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High Court Comes to Tevez’s Rescue

After taking a mini-break from Tevez-gate we are back. We had to wait till we heard what FIFA had to say and, quite unsurprisingly, those half-wits decided to pass the buck – this time to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However Kia Joorabchian sprang into action and finally decided to do what he ought to have done way back in April (when the Hammers tore up his contract) – he serves a writ on West Ham, taking them to the High Court.

All this is pretty much the gist of the latest happenings in this tedious soap opera. So what now? Would the CAS do a better job? Would the High Court be our best option yet? Let’s look into this in a little more detail, shall we?

One of our readers, David, had sent me an email asking me to touch on the CAS and its powers regarding resolution of disputes. Well, it’s not that my knowledge regarding this is extensive, but I did come up with some facts about the CAS.

  • The CAS resolves disputes related to sports which may range from doping tests to player contracts as long as both parties agree to the arbitration.
  • The CAS does have experience dealing with player transfer. In fact, a bulk of the cases handled by the CAS is either doping tests and football transfer disputes.
  • One of the reasons why the CAS was setup was to provide justice in a speedy and inexpensive manner.

However the ‘speedy’ part may be ignored in our case because, from what I’ve read, cases dealt by the CAS typically take several months. But they also have ad-hoc committees created to speed up the process when they did that during the Sydney Olympics. Even now reports say that the CAS could resolve this dispute before Aug 31st – the day the transfer window shuts.

But again, CAS may only be able to resolve cases involving player ownership and which party the money is owed to. If they rule in favour of WHU, for example, then Joorabchian would have to again initiate proceedings for tearing up the contract in April. That would mean another set of courtroom proceedings, this time the High Court.

However, now that Kia is taking the case to the High Court and is desperate for a quick solution, it is up to West Ham to follow suit and face MSI/JSI in court. The High Court could handle both – the ownership (and hence the player fees), and the issue of West Ham tearing up the contract. And with the urgency both parties seem to be showing, to get this issue done with as soon as possible, the HC appears to us as the only realistic way of getting Tevez.

Eggert Magnusson did admit that he doesn’t see Tevez playing for the Hammers and it is only a matter of time. Also, the CAS general secretary was quoted as saying to the Telegraph that any hearing into the case could not be set up before mid-August, with a ruling delivered a week later. This means it would be very close to the transfer deadline date. And that is very little time to play with. This again points us to the High Courts.

So at the end of the day, while West Ham are eventually going to be screwed over whichever way, we as United fans should fervently hope that we don’t run out of time, of all the things, in our bid to sign Tevez.

Here are some good reads about the Tevez situation as well as the CAS.

The Telegraph’s view on the situation. A lot of this post owes to what’s been said in this article.

A brief idea about the CAS on Wikipedia and Slate. Hopefully that helps. I’d suggest the article on Slate.