West Ham warn of 'legal anarchy' in Tevez claims

West Ham United last night insisted it was time to draw a line under the Carlos Tevez affair saying the whole episode could turn into "legal anarchy" as they could still face further potential compensation claims after paying out twice already.

The London club and Sheffield United brokered a settlement to end the dispute between the clubs yesterday, which is thought to have been in the region of £25m in favour of the Yorkshire side. The Blades sought compensation after their relegation to the Championship in 2007, which they believe would have been West Ham's fate if not for the goals scored by Tevez, – illegally a Hammers player – and an independent panel chaired by Lord Griffiths favoured them in its initial findings.

The West Ham statement read: "Despite the media coverage, West Ham United have received no formal legal claims from Sheffield United players or their previous manager [Neil Warnock] relating to the so-called Tevez affair. The club have settled the matter of compensation and can see no basis for claims being brought outside of the arbitration process, established by the Football Association.

"However, it is now becoming clear that the ruling by Lord Griffiths has encouraged a potentially endless legal chain of claims and counter claims. There is a lot more at stake than the finances of West Ham United and we will do all we can to stop this matter ending in a form of legal anarchy."

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