Irons cleared of further wrongdoing
In an out-of-court settlement earlier this year, the Hammers agreed to pay Sheffield United compensation for the Blades' relegation from the Premier League in 2007. After a long legal fight, the Sheffield club had argued successfully that West Ham, who survived at their expense, should pay them damages after breaking third-party player ownership rules by fielding the influential Tevez. However, a further inquiry was launched jointly by the Premier League and the Football Association into the conduct of West Ham officials following comments made by Lord Griffiths when the independent arbitration panel he chaired ruled the Blades should be owed compensation. Griffiths' tribunal inferred that West Ham had misled the Premier League in the aftermath of receiving a record £5.5million fine over the matter in April 2007 by claiming they had terminated the offending third-party agreement with Tevez's owners, fronted by the controversial football fixer Kia Joorabchian. This allowed the Argentinian to play in the vital closing matches of the season. However, the inquiry has determined that there is insufficient evidence to support such a claim. A statement read: "The inquiry has concluded that, on the basis of the evidence available to them, there is no prima facie case that West Ham United and/or its officials did commit any further breaches of Premier League or FA rules immediately after the independent disciplinary commission's decision."
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