Hammer blow

Looking up the Premiership results yesterday, my main concern was to know which teams we would be playing next season and which we would not.

Picture: Evil Yoda.

The excitement of our own storming surge to the Championship title has not worn off. Nor has the thought that this time, after all those past disappointments, we actually mean business.

There is enough of the Sunderland supporter in me to take nothing for granted. But these guys – Drumaville, Niall Quinn. John Hays, Roy Keane – do seem to know what they’re doing, in a way you simply never felt about past managements.

So logically, we must approach the Premiership in the belief that there are six points waiting to be taken from each of the other 19 teams.

But would I be surer of those points, or some points, from West Ham than from Wigan or Sheff Utd? Previously, I’d have said no, now I am not so certain.

I am certain of three other things, though. If I were a Sheff Utd fan, I would be:

1) Extremely cross that my team had somehow snatched disaster from the jaws of safety. Of all the teams scrambling for points at the back end of the season, they seemed best placed to avoid the drop – and had a promising run-in (Villa away, only to produce a wretched performance and cave in) and Wigan at home (unable even to manage a draw in such a vital against 10 men)

2) Even more cross with Sir Alex Ferguson for fielding a weakened side in a match of immense importance to the Game of Football, though not to a club already crowned as champions

3) Pinning hopes on Messrs Sue, Grabbitt and Runne, esteemed firm of lawyers, and their forthcoming legal battle to force a points deduction, and therefore relegation after all, on West Ham for improprieties that – inevitably – involve Carlos Tevez, scorer of yesterday’s winner at Old Trafford.

Nothing special against West Ham. If one of the few individuals in the world that I despise happens to support them, so do one or two people I like.

But when draconian punishments are handed out to lowly clubs for relatively trivial breaches of procedure and rules, it is positively obscene to see a Premiership club getting away with a slapped wrist.

4 thoughts on “Hammer blow”

  1. I think everyone other than some, but to be fair not all, Hammer supporters believes they should have been docked points. Now that they’ve survived even the fine will be easy to pay out of the Premiership money they’ll get. So in effect they haven’t been punished at all. I know this is being wise after the event but perhaps a more appropriate punishment, which would have been severe whichever division they played in, would have been to bar them from signing any new players for a full year.

  2. If yers ask me like, ah think West Ham should be made to play in the Wearside League and then they’d think twice about cheating. Ah remember when Middlestone Moor Masons Arms were docked 40 points for playing underage players in the Over 40,s league and nee one complained aboot that. They’d have got away with it cept the wife of one of the players put a picture of him in the Echo saying it was his fortieth birthday and everyone rumbled it. The awnly thing about putting Boiled Ham down is that that gadgee Warnock’ll be back in the Premier.

  3. Rather than worrying about the 40 points, I think you should be more concerned about keeping Roy Keane. Given the Premiership’s taste for managerial musical chairs, and Keane’s minor miracle this season I can’t help wondering how long it is before one of the really big boys come calling.
    Have to agree that not docking points off the Hammers was a bit strange, but now it’s done it’s done and everyone else should deal with it!

  4. Yes, Colin, it was a tense afternoon, but since West Ham managed to beat Manchester United both home and away, I think they proved their merit. But then, I would.
    I can’t say more, obviously, whilst a potential legal case is still pending. Nevertheless, that case hasn’t a snowball’s, not now.
    Strangely, I don’t remember too many complaints from Wigan or Charlton during the first 19 (or was it 20) games of the season before Tevez scored his first goal for the Hammmers.
    Meanwhile, reading your piece there, I see that you’re not the only Sunderland fan thinking of where those 40 points will come from next season.
    Message received, two minutes after the final whistle yesterday afternoon:
    Looks like we have a 6pt. start next season! Nail biting afternoon but good result.
    (lifelong Black Cats supporter).
    6 points off the Hammers ? You may be right at that. Because without Tevez, we’d have been down, weeks ago …

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