Rivals seek retribution

  • by Matthew O'Greel
  • Thursday, 3rd May 2007

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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