West Ham United co-owner David Gold on Thursday revealed his club are set to take legal action over Andy Carroll’s red card against Swansea City.
The Hammers want the Football Association (FA) to take the case to an arbitration panel after referee Howard Webb’s decision to send off England striker Carroll following a clash with Swansea’s Chico Flores last weekend was upheld by a three-man FA appeal’s body.
Carroll is now facing a three-match suspension and Gold said that could mean the difference between relegation and top-flight survival for the east London team, who are currently in the Premier League relegation zone.
“We are hugely disappointed at the outcome of the process,” Gold said. “There is nowhere to go other than to seek some kind of legal redress. It’s not ideal, the last thing I want to do is going to some kind of legal issue because I think it is a footballing issue, but we are fighting for our lives. If we were midtable we would probably get on with it, but we are fighting for our lives to retain our Premiership status and we owe it to our fans, we owe it to ourselves.”
The FA is refusing to comment on the case, but the rules do allow for clubs to take disputes to arbitration and, if necessary, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Gold claimed Carroll had only been trying to shrug off Flores when he caught the Swansea defender with a flailing arm following an aerial challenge between the pair.
“We are a club that understands there are rules and we abide by them, but you have every commentator and 80 percent of the media saying it wasn’t a sending off,” Gold said. “He was shrugging the guy off, OK he has messed his hair up, but I don’t think you should get sent off for messing somebody’s hair up.”
“Yet Howard Webb reviews the situation afterwards and says he stands by his judgement, and when it goes to appeal and three guys stand by Howard Webb you feel: ‘How can this be right?’” he said. “Most judgements are not made by three people, they are made by 12 — that’s why they are called juries. I believe if you had gone to the FA Council and asked the 100 members, 75 percent would have said it was not a sending off, but if you just take three people it may not be representative.”