What We're Reading

Hammers Investigation Looking Bleak

West Ham United "could be in for a hammering," writes David Conn of the Guardian, over the alleged breach of Premiership rules involved in the signing of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Last Friday the Hammers completed its defense of the Premier League's allegation, denying that the board's dealing with four offshore companies, which "own" the Argentine pair, constituted a breach of rules. If found guilty, West Ham faces at least a significant fine and a point deduction, precisely the kind of slap on the wrist a relegation-threatened club could ill-afford.

The EPL charges that West Ham allowed the players' "owners" to "materially influence" the club's policies and on-field performance, which directly breaches one of its rules. Its second and stronger charge according to Conn, is the team's decision not to tell the Premier League about its agreements with the players' so-called owners. When Mascherano was transferred on-loan to Liverpool, the names of two companies owning "economic rights" to the player surfaced that were not contained in documentation provided to the league by West Ham. Finally, on Jan. 24, the club, now under new management, provided those details. Immediately after came the resignation of Terry Brown, West Ham's former chairman, who left the club's new Icelandic owners with a large mess to account for. Eggert Magnusson, its new chairman, has threatened legal action against Brown if the club is found guilty.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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