Sheffield United: 'I've not got a grudge against Carlos Tevez'

Billy Sharp has revealed he does not hold a grudge against Carlos Tevez, 12 years after the Argentine found himself at the heart of a major footballing controversy which ended with Sheffield United being relegated from the Premier League.

By James Shield
Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 5:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 6:58 pm
Billy Sharp: James Wilson/Sportimage
Billy Sharp: James Wilson/Sportimage

Sharp made the admission as Bramall Lane prepares to stage its first top-flight game since the 2006/07 season, when it emerged West Ham had broken rules outlawing third party ownership of players after signing Tevez and his compatrior Javier Mascherano earlier that term.

The United captain, a lifelong supporter of the club and member of last term's promotion winning squad, said: "I really liked Tevez as a player.

"Obviously that hurt but it's forgotten about now. It'll get brought up when we play West Ham again though, they'll be fiery games."

Former West Ham striker Carlos Tevez: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Sharp began the second of his three spells with United when Kevin McCabe, then sole owner of the South Yorkshire club, was battling for it to be reinstated. Although the Scarborough based businessman eventually lost that appeal - PL officials opting to fine West Ham instead - an independent FA tribunal subsequently ruled in United's favour, with its chair, Lord Griffiths, deciding: “We have no doubt that West Ham would have secured at least three fewer points over the 2006-07 season if Carlos Tevez had not been playing for the club."

Sharp, aged 33, returned to United in 2015 and, following Chris Wilder's appointment as manager, has twice captained them to promotion. Wilder's side, who travel to AFC Bournemouth on August 10 before hosting Crystal Palace seven days later, are scheduled to visit West Ham in October. The return fixture takes place early next year. After leaving West Ham, Tevez represented Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Shanghai Shenhua. He now plays for Boca Juniors.

"It's surreal, four years on, really," Sharp, a graduate of United’s youth system, said. "I remember signing here when we'd just been relegated. I thought that might be the chance then but we're back here now. I've got no grudges against Tevez, he scored the goals."