Hollywood star to lead Blades campaign
Sheffield native Sean Bean is an ardent Blades supporter
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Tuesday, 05, Jun 2007 11:35
Hollywood actor Sean Bean is set to lead a campaign to have Sheffield United reinstated to the Premiership following their controversial relegation at the end of last season.
The Blades dropped down to the Championship after West Ham United secured a last-day victory over champions Manchester United, with the winner being scored by the Hammers' Argentinean forward Carlos Tevez.
However Sheffield United argue that because Tevez's transfer to Upton Park broke Premier League rules they should have been docked points, meaning United would have survived.
The Bramall Lane outfit, whose manager Neil Warnock resigned soon after relegation was confirmed, have plenty of supporters already in their campaign to be re-elected to the top flight.
And Bean, a star of the Lord of the Rings blockbusters, has now also lent his considerable public persona to the cause.
"United has always been close to my heart. I'm a massive Blades fan and I'm proud to be associated with anything that might help us overturn this injustice," the actor said.
"Everyone knows the facts, but we have had to bear the brunt of the unfair decision to fine West Ham rather than dock the club points. They broke league rules and points, not a fine, should have been the punishment.
"Instead West Ham have ended up being rewarded, while Sheffield United, who played by the rules, face relegation.
"I hope that the arbitration panel will see the injustice and the message that 'rule-breaking pays' will send out to kids playing football. The panel now has the chance to right that wrong and I'll be doing everything I can to encourage the arbitrators to do just that."
An independent arbitration hearing will take place on June 18th/19th into the processes surrounding the decision not to dock points from West Ham, and the Blades' "campaign for fairness" is set to lobby MPs prior to the meeting to make their feelings known.
Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe said he is "thrilled" by Bean's involvement.
"He's a great guy and a genuine voice of the many thousands of disappointed Blades fans," McCabe said.
"We've already had a lot of support from MPs, and 35 have signed an early day motion in support of our position.
"We hope that with this campaign, everyone in football will realise that Sheffield United should be able to take its rightful place in the Premier League next season."