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Ronaldo interrupted by invaders

The Toe Poke about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 16, 2007

Carlos Tevez: What's it all about?

WHAT DID WEST HAM DO WRONG?

Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez were signed on terms which broke two Premier League rules.

First, the contracts allowed the companies which owned the players' economic rights to move them to another club during any transfer window. West Ham would receive a nominal fee but had 'no right of objection'.

This broke rule U18, which prohibits a club from entering into an agreement which gives a third party influence on the performance of the team.

To make matters worse, West Ham were found to have told a 'direct lie' to the Premier League in order to cover up the fact the contracts contained third party agreements.

West Ham pleaded guilty to both breaches of Premier League rules.

The Premier League's independent commission fined them £5.5million after deciding 'this was not only an obvious and deliberate breach of the rules, but a grave breach of trust as to the Premier League and its constituent members.

'In our finding the club has been responsible for dishonesty and deceit.'

WHY DO OTHER CLUBS BELIEVE WEST HAM SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOCKED POINTS?

Because the Premier League's commission said so.

They admitted a points deduction 'would normally follow from such a breach of rules' - but then provided seven reasons for not doing so.

Chief among them was the fact that a loss of points would 'certainly have relegated' West Ham and cost them up to five times the £5.5million they were fined.

The commission also took into account the fact West Ham is under new ownership, and that the club's players and fans were not to blame for the situation.

The so-called 'Gang of Four' object to the panel's reasoning for not docking points.

However, the commission was free under Premier League regulations to impose whatever punishment they deemed 'proportionate and appropriate'.

WHY WAS TEVEZ ALLOWED TO PLAY FOR WEST HAM AFTER THE RULING?

West Ham were instructed by the commission to remove the third party agreement in Tevez's contract before he could play again.

The club say they did as soon as they received the judgment - and their actions satisfied the Premier League, who cleared Tevez to play.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, among others, has has demanded to see written proof.