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Hammers hit by new cash crisis

PUBLISHED: 17:25 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010

Fresh Tevez blow could spark £30m meltdown

By JONATHAN CLEGG

WEST HAM are facing up to a crippling financial blow after the High Court ruled this week that the club will not be allowed to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the Carlos Tevez affair.

The Hammers could now be hit by a £30m compensation payout to Sheffield United, who were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season in 2007.

Mr Justice Teare granted a temporary order on Wednesday stopping West Ham from appealing to the CAS over a ruling that they had breached Premier League rules in signing the Argentina striker.

The Hammers have requested an appeal against the injunction amid fears that the latest development in the long-running legal battle could spark an economic meltdown at Upton Park.

The club are already in financial turmoil after the collapse of shirt sponsor XL and a series of devastating setbacks to owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's business empire in Iceland.

Sheffield United are currently free to go ahead with their arbitration claim for damages, which the Championship club have estimated at £30m. The Blades will seek a permanent injunction when the issue returns to the High Court in the new year.

The uncertainty over the financial situation at Upton Park has raised fears of a fire sale of players in the January transfer window and speculation that Gudmundsson may be forced to sell the club.

But Hammers defender James Collins has urged the club to keep hold of their top talent - or risk being relegated at the end of the season.

Matthew Upson, Craig Bellamy and Robert Green have all been linked with moves to Premier League rivals, but Collins is desperate for the club to keep their star players.

He said: "I'd be bitterly disappointed to see anybody leave in January. We have a great squad with some great

players.

"If Matty went it would be a massive loss. He's a tremendous influence in the changing room and he gives big performances. It's the same with Craig - we have to keep him. We need to try to climb up the table.

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