The independent arbitation panel who ruled in favour of Sheffield United in the "Carlos Tevez affair" yesterday could cost West Ham upwards of £30million (Dh204m). The South Yorkshire club were relegated in the 2006-07 season, when, on the final day of the season, West Ham beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, thanks to a goal from the Argentine Tevez, and Sheffield lost at home to Wigan. Sheffield United claimed that under league rules regarding third-party ownership Tevez was ineligible to play. The Premier League eventually fined the East London club a record £5.5m. Sheffield United wanted West Ham to be docked three points, a punishment which would have seen the Londoners relegated in their place. Having failed in that regard, they then turned their attentions to achieving a financial settlement, which, after yesterday's ruling, could be almost 10 times West Ham's original punishment. The tribunal believed that Tevez was worth at least three points to West Ham. The judgment read: "We have no doubt that West Ham would have secured at least three fewer points over the 2006-07 season if Carlos Tevez had not been playing for the club. Indeed, we think it more likely than not on the evidence we heard that even over the final two games of the season West Ham would have achieved at least three points less overall without Mr Tevez. He played outstandingly well in the two wins West Ham secured in those last two games." The manager for the Yorkshire team for that fateful final day of the season was the outspoken Neil Warnock. He was left heartbroken when his hometown team were relegated and he quit after eight years in charge. Warnock, who may still be in charge had his team not been relegated, said: "It [relegation] was scandalous. It changed one or two lives and it shouldn't have happened. "The club itself is geared up for the top level and it knocked us back no end. It [relegation] is on my CV, which it shouldn't be. "It's a matter for justice and I think everyone in the country knows this is the right verdict. "They [United] have only claimed for one season [in lost revenues] and what they would have missed out 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." Both clubs are mulling over the findings and with the legal process not yet finished - West Ham could appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport - neither had too much to say yesterday. The Sheffield United chairman, Kevin McCabe, 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." The club statement also raised the question of a further intervention by the Premier League. It read: "The Blades began their legal fight for reinstatement some 16 months which also included an arbitration hearing against the Premier League. This award could now pose a question as to what the Premier League will do." Warnock praised McCabe for not giving up after the initial Premier League ruling, which decided a monetary penalty was enough for West Ham. "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," he added. "It's the principle of the whole thing. We were appalled by the original verdict. This verdict puts your faith back into the justice system." A West Ham spokesman told the BBC: "We need to digest the full findings of the arbitration panel and will consult our lawyers on the next steps we might take before making any further comment. "It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."
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