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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 20:12 GMT 21:12 UK
West Ham handed record £5.5m fine
Javier Mascherano (left) and Carlos Tevez
The double Argentine deal has proved costly for West Ham
West Ham have been fined £5.5m after being found guilty over the transfers of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

But the Hammers have avoided a points deduction which could have ended their hopes of staying in the Premeirship.

The club was found guilty of acting improperly and withholding vital documentation over the duo's ownership.

Among the reasons for the decision not to deduct points was the club's guilty plea and the fact that they are under new management and ownership.

Tevez and Mascherano, who has since joined Liverpool, were part-owned by Media Sports Investment, the company formerly run by Iranian-born businessman Kia Joorabchian.

606: DEBATE
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The transfers were negotiated by former chairman Terence Brown and managing director Paul Aldridge.

The three-man panel found the club had accepted terms they suspected broke Premier League rules because they were under pressure to complete the deal before the transfer deadline.

The panel's findings read: "They knew the only means they could acquire them would be by entering into the third-party contracts.

"Equally they were aware the FAPL at the very least may not - and in all probability would not - have approved of such contracts. They determined to keep their existence from the FAPL."

Aldridge was found to have lied directly to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore over the existence of documentation that should have been submitted.

Brown and Aldridge have since left the club following the takeover by current chairman Eggert Magnusson.

West Ham eventually forwarded the full details of the transfers on 24 January after the club had been informed by the Premier League of a proposed report into third-party ownership.

Magnusson has already indicated he would never have agreed to the terms of the deal negotiated by Brown and Aldridge.

Representatives from the club, including Magnusson, and from the Premier League attended the two-day hearing in London.

Magnusson said: "I am delighted that our destiny will be decided on the football pitch, which I believe is only right.

"We can now look forward to the final three matches of the season without this cloud hanging over us, and I am sure that will be a positive factor as Alan Curbishley and the players prepare for a vital match against Wigan on Saturday."

West Ham are three points from safety heading into the vital game with fellow strugglers Wigan at the JJB Stadium.

The club will reflect on the financial penalty that has been imposed and will take advice before commenting on the possibility of an appeal

West Ham statement

The fine is the biggest in English football, dwarfing the old record of £1.5m imposed on Tottenham in 1994 for financial irregularities.

A West Ham statement read: "West Ham received a fair hearing. The club's submission that the contracts gave no actual influence to any third party was accepted by the commission.

"The club regrets the fact that they fell foul of the FA Premier League regulations, but the new owners of the club now want to focus on matters on the pitch and remaining in the Premier League. The threat of a points deduction has now been removed and the club's fate remains in its own hands.

"The club believes that promotion and relegation issues should be decided on the pitch and we are pleased that the commission agree with that view.

"The club will reflect on the financial penalty that has been imposed and will take advice before commenting on the possibility of an appeal or any further steps that might be taken."



Barclays Premiership Table
30 April 2007 21:58
   
P
GD
PTS
1 Man Utd 35 56 85
2 Chelsea 35 40 80
3 Liverpool 36 31 67
4 Arsenal 36 28 66

5 Bolton 36 -3 55
6 Everton 36 13 54
7 Reading 36 7 54

8 Portsmouth 36 6 53
9 Tottenham 35 0 53
10 Blackburn 35 -4 47
11 Aston Villa 36 -1 46
12 Newcastle 36 -7 42
13 Man City 36 -13 42
14 Middlesbro' 36 -8 40
15 Sheff Utd 36 -19 38
16 Fulham 36 -21 36
17 Wigan 36 -22 35

18 West Ham 36 -27 35
19 Charlton 36 -24 33
20 Watford 36 -32 24

SEE ALSO
West Ham to avoid big points loss
30 Mar 07 |  West Ham Utd
Argentines urged to quit West Ham
05 Oct 06 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham sign Tevez & Mascherano
31 Aug 06 |  West Ham Utd


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