Geoff Horsfield is among a group of players relegated with Sheffield United who will take legal action against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair.
There are thought to be 20 Sheffield United players, including some who have now moved on from Bramall Lane, who are suing the Hammers for their ‘negligence’ after they included Tevez and Javier Mascherano in their side despite their registration being owned by a third party. The lawsuit is thought to be worth around £3m in lost earnings and bonuses that the players believe they would have earned should they have remained in the top flight.
It still seems unbelievable that the Hammers £25m out-of-court settlement with United did not include a clause specifying compensation for individual players’ loss of earning. The saga shows no sign of going away despite West Ham’s refusal to allow the situation to degenerate into ‘legal anarchy’ as Horsfield’s former club Fulham and Leeds – whose chairman Ken Bates believes the club are owed money due to clauses written into transfers of Leeds players who moved to the Blades.
Horsfield, who scored 25 goals in 79 games for Fulham between 1998 and 2000 after a £300,000 move from Halifax, said:
There are no personal grudges against West Ham from any of the Sheffield United players involved, myself included. But the fact is we lost considerable sums of money as a result of being relegated to the Championship because our wages dropped as a consequence.
It is money we feel has been taken away from us and, more importantly, our families. It is nothing personal or about being bitter, but about justice.
Horsfield is currently playing for Lincoln City after recovering from testicular cancer earlier this year.