Warnock welcomes Tevez verdict

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The Independent Football

Former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has welcomed an independent arbitration panel's verdict in finding against West Ham in the Carlos Tevez affair as "a matter for justice".

But Crystal Palace boss Warnock, who later left Bramall Lane after the club were relegated as the Argentina striker fired the Hammers to safety, believes the money is a poor substitute for the future his side could have enjoyed in the Premier League.

Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe today claimed victory after a 16-month battle to right the perceived injustice of going down in place of a side who were fined a record £5.5m, but not deducted any points, for playing Tevez and Javier Mascherano in breach of league rules on third-party ownership.

The panel are yet to determine the size of the payout but although a figure of up to £30m has been suggested, Warnock believes something even more valuable was lost at the end of the 2006-07 season.

"It's a matter for justice and I think everyone in the country knows this is the right verdict," he told Sky Sports News.

"They have only claimed for one season (in lost revenues) and what they would have missed out on on the field and off the field.

"That's what it comes to in today's game. It's not an awful lot at the top level...it's one good player.

"This justifies what Kevin McCabe has said all along: that we were hard done by, that it wasn't done legally and we were fighting for our rights.

"It's the principle of the whole thing. We were appalled by the original verdict."

Reflecting on the effect relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship had on the Blades, he added: "It was scandalous. It changed one or two lives and it shouldn't have happened. This verdict puts your faith back into the justice system."

"The club itself is geared up for the top level and it knocked us back no end.

"I think we would be doing very well (in the Premier League). It (relegation) is on my CV, which it shouldn't be."

Announcing the arbitration panel's findings, McCabe this morning said: "I can confirm that both clubs have been notified of the ruling.

"The arbitration panel has awarded in our favour.

"The matter is still legally in process so I do not wish to comment any further until we have completed that process."

Tevez and Mascherano are both long gone from Upton Park, earning lucrative moves to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, while Kia Joorabchian, whose MSI company were judged to have partially-owned the Argentinian pair, is now a transfer consultant with the Hammers.

He had originally taken legal action against the east London club, claiming he was owed £7.1m, but the parties agreed an out-of-court settlement earlier this year.

For their part, West Ham are now considering whether or not to appeal against this latest ruling through the Court of Arbitration for Sport, although that decision may hinge on the level of compensation that is fixed when the arbitration panel meets again to determine a figure.

Like Sheffield United, West Ham signalled their intent to withdraw from the debate while they consult legal representatives, telling PA Sport: "The club will need to fully digest the findings of the arbitration panel and consult our lawyers on possible next steps. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."

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