Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Kia Joorabchian says Leeds signed a player on a Third Party Agreement before West Ham

Kia Joorabchian
Listening to Ikea on Radio 5 really got my blood boiling. The guy confirmed that Leeds signed a player on a Third Party Agreement years before we signed Tevez and Mascherano, and I really could not make out how Tevez's contacts with Man Utd and Man City were / are legal, whilst his contract with West Ham wasn't.

Third Party Agreements are banned in the Premier League, but Joorabchian appeared to suggest that he STILL owns a stake in Tevez and that whilst he was a Man Utd player, Ikea's company still owned the player outright or, the "rights" to the player as the Iranian prefers to term it.

What is also interesting is that when Tevez and Mascherano arrived in London, they had no idea which club they were joining because Joorabchian had been hawking them around a host of clubs. Indeed, Tevez apparently phoned a friend from his hotel and said he was joining Tottenham. When he learnt it was West Ham the following morning, he had to phone that friend to find where in England West Ham played!

So, if we thought we were doing something illegal, we were bloody stupid, because a clutch of rival clubs knew the precise nature of the deal, as Ikea had already offered them the exact same package. So how the hell did we expect to get away with it if we knew we were doing something wrong?

It seems Tottenham and others were unprepared to enter into an agreement because of doubts over whether or not the deal breached FA and Premier League rules, but you have to wonder what the idiots running the game were up to whilst Joorabchian pitched his market stall and yelled for all to hear, "I'm not giving you one Argentinian World Cup star, I'm giving you two". Why didn't they step in at that point by clarifying the position and warning any clubs not to get involved? Might it be that the PR spin offs for the Premier League were too good, that it suited them to look the other way so that the Premier League Brand was boosted by two World Class players joining the fold?


Magic Snodgrass said...

Leeds fan here. I'm guessing the player was Mark Viduka. Leeds never owned him and took him on from Celtic in a strange sort of loan deal. Leeds paid £6m I think but never owned the player and when he was sold to Boro, Leeds never saw a penny. Harry Kewell was also a strange deal, who was a Leeds player but his sale to Liverpool meant that millions went to Kewell and his agents and not to Liverpool or Leeds.

And what is the difference between Tevez at West Ham and Faurlin at QPR, who is/was 3rd Party owned and helped Championship QPR to reach the PL and plays regularly now in the PL, yet QPR never suffered the financial consequences that West Ham did?

Hammersfan said...

Viduka? Didn't McDonalds have a Third Party Ownership in him? And BUPA in Kewell?

the headmaster said...

I share your incredulity at the whole so called Tevez affair. Never made any sense whatsoever to me and I like to think I've got a modicum of intelligence.
Makes me sick that the average non-thinking, media fed donut just trots out the same old garbage about West Ham 'cheating' without having a scooby wtf they're actually talking about.
That goes for messrs Whelan and Watnock, too, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I did follow this closely and my work includes administrative law/judicial review etc.

It wasn't the 3rd party ownership that was the problem, it was the potential (not the actual) breach of an EPL rule that was at issue. 3rd party agreements in the shape of loans from clubs and agents are not illegal.

The rules have been clarified since but it's worth reading the new rule as its essentially the same. The new rule R20, states:

'No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract to acquire
the ability materially to influence its policies or the performance of its teams in League'

It was the potential of 3rd party influence caused by the break clause in the Tevez/Maschorano contract that could be operated at the discretion of the owner that was the problem. The same contract minus the break clause was used with L'pool and Man U, and deemed perfectly acceptable.

The EPL argument went, Joorabchien could, if he wanted, arrange another deal/sale and during the season influence the players performance with the new deal in mind, and through it the teams performance. Without the discretionary break clause, the loan just came to an end when the loan period expired - an event that the club could know and plan for.

Reading the judgements though, it seemed the main thing that upset the EPL was the assurance by WH (I think it was Scott Duxbury) that the loan was a 'gentlemen's agreement' and there was no written contract. This was not true. Prior to this, another WH lawyer had raised doubts about whether the contact accorded with this rule, and instead of fessing up, the club kept the contract secret. This lawyer blew the whistle when she left the club and sparked the row with the EPL off.

After the original finding of a £5m fine and the beginning of our great escape, other clubs started saying that a points deduction would have been more appropriate. They judicially reviewed the decision, but lost. Sheffield U carried on and we stupidly agreed to go to arbitration. I've never understood why, as the JR case should have settled the matter.

The arbitrator made a strange decision, that was difficult to reconcile with what had occured before. He found that new information (a private discussion between Duxberry and another club's lawyer) would have led to an EPL point deduction.

It was really difficult to see how he arrived at this conclusion, and the next bit was, as far as legal evidence is concerned, worse still. He concluded that without Tevez, we definitely would have been relegated and Sheff U would have survived.

While most non WH football fans agreed with this statement, legally it's difficult to justify, as we cannot actually know what would have happened - it's impossible to know. In law, you have the causal link has to be demonstrated to exist, and speculation is not allowed.

Trouble with arbitration is you agree to be bound by the outcome and that was £25m compensation to Sheff U so we had to pay up without further challenge.

Anonymous said...

Kewell got a 4mil loyality bonus for not asking for a transfer and his agent got 2 for brokering the deal.. He was with leeds from about the age of 14 so third party ownership wud b hard to c.. If u were a leeds fan u wud know this.. Happy days fan by the looks of things..

Anonymous said...

Leeds fan here. Sorry hammers but I heard on good authority that our 3rd party player was non other than Rio Ferdinand. Think about it, deal brokered by ikea's mate pini zahavi.........

John said...

Could West Ham sue for compensation, slander et?

Hammersfan said...

Very thorough 0819 thanks, but who is to say an agent isn't influencing his player anyway, especially when that agent retains "rights" to the player? We know that IKEA has been striving to put together a deal to move Tevez away from Man City and, surprise, surprise, when that move didn't materialise, Tevez refused to come off the bench. So it could be argued that it was the possibility of influence in the case of West Ham but ACTUAL influence in the case of Man City.

Stani said...

Anonymous said...

0819 here, or John J from Ripon (if I could work out how to put my name up)

I agree it doesn't make sense and that no doubt there will be plenty of legal 3rd party/loan agreements out there that do lead to adverse influence. WH's mistake was the deceit.

In effect, we were punished for allowing ourselves to be in a position where we might be adversely affected by a 3rd party. If only Duxbury had fessed up, I'm sure it would have been possible to adjust the contract by inserting a break clause/shorter term, and it'd have been OK. Man U and L'pool managed it, but I guess they had smarter lawyers/negotiators.

The player's registration was legal, so the allegation of cheating was nonsense. Still, Sheff U still seem to be getting their just deserts and long may it continue.

AJ said...

08:19 thank you...