Attempts by West Ham to bring the Carlos Tevez saga to a close, could be undermined after it emerged that they still face further potential compensation claims.
The London club and Sheffield United looked to have ended the dispute between the clubs on Monday, with an agreement thought to have been in the region of £10-15million in favour of the Championship side, after Tevez played a major role in keeping the Hammers in the Premier League, despite his registration being in breach of regulations.
It transpired on Tuesday that their former manager Neil Warnock and a group of Blades players are considering bringing compensation cases against the Hammers. Moreover, Leeds United owner Ken Bates has said that he too is considering legal action against the South Yorkshire club and the Premier League.
The Blades’ relegation in 2007 meant that Leeds missed out on contingency payments, believed to total a six-figure sum, related to Premier League survival for the transfers of Rob Hulse, Matthew Kilgallon and Ian Bennett.
Bates said: “When they got relegated on the last day of the season we missed out on a substantial sum.
“That’s what we lost and if they are being compensated for their loss we believe we should be compensated for our loss. There are other clubs in the same boat who have similar claims.
“Ours is the biggest claim and it would be nice to collect that and strengthen our squad. We are currently taking advice on it and won’t be commenting further at this time.”
The Hammers have now issued a statement on their website saying they will do everything they can to prevent “legal anarchy”.
It read: “Despite the extensive media coverage, we have received no formal legal claims from Sheffield United players or their previous manager relating to the so-called Tevez affair.
“The club have settled the matter of compensation, as ruled upon by Lord Griffiths, with Sheffield United and can see no basis for claims being brought outside of the arbitration process, established by the Football Association, which has now been brought to a close.
“However, it is now becoming clear that the ruling by Lord Griffiths has encouraged a potentially endless legal chain of claims and counter claims, which can only be damaging to English football.
“As a club, we will strongly resist any attempts to prolong this matter through the courts, both to protect our interests and those of the wider game.
“There is a lot more at stake than the finances of West Ham and we will do all we can to stop this matter ending in a form of legal anarchy.”
A joint investigation by the Premier League and Football Association into the Tevez and Javier Mascherano signings by the Hammers in August 2006 is ongoing.