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Hammers to sue over Ashton and Tevez

West Ham have confirmed to ESPNsoccernet that they are ready to sue the English Football Association for £10.5 million in compensation for retired star Dean Ashton.

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Ashton was forced to hang up his boots last year because of an ankle injury that the Hammers claim originates from a break he suffered at England training ahead of a clash with Greece in August 2006.

West Ham have been considering legal action for some time against the FA for the £8 million insurance and £2.5 million pay-out that the club paid Ashton when he was forced to quit in December 2009, aged 26.

Ashton had two operations but then played more than 40 further games for the Hammers and was awarded a new five-year contract, the reason the FA are defending the claims for compensation.

A Hammers insider told ESPNsoccernet: "We'd love to settle it amicably, but we have drawn blanks with both the FA and their insurers and have no choice but to go to the courts.

"It can't be morally right that a player gets his ankle smashed to bits playing for England, he battles away trying to recover for two years, but finally accepts that the problem will reoccur forever and he has to retire and his club who had released him to play for England get nothing from the FA, not even the £2.5 million compensation they paid the player."

With West Ham still £90 million in debt, the club are also considering legal action against the solicitors who advised the previous owners in the Carlos Tevez affair.

Sheffield United successfully claimed £25 million in damages for being relegated as West Ham stayed up with the payments staggered over three years.

An Upton Park insider said: "The club is suing for the £25 million the club had to pay Sheffield United. When the club pleaded guilty to Premier League charges over Tevez, for a guarantee of a fine, and not a points deduction, the solicitors didn't point out that Sheffield United could sue for £45 million.

"The club settled for around half, paid over five years, so as to avoid going bust if the club had to pay up the full £45 million in one go."

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