Suppose the San Diego Chargers decided at the end of the season to sue the NFL and the Denver Broncos since they missed the playoffs by one game due to referee Ed Hochuli's inane call in Week 2?
That's sort of what happened this week in England, when a ruling finally came out after Sheffield United sued West Ham United after it was relegated from the Premier League following the 2006-07 season. Here's the long-and-short of it. Sheffield ended up three points behind West Ham and fell into the Championship. West Ham stayed up with a last day 1-0 victory at Manchester United on a goal by Carlos Tevez. The problem, according to Sheffield, is that Tevez's contract was invalid since it was owned in part by a third party -- MSI. Earlier this week the Court for Arbitration for Sport sided with Sheffield United, ordering West Ham to pay the club somewhere in the range of £30 million. Naturally, today, West Ham said it will appeal.
If this doesn't make your head spin, nothing will. You could say this is a bit of sour grapes by Sheffield United, which did lose on the last day of the 2007 season, so it had the chance to avoid relegation. On the other hand leagues around the world have awarded point deductions to clubs for much lesser infractions than fielding an invalid player. Sheffield would have had a better case sueing the Premier League itself for allowing this to happen -- even if it fined West Ham -- than the opposing club.
Overall, though, this is like a rec softball team that lost crying that the victor used a player from the next town over. Granted, rec league softball doesn't have millions upon millions of dollars on the line.
Either way, whenever you hear or read the "Court for Arbitration for Sport" nobody really wins.