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Hammers confirm appeal over Blades compo

West Ham United have confirmed they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after an independent panel ruled they must compensate Sheffield United over the Carlos Tevez affair. On Monday the Blades emerged victorious from a 16-month battle for compensation following their relegation from the Premier League in 2007. It has been estimated that the Hammers could be force to pay out £30million.

The East London club survived at the Blades' expense with Tevez proving to be inspirational as the club won seven of their last nine games. However, Tevez's role in the West Ham's great escape was controversial because his registration breached league rules on third-party ownership.

A statement on the club's official website read: "West Ham United can confirm today that our lawyers are drafting a statement of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland in relation to the case involving the club and Sheffield United.

"West Ham United cannot comment in detail in response to the FA arbitration panel ruling made public yesterday because of confidentiality provisions but will update supporters via whufc.com as and when appropriate.

"However, the club can confirm that while we respect the judgement of the FA arbitration panel, we do not accept that one player's contribution can be placed over that of the team as a whole nor used as the basis for judging the results of a 38-game season.

"This ruling undermines the significant efforts of our entire playing squad and coaching staff over the duration of the 2006/07 Premier League season and does not take sufficient account of the performances of the other 19 clubs in the competition.

"We acknowledge again that the club broke Premier League rules in the original signing of Carlos Tevez but we were dealt with accordingly by an independent Premier League commission and accepted the significant punishment handed down at that time.

"In light of this and the wider implications of this latest ruling for English football we have decided to ask that the case be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

At the time West Ham were fined £5.5 million but were not deducted any points and Tevez was allowed to continue playing, all of which incensed Sheffield United who argued they should have paid a heavier price.

Most galling for United fans was Tevez's goal in West Ham's shock 1-0 away win against Manchester United on the last day of the 2006-07 season: that goal garnered the three points which ensured the Hammers' top flight status and condemned the Blades.

Although a decision on the size of the compensation payout has yet to be made, the South Yorkshire club have claimed they are set for a figure of £30 million, which equates to a season of lost Premier League revenues.

Whether the CAS, based in Lausanne, would be able to intervene in the saga remains unclear, not least because the arbitration process, which was conducted under Football Association rules, stipulates that neither club has the right to appeal the panel's decision.

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