Bournemouth could sue over ‘ghost goal’
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