Bournemout­h could sue over ‘ghost goal’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Jeremy Wil­son chief sports re­porter

Bournemout­h are con­sid­er­ing tak­ing le­gal ad­vice over the Hawk-Eye er­ror that con­trib­uted to their rel­e­ga­tion from the Pre­mier League.

Hawk-Eye pub­licly apol­o­gised when Sh­effield United’s “goal” in their 0-0 draw against As­ton Villa last month was ruled out af­ter the seven sta­dium cam­eras were blocked by the goal­keeper, de­fender and post, mean­ing that ref­eree Michael Oliver did not re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tion that the ball had crossed the line.

As­ton Villa’s point from that game ul­ti­mately proved cru­cial. Had the goal stood and all other re­sults re­mained the same, Bournemout­h would have stayed up on goal dif­fer­ence and Villa would have been rel­e­gated.

Although lawyers have not been in­structed, and there is no sug­ges­tion that league po­si­tions could be re­versed, Bournemout­h have not ruled out tak­ing ad­vice on whether they would have a case for a com­pen­sa­tion claim. Sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC, of Black­stone Cham­bers, told The Daily Tele­graph that any club fin­ish­ing a point be­low Villa in the rel­e­ga­tion fight could have a case for com­pen­sa­tion for lost rev­enue. “Such a claim might be un­prece­dented but, de­pend­ing on all the cir­cum­stances, it could be a good claim,” he said.

De Marco sug­gested that a claim could be made “against the Pre­mier League, the providers of the tech­nol­ogy, or both”.

The fi­nan­cial im­por­tance of be­ing in the top flight was ev­i­dent in Bournemout­h’s most re­cent ac­counts, for 2018-19, where £115.6mil­lion of their £131 mil­lion in­come came di­rect from the Pre­mier League. In March 2009, Sh­effield United re­ceived al­most £20 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion as a re­sult of their rel­e­ga­tion in the 2006-07 sea­son, af­ter West Ham broke Pre­mier League rules over the third-party own­er­ship of play­ers with the sign­ings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascher­ano.

West Ham were fined £5.5mil­lion for the breach, but were spared

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