A few weeks ago a High Court Judge ordered Sheffield United to open up their books to West Ham and to demonstrate how they calculated their £50 million claim against West Ham. Apparently this has revealed some creative accounting worthy of Enron/Bernard Madoff/Gordon Brown (delete as appropriate).
Their biggest scam has been to conveniently ignore that fact that they received a parachute payment for two seasons. This is thought to have amounted to more than £15 million. A pretty big accounting mistake, even by the standards of football accountants. And it is one that the Judge is unlikely to look favourably upon.
In normal circumstances I’d want West Ham to play hardball on this and tell them where to go. However, we are not operating in normal circumstances. The club has to be sold in the next few months and there are few buyers who will want to part with their money (especially in these economic times) unless this case has been put to bed.
I would therefore imagine that West Ham will try to reach an out of court settlement with Sheffield United of about £10-£15 million. While it sticks in my craw, business experience tells me it is the right way forward.
NOTE TO SHEFFIELD UNITED FANS: Please don’t post comments. You’re just wasting your time. This is a West Ham site and not an opportunity for you to parade your bilious attacks. Your comments will be deleted.