is not West Ham's fault. It is also not West Ham's fault that Sheffield Unt surrendered a 12 point lead, or that Liverpool played a B team against Fulham, both of which in the end allowed West Ham to stay up and forced Sheffield United down.
If we had been a points deduction at the time we would have been down with no complaints, found guilty, taken the punishment. Its the Premier League which has messed up, they can't back down or they will have no authority left in the game. Any complaints about this decision should have been filed by Sheffield United and Wigan then not only at the end of the season when it affected them directly. Where was the support from teams outside those in the relegation fight- Liverpool, Chelsea, Man U, Tottenham, Arsenal, Villa, Portsmouth, Reading, Man City, Newcastle? All these teams were directly and indirectly affected if technically Mascherano and Tevez were ineligible to play for West Ham under the contracts they signed.
Your chairman signed up to agree the method by which such matters are investigated and to respect the decisions that come from that process. As far as they are concerned they are in the right, the appeals process will be about whether proceedure was followed, not whether West Ham or Sheffield United should go down. You will probably just get some new recommendations from rule changes.
I would be hapy to see both teams stay up, but I feel it is more likely that legal proceedure and endless paper trails will get the Premier League out of jail. If the failings of the Premier League on this were so balck and white all 19 clubs in the league would have stood up to the decison, rather than the zero that did at the time of judgement.