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Arsenal remain one point clear at the top of the Premier League after five games, with Liverpool and Chelsea hot on their heels.

West Ham face the possibility of a £30m damages payout after an independent tribunal found in Sheffield United’s favour over the Carlos Tevez affair.

Tevez played for the London club in the 2006-07 season while illegally registered and his performances were key in West Ham avoiding relegation at the expense of United.

The compensation figure has yet to be set but United are reported to be demanding £30,396,897. Of that amount, £21,788,795 is for lost television and marketing money, along with lost bonus payments for league positions.

The tribunal, chaired by Lord Griffiths, is expected to release its findings today. According to the Daily Mail, the judgment reads: “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.”

Argentine duo Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived at Upton Park in the summer of 2006, however it later emerged that businessman Kia Joorabchian had negotiated the transfer and that his company part-owned Tevez.

The Premier League found West Ham guilty of failing to declare this and breaching the rules on third-party ownership. The Hammers were handed a £5.5m fine by the Premier League but there was no points deduction.

Tevez scored the winning goal against Manchester United – for whom he now plays – on the final day of the season, which preserved West Ham’s top-flight status.

Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe said on the club’s official website: “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.”

Arsenal remain one point clear at the top of the Premier League after five games, with Liverpool and Chelsea hot on their heels.

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