Hammers got off lightly
Is it really fair that West Ham United only get a fine as a punishment for the signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano? Admittedly the fine is huge, but surely they were attempting to gain an advantage on the pitch and so have to be punished on the pitch by a points deduction. If that is the final nail in the coffin of their relegation then that is tough, they attempted to cheat the rest of the Premier League and they have to have a fitting punishment.
Middlesbrough were docked points in the past for far less, the fact it was under the previous owners is completely irrelevant. Eggert Magnusson bought a going concern that already had doubts aired over the transfer deal. The Icelander would have had full access to the documentation but still bought the club. If he did not know then he can always sue the previous regime for compensation to pay the fine.
I have no personal interest in any club involved in the relegation dogfight, but if I did I would be furious with the FA's decision. It must be especially galling as Tevez has been arguably West Ham's best player this season. So a player who's registration was obtained (in the FA's words) by dishonesty and deceipt, could save the Hammers from relegation, a relegation that would cost the club far more than £5.5million.
Then there is the question of teams that have dropped points to the Hammers since the signings, each of these clubs have been severely disadvantaged. The prize money in the Premiership is so big that teams could be missing out on millions by losing a couple of places. It could also be the difference between European qualification and missing out.
To my mind the FA have bottled out, £5.5million is not even the price one of the Argentinians would have cost at the start of the season. You only have to look at the Irish Premier League, an ineligible player there has cost Larne relegation from the division. A club there will think twice before making the same error as Larne, here they will just compare the cost of relegation to the price of a fine, and I know which is preferable.
Article written by Tris Burke