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A Good Time To Be Paranoid?

As Michel Platini has become increasingly bullish about his 'financial fair play' strategy which many see as targeted at the top English clubs, some fans of those clubs may feel they are justified in being paranoid. Uefa slapped a two match ban on Eduardo for diving: nothing wrong in that, except that many such offences are ignored. Then Fifa imposed a transfer ban on Chelsea for inducing a French player to break his contract and join them. Chelsea do, of course, have previous with Ashley Cole and some fans of other clubs welcomed the move.

Match Fixing Allegations

Football betting specialists Blue Square are 'convinced' some players from both Grays and Forest Green manufactured the result of the final Conference match of the season between the two teams. More than £100,000 was staked on the fixture when Grays beat Rovers 2-1. The majority of the bets were laid at between 22-1 and 25-1 on Grays to be losing at the interval and win by the score at which the game finished. The betting, largely centred in the north-west and in Essex 24 hours before the game, alerted the bookies who suspended gambling on the match.

Southampton Fight Points Deduction

Southampton are to appeal against the ten points deduction imposed by the Football League. If they are relegated anyway, they would start their League 1 season with minus ten points. After studying a report by forensic accountants, the League decided that the holding company and the club 'are inextricaby linked as one economic entity'. However, the club argue that Grant Thornton, the firm of accountants that conducted the investigation, went outside the remit agreed by the League and the club. The League has insisted, however, that Saints have no good grounds for an appeal.

West Ham and the Carlos Tevez affair

Some time ago we forecast on this page that West Ham United would have to pay compensation to Sheffield United over the Carlos Tevez affair, but the Blades would not get as much as they hoped. That is the way it looks like turning out. The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne is not going to look at the issue, so it will have to be resolved in the UK, but probably through an out-of-court settlement. West Ham has had access to United's books, allowing them to work out the real cost of relegation.

Abramovich Really Is A Chelsea Fan

Roman Abramovich really is a Chelsea fan - and we have a 134-page ruling from Mr Justice Christopher Clarke to prove it. The ruling, dealing with a Siberian oil dispute, reveals a great deal of information about Abramovich's lifestyle. It emerged that as much as 92 per cent of the time he spent in England in any given year was specifically connected with Chelsea matches, rather than any personal or professional ties. Mr Justice Clarke rules that the club, on which he has lavished around £500m, was a 'hobby and a leisure interest'. 'It is not a business investment,' the judge determined.

Hammers Take Their Case To Court

West Ham will step up their fight against paying Sheffield United compensation by lodging an appeal in the High Court this week. West Ham have also asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to hear the dispute. The grounds on which West Ham can appeal to the High Court are actually quite limited. They have to show that the arbitration panel that decided in favour of the Blades' claim over the Tevez affair made an error of law or came to incorrect findings of facts.

Sheffield United Rule Out Appeal

Sheffield United will not allow West Ham to take the judgement by an arbitration panel over the Carlos Tevez affair to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. The CAS has already made it clear that it will not hear the case unless Sheffield United agree. West Ham are also exploring taking the case to the High Court as they believe the three-man FA tribunal 'based much of its findings on opinion'. The panel chaired by Lord Griffiths has hearings on Thursday about when it will decide the amount of compensation.

Blades Win Case Against Hammers

A FA arbitration tribunal has ruled in favour of Sheffield United and against West Ham in the Carlos Tevez affair. West Ham were found guilty of breaching league regulations in the signing of Tevez and Javier Mascherano in 2006. The Hammers survived in the Premiership in 2007 at the Blades' expense. Rather than being docked points by the Premiership arbitration panel, West Ham were fined £5.5m. The FA panel has found that the presence of Tevez made the difference in terms of West Ham staying up.

Two Newspapers Banned from Hartlepool United

The Northern Echo's and the Hartlepool Mail have been banned from the Victoria Park ground as Hartlepool United is in dispute with the newspapers over commercial rights. The row was sparked when the Hartlepool Mail refused to sign a commercial agreement with the club which the newspaper considered to be unfair. The Mail's photographers are not allowed into the stadium, and reporters, who are denied press access (although they have been reporting from the terraces).