West Ham and Sheffield United have reached an out-of-court settlement over the Carlos Tevez affair. In a joint statement, the agreement was described as a "satisfactory settlement for compensation" but the figure paid by the Hammers - which has been reported to be as high as £25 million (Dh128.5m) - was not confirmed. It means the independent tribunal chaired by Lord Griffiths to rule on the controversy will not reconvene today. The statement from the Blades chairman Kevin McCabe and the West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "Both clubs are pleased to announce that a satisfactory settlement for compensation has been reached which brings the dispute between Sheffield United and West Ham to an end.
"The tribunal will not be resuming." "We are happy and satisfied with the settlement with West Ham. Throughout the finalisation of the terms for the agreement, the discussions were friendly, co-operative and in the best of spirit with both the Blades and Hammers advisory teams," Mr McCabe said. "We are two clubs with a fantastic footballing history who now want to move on and focus on the business of playing football - hopefully for us against the Hammers in the Premier League next season. "We look forward to a positive ongoing relationship with West Ham at all levels." "For everyone concerned, the time was right to draw a line under this whole episode. We have had very positive discussions over a number of days with Sheffield United and acknowledge their willingness to resolve this in the best interests of both clubs," Duxbury said.
"This now allows us to concentrate on our immediate ambitions, which include a strong finish to the Premier League season and possible European qualification, without any negative impact on our long-term project. We wish Sheffield United well in their bid to secure promotion from the Championship." The affair started in the summer of 2006 when West Ham bought the Argentinian and his compatriot Javier Mascherano to the club through the agent Kia Joorabchian, who had previously held Tevez's and Mascherano's contract through his MSI company. It was revealed that West Ham had breached Premier League rules of joint ownership of the player and a three-man panel were appointed on April 4 by the Premier League to investigate the two signings. On April 27, West Ham were fined £5.5m but spared a points deduction after pleading guilty to breaking Premier League rules. The verdict also rules "the registration of Carlos Tevez can be terminated by the FA Premier League" but Tevez is later cleared to play on for the Hammers.
On May 13 Tevez scored the winning goal in 1-0 victory over Manchester United which ensured that West Ham avoided relegation, thus sending Sheffield United down to the Championship. The Blades appealed against the Premier Leagues findings, with at this point the affair was under a Fifa investigation. In June 2007, United lost their legal challenge against the Premier League but considered a High Court appeal on the basis that the arbitration panel made an "error in law" in not referring the Tevez case back to the original independent three-man panel which fined West Ham in May. In the meantime Tevez agreed personal terms with Manchester United, which further confused matters over who held his contract. The deal is held up as the Premier League insist proceeds of the deal must go to West Ham and not to Joorabchian or MSI. West Ham reject an official request from Tevez to cancel his contract with the club. The Manchester United chief executive David Gill announced the club will ask Fifa to arbitrate on the Tevez transfer, but the world's football governing body referred the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after deciding not to become involved. However, Joorabchian opted to issue High Court proceedings against West Ham.
In August 2007, West Ham confirm they have reached a £2m settlement with Tevez's representatives which will allow the Argentinian to leave the club for Manchester United and on August 10, Tevez is confirmed as a Manchester United player. Sheffield United then took a different cause of action and announced that they would sue West Ham for the cost of relegation from Premier League reported to be around £30m. In September 2008, an independent arbitration hearing rules in favour of Sheffield United in their claim for compensation from West Ham. In January this year, the Premier League said that it would launch a fresh investigation into the conduct of West Ham over the Tevez affair and it seemed that a court ruling was likely, but today's announcement from West Ham and Sheffield United of an out-of-court settlement to end the saga. *PA Sport