LONDON - Sheffield United players are seeking compensation from West Ham United for loss of earnings, their lawyer said on Tuesday in a fresh twist in the long-running dispute over Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. On Monday, the clubs reached an out-of-court settlement for compensation to seemingly end the row that was sparked by Sheffield United's relegation from the Premier League in 2007. Sheffield United sought payment because Tevez, deemed to have had a key role in West Ham's top-flight survival that year, was ineligible to play for the London club under league rules regarding third-party ownership. He is now at Manchester United. Despite the clubs' settlement, some members of Sheffield United's 2007 squad are pursuing personal compensation. "I have been in correspondence with the lawyers acting on behalf of West Ham FC for some time now," players' lawyer Chris Farnell told Reuters in an e-mail. "The players' claim will continue irrespective of the settlement between the clubs." British newspaper The Times reported that some 20 players were seeking 4-5 million pounds ($5.6-7 million) in total. West Ham later released a statement saying they had received no formal legal claims from Sheffield United players or former manager Neil Warnock. They also warned that the ruling could have wider repercussions for the game with endless legal claims and counter-claims. "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." Warnock said earlier he was seeking legal advice about making his own claim. "I wanted to get this (clubs' settlement) out of the way first... I know the players are looking again and I've been taking legal advice myself," Warnock, now manager of Championship side Crystal Palace, told Sky Sports News. "I just feel very bitter that I'm not a Premiership manager still. I don't think anything can compensate you for losing your Premier League status. Everybody knows it was my dream job." West Ham were fined a record 5.5 million pounds ($7.72 million) by the Premier League in April, 2007 over the transfers of Tevez and compatriot Javier Mascherano but escaped a points deduction which would have effectively sealed their relegation. The clubs did not disclose how much Monday's settlement was worth but media reported the compensation figure to be around 15 million pounds.
17 March 2009
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