Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Defiant Hammers Come out Fighting; Eggert Insists Tevez Can Play on but Refuses Chance to Confirm Who Owns Star

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Defiant Hammers Come out Fighting; Eggert Insists Tevez Can Play on but Refuses Chance to Confirm Who Owns Star

Article excerpt

EGGERT MAGNUSSON today came out fighting as the row over Carlos Tevez's role in West Ham's bid to avoid relegation intensified.

An open letter from Wigan owner Dave Whelan to the Premier League questioned whether the World Cup star should still be playing for the club.

Wigan, who will be relegated if the Hammers get a point at Manchester United on Sunday, believe that Iranianborn businessman Kia Joorabchian still part-owns the striker.

West Ham were fined [pounds sterling]5.5million last month after refusing to disclose full details of the registrations of the player and fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano when they signed at the start of the season.

Magnusson was then told that he had to end the deal with Joorabchian if Tevez was to play on for the rest of the campaign.

The Icelander insisted today that Tevez will be at Old Trafford. He said: "Everything is okay, Carlos Tevez can play until the Premier League say so."

But when asked directly if claims from Joorabchian that he still part-owns the Argentine striker were correct, the West Ham chief refused to answer the question directly. "That's not something I can comment upon," he told Sky Sports News. "I have not had any conversation with Kia about that. He was here [Upton Park] at the game on Saturday [against Bolton] and I only asked him about the game." Magnusson now hopes the relegation issues will be settled on the pitch and not in court. "From my point of view and the club's point of view there has never been any doubt in our mind that his registration, and that of Mascherano's, were okay," he said.

"People are worried [about relegation] but the decisions about who are champions and who are relegated needs to be decided on the pitch." That view was backed up by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore who said there was no chance of legal action being successful.

He said: "The Premier League were always very confident that their rules have been adhered to in terms of how the whole issue was resolved. That commission have decided on the punishment.

West Ham pleaded guilty to the charges Eggert comes out fighting and the commission, independently of the [Premier League] board, have made that decision. "There is no doubt that in terms of the process the rules have been followed and that is the end of the matter." But Whelan will have listened to Magnusson's answers over Tevez with interest, and the Wigan chairman expressed in his letter that he will not be happy until he sees concrete evidence of who owns the player. It read: "In your email of 8 May sent to all Premiership clubs, you state assurances were received in a satisfactory form from West Ham.

Surely the contract can only be terminated by both parties? "Could we please see concrete evidence."

EGGERT MAGNUSSON today came out fighting as the row over Carlos Tevez's role in West Ham's bidto avoid relegation intensified. …

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