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Mar 16, 2009

West Ham agree Tevez compensation with Blades

West Ham United and Sheffield United have confirmed they have come to an agreement on compensation over the Carlos Tevez affair, bringing to an end a saga which has rumbled on for almost two years.

The row centred around Tevez's eligibility to play for the Hammers towards the end of the 2006/07 season, when the Blades were relegated on the final day of the season after losing at home to Wigan Athletic while Tevez scored the only goal in West Ham's victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It has sparked three separate inquiries, one of which led to a £5.5m fine - but not a points deduction - for the Hammers.

An independent tribunal had already found in the Championship side's favour though West Ham had been fighting the ruling.

The Bramall Lane club were reportedly seeking compensation in the region of £45m, due to the loss of income brought about by relegation. But it is thought West Ham had come up with documents of their own to prove that relegation only costs £5m in real terms.

Reports at the end of last week claimed the two clubs had agreed a payment of £10-15m, with that figure being paid in instalments over a five year period. Some suggest the final payment may be up to £25m.

The announcement relieves a lot of the financial pressure at Upton Park with the Hammers still reeling from the collapse of Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which was run by owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson who effectively lost most of his personal wealth when the institution collapsed.

The spectre of a possible £45m payout had blocked any chance of a takeover of the club, but now that the Tevez affair has been put to bed the club can move forward without the fear of a sudden sizeable bill coming through the letter box.

The clubs have released a joint statement which read: "West Ham United and Sheffield United have reached an out-of-court settlement with regard to the dispute between the two clubs - agreeing that it is time to move on and bring the matter to an end.

"The agreement means the independent tribunal in relation to Carlos Tevez, chaired by Lord Griffiths, that was due to reconvene today (Monday, March 16) will no longer proceed.

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury and Sheffield United Chairman Kevin McCabe said: "Both clubs are pleased to announce that a satisfactory settlement for compensation has been reached which brings the dispute between Sheffield United and West Ham United to an end. The tribunal will not be resuming."

Mr Duxbury said: "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.

"This now allows us to concentrate on our immediate ambitions, which include a strong finish to the Premier League season and possible European qualification, without any negative impact on our long-term project. We wish Sheffield United well in their bid to secure promotion from the Championship."

Mr McCabe said: "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. We look forward to a positive ongoing relationship with West Ham at all levels."

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