Filed: Monday, 18th June 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
Sheffield United's 'Campaign For Fairness' rolls into town this morning in an attempt to have West Ham United thrown out of the Premier League.
The Blades - led by blundering Chairman Kevin McCabe - take their case to arbitration this morning in a bid to have their relegation reversed.
But embarrassingly for McCabe and his fellow capaigners their campaign suffered a major blow on the eve of today's hearing when it was confirmed that the Blades are being investigated for breaking the very rule that they are seeking to have the Hammers relegated for.
Over the weekend the Premier League confirmed that they are investigating the transfer of Steve Kabba from Sheffield to Watford last January, after it was revealed that Kabba was contactually forced to sit out the fixture with his former club in April - a clear infringement of rule U18 which prohibits third-pary influence - an offence the Hammers were fined £3m for last month.
And it has since been discovered that Sheffield United also attempted to force another former player - Lilian Nalis, who the Blades sold to Plymouth in January 2006 - to sit out a game a month after the transfer took place.
Speaking after that game, then Blades manager Neil Warnock was quoted as saying ""I was disappointed Nalis played, but I suppose that's a lesson for me to learn" - a quote which Plymouth boss Tony Pullis reponded to by stating "Neil dealt with the chairman - if he didn't want Lilian to play against him then he shouldn't have sold him."
Of course, that game was played in the Football League and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the Premier League. But for McCabe, who continues to insist that the campaign concerns fairness in the game and not financial reward, the news couldn't have come at a worse time.
The three man panel are expected to uphold the Premier League's original decision when they meet this lunchtime.
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