If you thought that West Ham’s downfall – initiated after the 31st August transfers of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano under MSI ownership – was complete with the Premier League 5.5m fine, you were wrong.
Plenty of things are STILL to go wrong for West Ham – and there are indications that they will.
The most immediate concern is to beat Bolton and subsequently give them an outside chance of staying in the Premiership. Yes, West Ham are playing at home and yes, Bolton have a new manager but in all honestly at this level and this stage of the season, you’re not going to get a crap Bolton just because Big Sam left early. Bolton’s training went as scheduled and there is a large number of management staff that will ensure that Bolton are fully prepared and come out fighting.
Premiership survival could mean the difference between selling 2-3 players and selling a dozen players – and that is just the start of West Ham’s troubles.
If West Ham survive (or probably even if they don’t), relegation rivals are queuing up to sue them. Wigan’s chairman, Dave Whelan, jumped ahead of the line when he said:
“This is a very serious offence West Ham committed. They broke the law, told blatant lies and should have got a 10-point penalty.
If we can sue West Ham or the Premier League, I am sure that will happen.”
Whelan’s frustration could also be borne out of the fact that Tevez had a big role to play in the game against West Ham last weekend (where West Ham won 3-0 away).
It’s also worth asking how Liverpool are allowed to play Mascherano when there were such serious questions being raised about Tevez / Mascherano playing for West Ham? It would make sense to make the details of this investigation public – to avoid incessant speculation in the media and to clear the matter once and for all.
Personally I think the Premier League did not deduct points because the people who had conducted the deal had left and it would seem, to some at least, unfair to saddle the new owners with punishments meant for the sins of the former owners.
Speaking of former owners, Terry Brown and Paul Aldridge have already been reported to be threatening legal action. So far we’ve only heard from Magnusson and co about Tevez and Mascherano, and although I think that Brown and Aldridge are just protecting their public image instead of defending their virtuous behavior, there’s too much here that can’t be decided without knowing the full details of the August 31 transfer.
One thing’s for certain – stay up or go down, West Ham are in it, at the deep end, and won’t be out of it till next season, at the very least.
Update: Now Sheffield United want to sue West Ham as well. Fulham / Charlton may get involved as well.