Monday, March 16, 2009

Money For Nothing. I Want Some.

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of Tevez-gate!

Carlos Tevez at West Ham and the relegation of Sheffield United to the Colaship. It's bored us all to tears. West Ham were fined but Sheffield United wanted more. They wanted some free cash to reinforce the false belief that they belonged in the Premier League. They blamed West Ham and Tevez for their relegation from the Premier League. Of course it had nothing to do with them being crap.

Well West Ham have agreed to settle with Sheffield United and give them 15 million quid! WTF. Why not just hand them a place in the play-offs or an automatic promotion spot next season.

If you are not up to speed on this story, click here. If you are, read on.

I object. This whole affair smacks of toddler tears. Boo hoo, cry me a fucking river Sheffield United. Tevez was ineligible? Yes. Were West Ham punished? Yes, 5.5 million quid. Are the folks who bungled his transfer still in charge at West Ham? No. Did Sheffield United only collect 38 points from 38 games? Yes. Did they have the opportunity to survive by playing Wigan at home on the last day of the season? Yes. Did they beat Wigan? No. Facts not to be forgotten.

West Ham have agreed to settle out of court and give Sheffield United 15 million quid. Nice. How the rest of the Colaship must be delighted to see one of their rivals handed a 15 million transfer kitty amid a recession.

Sheffield United were/are pissed that West Ham were not docked points, relegating the east London side and saving United from the drop. But what's important here is that the FA have already dealt with this. They fined West Ham. They recognized that the previous regime at Upton Park is no longer in charge and decided that it was unfair to punish the new owners and the fans for the actions of one Terry Brown and his dodgy mates.

Sheffield United went down at the end of the 06/07 season because they sucked. They went down by one goal 'goal difference' because they couldn't beat Wigan at home on the last day. In fact they let old boy David Unsworth strike the killer blow. They went down because over 38 games they only won 10 and only scored 32 goals. They went down because they lost 20 games and conceded 55 goals.

Sheffield United scored 8 goals in 19 away games and won just 7 of their 19 at home. That's why they dropped.

Table never lies.

Handing United 15 million just punishes every team in the Colaship and sets a dangerous precedent. Well guess what, I want some of this generosity!

In 2005 Norwich City were relegated from the Premier League with 33 points. Like the Blades, we only won 7 games at home: One of them was Manchester United 2-0, get in! Like the Blades, we were not good enough over 38 games to stay. We lost a game less than Sheffield United and scored 10 more goals. We did, however, ship a whopping 77 into our net. We were sent down on the last day after we lost our bottle and were handed a thumping at Craven Cottage after a perky few weeks and some important wins. But...There is one pivotal moment in our final few games that could have cost us survival and the 60 million quid that goes with it. One moment of outrageous cheating that, looking back, denied us of 2 points. Those points were the difference between us staying and West Brom dropping.

Let me transport you back in time to Saturday the 16th April 2005. The venue? Selhurst Park. With minutes remaining Norwich were winning 3-2. Then it happened. The biggest diving cheat to ever grace the football grounds of England earned a 9.8 from all of the late night sofa judges watching Match of the Day on BBC1 that evening. Andy Johnson's dive in the box was so outrageous it boils my blood to think of it now, nearly 4 years later. He flopped on to his face and won a penno that tied the game.

So if Sheffield United are getting 15 million then I want Norwich City to sue Crystal Palace and Andy Johnson for relegation in 2005. I don't see the difference. An act beyond our control cost us a place in the Premier League. An act that is clearly immoral and just wrong.

Of course, this is never going to happen and a weak attempt by Bigus at justifying a Norwich side that was not good enough to stay up. If they had been, they would have gone to Fulham and got a result. They would have ground out another win at home. Like Sheffield United, just not good enough.

But I guess Sheffield United supremo Kevin McCabe sniffed an opportunity for some 'money for nothing'. He turned into a rabid pit-bull and was persistent enough at the heels of West Ham's current owners that they finally decided to throw the dog a bone. Here's 15 million, now f*ck off.

Dog with a bone: Kevin McCabe

Unfortunately by doing so they just handed Sheffield United the financial clout to win the Colaship.

In honor of West Ham's lack of balls and Sheffield United's incessant bitching and moaning. And to celebrate their new transfer kitty, lets enjoy an old favorite...

Now look at those blades, that's the way you do it, blame Carlos Tevez for being shit...

I for one will be hoping that United blow their windfall on expensive players, high salaries and fall flat on their arses.


Andrew said...

Yes, Bigus, I see your money for nothing. But, if I may so inquire, are the chicks for free?

