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Rivals seek retribution

Filed: Thursday, 3rd May 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

West Ham United's relegation rivals meet today in order to discuss the possibility of taking legal action against the Premier League.

Four of the clubs in the battle against the drop - Fulham, Wigan, Charlton and Sheffield United - are looking into the possibility of suing the League in order to have West Ham United's 5.5m fine converted into a points deduction.

Outspoken Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan - whose JJB Sports retail chain was itself fined a collosal 8.4m by the Office of Fair Trading for price fixing back in 2003 - heads the group who are due to meet at the Harrods office of Fulham owner Mohamed Fayed.

It is expected that the group will seek to overturn the League's verdict which saw United fined a massive 5.5m last week.

Whelan, speaking last night said:

"I think the Premier League is in turmoil at present because what has been done is not right. I think all the officials feel it is not right, and I know every club feels it is not right.

"If we have to go to court then it will be a shame, but this is a very serious offence West Ham have committed.

"I've no anger directed towards West Ham or their fans, apart from the fact they told lies. Whether the people who told those lies are still there or not, I don't know.

"But West Ham have broken the rules and they should have had a much stiffer penalty than 5.5m - a figure that is peanuts to the 35m they will get if they stay up.

"They should have had what every other club would have got if they had done this, and been punished properly with a 10-point penalty.

"Good luck to them because they've got away with it, but I hope in the end that justice prevails and they go down."

* Whelan - and his cohorts - may be advised to re-examine their Premier League rule-books as the opening line of Rule S2 states that an express requirement of League membership is that all disputes should be settled by arbitration.

Therefore by taking the League (and/or West Ham United) to court he will effectively be invalidating Wigan's membership of the Premier League ...

* Click here to listen to the full interview with Dave Whelan.

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by Graham Dunn
02:41PM 4th May 2007
''An appeal to all decent Scousers.
Do not buy your new summer shellsuit fromm JJB Sports or Harrods.

Perhaps if we do go down we could sue Reading for playing so well ...''

by Hammer
01:44PM 4th May 2007
''I would like to know on what grounds other clubs can sue West Ham? I understand the fact they could sue the Premier League but not WHUFC. The complaint is about the course of action and the punishment! This is the Prem League area, their concern is the fact that we haven't been demoted points.

I hope that they take this through the courts only to lose and undermine the financial situation of their own clubs. Let's be honest, Al-F can't keep out of the courtrooms due to an inability to LIVE WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES LIFE'S THROWN HIM. Get over it and go peddle your overpriced goods to people with no reality. Varney and Whelan just have chips on their shoulders because their clubs are inferior to WHUFC and the fact that we are looking more likely to stay up.

WHELAN, VARNEY, ALFYED you want to ask LEEDS how hard it is to get back in the Premiership without upsetting the people who own and run it!''

by Darren Sharp
12:00PM 4th May 2007
''What Whelen, and the other clubs in the relegation zone should consider is that the Premier League is only worth a minimum of 35 million because of TV rights. TV companies will only pay what they believe will generate a good return in subscriptions and advertising revenue.

Clearly the big draws are having clubs like Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal generate the top figures, then tier 2 such as Spurs, West Ham, Everton, Man City. These teams probably have just about the same support as the top 4 teams.

Below that, they are more or less "fillers" to the league to make up the games and create diversity. Although they attract viewers on TV they aren't big draws for subscribers.

Potentially a team like West Ham could mean more than 50 million a year to the Premier League, if they only drawed 120,000 subscribers to a pay tv channel. I can't see the likes of Fulham, Wigan and Charlton drawing anywhere near that type of figure. ''

by Mr Angry
11:49AM 4th May 2007
''Mr Whelan should shut his trap. Every single time there is an "issue" in the Premier League Mr Whelan sticks his oar in, when NOBODY is asking him. As for this current "witch hunt" that he is trying to mastermind, perhaps he should concentrate on his own team and how badly they have played this season, and concentrate on what he can do to actually have players want to sign for Wigan, or what he can do to actually get fans to want to go to watch Wigan play in that "rugby league" stadium of his. It's just a pathetic excuse for him to try and save his team from possible relegation.

Mr Whelan, perhaps if your team hadn't been so crap this season you wouldn't have to look to try to reverse the Premier League ruling in order to prevent relegation!''

by J.Compton
11:48AM 4th May 2007
''It seems to me Chelsea got off much more lightly than West Ham (for ilegally tapping up Ashley Cole) by only receiving a mere 300k fine - yet no other clubs dared sue Chelsea for that. Yet we are under pressure from rival clubs and have been given a more hefty fine. Maybe other clubs like Wigan are fearing relegation and are trying to make excuses for themselves.''

by Alex P
08:11AM 4th May 2007
''Who does Dave Whelan think he is? For someone who owns a small club he always has something to say. Well Dave "Sit down shut up, Sit down shut up!"''

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