Filed: Wednesday, 15th May 2013
By: Staff Writer
Four of the five clubs to take a stand against West Ham United in 2007 over the Carlos Tevez affair have now been relegated from the Premier League.
Wigan Athletic's drop into English football's second tier was confirmed last night after they were thrashed 4-1 at Arsenal - despite having won the FA Cup just 72 hours previously.
And that means that four of the 'Gang of Five' who called for West Ham to face further sanctions over the Tevez scandal - Wigan, Middlesbrough, Charlton and Sheffield United - now find themselves outside the Premier League.
The one remaining club of the cabal to survive in the top flight are Fulham - and they only narrowly avoided relegation in 2007/08 on goal difference.
Despite having been fined a world record £5.5million for third party interference, the five clubs - railroaded by Wigan chief Dave Whelan and Sheffield United chaiman Kevin McCabe - insisted that West Ham should receive further sanction in the shape of a points deduction or further heavy fines.
Speaking in a 2007 interview, Whelan - who consistently claimed incorrectly that Tevez has been illegally registered (when this was never the case ) said: "We support Sheffield United. Fulham do, Charlton do, Middlesbrough do. All those clubs are committed to helping Sheffield United fight this case.
"Sheffield United will be asking for our moral and financial support. Fulham, like Wigan will stand right behind them. Middlesbrough will too as they've been mistreated. They, like us, want fairness and the Premier League must realise that we have rules and regulations that we must stick to."
The final payment of the £25million West Ham agreed to pay Sheffield United after Lord Griffiths ruled against the club is due in August. The Blades, who finished fifth in League One were beaten 3-0 in the play-off semi-final by Yeovil and therefore face a second successive season in the third tier of English football.
Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough, like Wigan Athletic, will feature in the Championship next season.
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