CHARLES SALE: Alan Curbishley case strikes new Hammer blow to West Ham
West Ham's drastic cost-cutting has spilled over into a row about the legal advice they were given concerning the pay-off to former manager Alan Curbishley, whose negotiations ended with a settlement of around £2million. The new Hammers regime, headed by David Gold and David Sullivan, are questioning the bill from Kings Chambers in Manchester. Their barristers advised West Ham in their fight against Curbishley, who won his case for unfair dismissal following an 18-month stand-off. Public face: David Beckham is a figurehead for England's World Cup 2018 bid It is understood the law firm's Paul Chaisty recommended last July that the club settle with Curbishley for £500,000 and the West Ham chairman Andrew Bernhard and chief executive Scott Duxbury were in favour of such a deal. But West Ham's influential finance director Nick Igoe led opposition against the proposal, believing the club should not have to pay so much to Curbishley, if anything at all. After costs, West Ham finally handed over four times the amount under discussion in the summer. Now the club are upset at having to fork out too much for advice they ignored. More from Charles Sale... Charles Sale Sports Agenda: Keep off the pitch, all except Capello22/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Morrisons inject £1m into England's 2018 World Cup bid19/02/10 Charles Sale: Globetrotter David Dein is on board with the England 2018 World Cup bid at last18/02/10 Charles Sale: John Terry too exposed for ITV cover shot17/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Official BBC report bares all in Ben Jacobs sabotage saga16/02/10 CHARLES SALE: West Ham seek £40m injection as to reduce £100m debt15/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Olympics on alert after Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans' offers14/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Inverdale's treatment of Sven Goran Eriksson a choker12/02/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEIt's a sure sign that the FA Cup is in terminal decline when none of the four fifth-round replays on Wednesday are being shown live. Instead, the FA are reduced to streaming Tottenham v Bolton and Aston Villa v Crystal Palace on their website. Rights holder ITV, who will give preference to the Champions League, say they tried without success to persuade clubs to move their fixtures to Tuesday or Thursday. England 2018's international president David Dein has picked the most difficult of trips for his first overseas assignment this week the Caribbean Football Union, where the bid team will once again lobby for FIFA powerbroker Jack Warner's support. After the way Warner derailed England's campaign at the Leaders in Football Conference last October, followed by the fiasco of the Mulberry handbag gift to his wife, it will need more than Dein's networking skills to get him on side. Labour's Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe and Tory shadow Hugh Robertson, along with the Lib Dems' Don Foster, took part in a Question Time-style debate on the big sports issues on Monday. Only Robertson impressed. Shearer's trolley lolly kipper the sipper Alan Shearer is yet to tell Match of the Day colleague Alan Hansen that he has competition on the Morrisons advertising front. Hansen is on the roster of stars used by the supermarket chain for their TV commercials, but they preferred Englishman Shearer to launch their £1m backing for the 2018 World Cup bid. Now Shearer is talking to Morrisons about an ambassadorial role. Shearer, whose expensive BBC taxi journeys from the North East to London for MotD have been highlighted, travelled down by train for his Morrisons appearance at Wembley. The striker is not concerned about the John Terry-Wayne Bridge dynamic with England, saying: 'I don't think it'll be a problem. I didn't socialise with Chris Sutton at Blackburn.' Highly opinionated Manchester United right back Gary Neville is being chased by ITV to be a World Cup pundit. Red Nev would be a great signing for the network, although his appearances on screen would not help viewing figures on Merseyside. Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan has hypocritically slagged off almost all media outlets in his column in FourFourTwo, saying: 'The guys who text a radio station or a TV station at 11 in the morning aren't right in the head.' Yet this is the same Gordon Strachan who works as a BBC pundit between managerial jobs. And for someone who 'hasn't picked up a paper for five years', he still spent almost every day in press centres during Euro 2008. The bizarre goings-on at Fratton Park include Portsmouth, at one stage, promising they would not sign anybody if the Premier League lifted their transfer embargo, but would use any such announcement only to help their prospects of offloading players.
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