I agree with you, avec un caveat. Sheffield went down because they were crap, no denying that. But there's a certain principle involved in playing an ineligible player that leads directly to a team going down and one staying up. There's no decent way to correct what happened, except perhaps on the pitch. A one game playoff? Of course the counter-argument is your entire post: Blades had 38 games to get to forty points. They didn't, so we shouldn't.

Joep Smeets said...

what i dont get is home west ham performed so poorly with two players who are now very integral to the top 2 teams in the league

Ibracadabra said...

Benayoun and Tevez, I assume you mean. Mascherano was rarely, if ever, used.

GeneralGametime said...

My issue is that Tevez was downright nasty that year. He single-handedly kept West Ham in the Premier League. If you take away the goals Tevez scored down the stretch, West Ham goes down, no question about it. Teams in college are forced to vacate wins all the time for using ineligible players. Why not apply the same idea here? West Ham should have been docked points and been sent down.

Bigus Dickus said...

@GeneralGametime. Two points.

1: Sheffield United need to be held accountable for their own results and not those of West Ham. They had a whole season to accumulate enough points to stay up. Tell it to the judge...(oh yeah they did)

2: Tevez WAS nasty that season BUT he did not make that team or keep them up single handidly. No ONE man is a team. As like in most leagues, the run in is when the pressure is on. Teams live and die by the last 8-9 games or so. Teams raise their game. See West Brom today, or Norwich City who were dead and buried ten days ago. West Ham were no different, the switched it up and they fought. Every Tevez goal was made, he did not make his all his own goals.

As a poster on the pink un ( boards said...Where does it stop? Andy Johnson? Stuart Atwell if Watford go down because of the 'phantom goal'? Football is one big law suit. Teams need to be accountable for their own performance and no one elses. The people that suffer here are the colaship fans. Next year an automatic spot to the Prem has gone. Thats if Sheffield United spend the money wisely.

Just sayin'...

Kopper said...

I am hesitant to all but give Sheffield United an automatic promotion spot next year. By the same token, why didn't QPR get one this year? They probably won't make the playoffs. Also the money gets paid over 5 years, so its not like they have a huge chunk all at once. Still, no way I can ever be sympathetic to the Blades moving forward. Cocksuckers.

jjf3 said...

Yeah, the Blades only get $3 mil per year over 5 years, so if they don't make it through the "playoffs" this year, they're not guaranteed a damn thing next year...though I'll also accept that it sure doesn't hurt...

Also, while there is no question that even someone like Tevez couldn't do it by himself, he really got his footing (and scoring touch) those last few games...I'm with you BD, but even as a neutral it seemed unfair to watch. (And, no, that doesn't make it unfair - it just didn't "feel" right somehow...). So I can understand the anger, even if its not really correctly directed...

GeneralGametime said...

I am completely neutral in this fight. I could care less about Sheffield United. And I agree that every team is accountable for its own results. If the Blades had come through the last day of the season, this wouldn't be an issue (although then it might be Wigan doing the bitching).

That said, there is something just plain wrong to me when a team is essentially rewarded for breaking the rules. Sure, West Ham was fined by the FA and now is out another 15 million, but that is nothing compared to the prize for avoiding relegation. It is impossible to know for sure whether West Ham could have avoided the drop without Tevez and his monster goals down the stretch, but it is unfair to United to even ask that question.

Again, I think college sports are a great place to look for similar situations and what seems fair (although the NCAA is more fucked up than the FA). When Michigan paid basketball players, yes they won, but they used players in violation of the rules. And for that they had to forfeit. They may have won without Chris Webber, but it doesn't matter. He was ineligible and on the court, so the wins didn't count.

Re: "where does it stop?" It stops on the pitch. Refs make mistakes and the FA has rules in place for when that happens (the call stands as it was made on the pitch). This wasn't a case of a player diving and getting away with it or a ref calling a phantom goal (both problems that need to be addressed, especially the diving). This was a shady backroom deal that was premeditated and carried out against the spirit of the rules of the game.

West Ham cheated. United are being crybabies about it. But I think from purely a fairness standpoint Sheffield United is right.

Mike Georger said...

Send West Ham down after this season no matter what and promote one more team. If Sheffield is truly an EPL level club (they're not) they can earn there way back in.

If there is a way to kick West Ham out and keep shit clubs like Sheffield from getting in, how is that a bad idea?

Mike Georger said...

... I just looked and they're currently sitting in fourth in the 'ship. I stand by my comment.

Bigus Dickus said...

All super points (except for Georgers)

But maybe the FA should have noticed the discrepancy at the time of the transfer? They have to approve ALL transfers, even loans. I don't think West Ham were being under-handed, I genuinely think they did not know the rules regarding this and to be honest, the FA catches it, it gets sorted and Tevez still plays for them.