Sunday, April 29, 2007

Naive Martin Samuel advocates rule changes in support of his club West Ham United..

West Ham United were this week given a record £5.5m fine by the FA Premier League, for rule breaking concerning the double signing of Tevez and Mascherano, and rightly so - they were lucky not to be docked points.

Few including the former Hammers manager Harry Redknapp have any sympathy for the club, because they must have known what they were doing.

However, it is somewhat surprising then that Martin Samuel who has won many top journalism awards for his sports writing, has come out and in support of West Ham, well it is until you realise that Samuel supports the Hammers...

Forgetting that Samuel might be ever so slightly biased for one moment, let us deal with some of the issues. Samuel argues that Manchester United have two goalkeepers out on loan at Premier League clubs in Ben Foster at Watford and Tim Howard at Everton, the Times man is using this as part of his reasoning in support of rule changes. What Samuel forgets to add is that neither were able to play against United this season, so there could be no charges of potential collusion and match fixing. Plainly to use the on loan United goalkeeping situation as a basis for relaxing the rules is totally ridiculous. The loan deals and ownership of the two players concerned are transparent which wasn't the case with the two Argentines.

Samuel argues that this sort of third party ownership of players goes on all of the time in places like Brazil, it might well do, but this arrangement massively increases the chances of match fixing and allegations thereof, which is the whole point of putting the rule in place...

In my humble opinion the FA Premier League are quite correct in their stance over this thorny issue of player ownership. If Samuel cannot see the potential for match fixing then he is naive in the extreme.


  1. Martin Samuels point was about by having it contractually written that Man Utd's goalkeepers can't play against them, it weekens the opposition team.

    If you looked at the clangers dropped by Everton's goal keeper you can see his point.

    Further, it is clearly apparent in the Tim Howard transfer, that Man Utd have completed a transfer in which they benefit by Tim Howard not playing. They have an influence over the Everton team selection, this is documented fact.

  2. That is slightly different and I only saw brief Samuel on Jimmy Hill's show briefly. But still there is a massive difference here. The United deal was above board. Everton and Watford knew what the score was about the players contracts, importantly so did the Premier League. Both deals were well documented. The West Ham situation is altogether more murky.


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