Fulham host a summit today in a bid to bring joint legal action against the Premier League over West Ham’s points deduction let-off.
Chairmen and chief executives of Charlton, Wigan and Sheffield United will meet lawyers at the Harrods offices of Fulham owner Mohamed Fayed this lunchtime.
The relegation-threatened Hammers escaped with a £5.5million fine over the illegal contracts given to Argie duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.
Dave Whelan, chairman of fellow strugglers Wigan, said yesterday: “Everything they did was so wrong that had it been Wigan, Watford or a ‘smaller club’ it would have been a 10-point deduction. No question.”
All four of West Ham’s relegation rivals are convinced they have an excellent case to take the league to court in a bid to reverse their controversial verdict.
They will cite the cases of non-league AFC Wimbledon, deducted points this season for fielding an ineligible player, and Bury, thrown out of the FA Cup for the same offence.
The four clubs are united in their belief that those precedents suggest West Ham should have lost points for the dishonesty of their former board when they signed Tevez and Mascherano prior to the takeover of new chairman Eggert Magnusson.
With relegation from the Premiership estimated to cost the clubs up to £60m after a major increase in TV revenue next season, the quartet will argue that a £5.5m fine is not a fit punishment.
Alan Curbishley’s men won 3-0 at Wigan last Saturday to throw the survival race wide open.