Blades carry on battle for Tevez compensation

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The Independent Online

Sheffield United say they have no intention of dropping their fight for compensation following their relegation from the Premier League last season.

The Blades maintain they were unfairly demoted after West Ham were found guilty of breaching league regulations over the Carlos Tevez affair. West Ham, who survived relegation on the final day of the campaign, were fined £5.5m but United have long maintained that points should have been deducted.

That would have meant a reprieve for the Yorkshire club but after a long-running saga in which the club failed in an attempt to have the original punishment changed, United now want a financial settlement.

"We are heading towards a Football Association tribunal," the Sheffield United plc chairman Kevin McCabe said. "A date has been set for next year and respective clubs are now going through respective submission of claims. We are led by the availability of QCs and the panel, so it's more likely mid-2008 than early. It's frustrating but that's the way the law works.

"We have regrettably gone beyond reinstatement so it's about financial compensation for having been relegated unjustly after another club, we purport, broke the rules."

United have found life back in the Championship under their new manager Bryan Robson difficult. They are 14th in the table, five points off the play-off positions, after a 3-1 win over Ipswich on Tuesday night, but McCabe insists there is no need for panic.

"It's been a frustrating start, I think every Sheffield United supporter realises that," he said. "I'm a supporter too but I believe that in our management duo we have got commitment, determination and effort that will pull it through, so this season will still be a success."

Asked for his views on the season so far McCabe added: "I think puzzled and perplexed is probably the best answer. We all believed we'd be higher up the table but we've seen in years past in this league that if you can put a run together you can catch up."

l The Bristol City winger Kevin Betsy has returned to Ashton Gate following a month-long loan spell with Yeovil because the League One club could not afford to extend the deal. The 29-year-old made five league appearances during his stay with the Glovers, his only goal coming in a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea on 27 October. The Yeovil manager Russell Slade admitted the club did not have the funds.

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