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?