Bournemouth are considering taking legal action against Hawk-Eye and will discuss the proposal at a board meeting later this week.
talkSPORT understands the Cherries could pursue a multi-million pound compensation claim against the goal-line technology firm following their relegation from the Premier League.
Bournemouth’s return to the second tier after five years in the top-flight came as they finished one point behind Aston Villa, with a better goal difference than Dean Smith’s side.
Villa drew with West Ham on the final day to secure their place in the Premier League for another season
This lone point which kept Villa in the Premier League was picked up during their 0-0 draw with Sheffield United on the first match back from football’s coronavirus suspension, with the stalemate secured as the Blades had a perfectly good goal not counted due to a Hawk-Eye failure.
Orjan Nyland, the Villa goalkeeper, carried the ball behind his own goal-line, but technology did not record the ball crossing the line so no goal was counted and Sheffield United were denied the win.
Hawk-Eye apologised after the match, saying: ‘seven cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender and goalpost’.
The point Villa gained because of the Hawk-Eye error appears to have directly resulted in them securing Premier League survival, and Bournemouth could now take legal action against the goal-line technology company.
Sports lawyer Stephen Taylor Heath joined Tuesday’s White and Sawyer show on talkSPORT to explain how Bournemouth could form a case relating to the ‘ghost goal‘.
Nyland quite clearly carried the ball over his own goal-line, but no goal was given due to the Hawk-Eye error
There are two potential causes of action,” he began. “There is a potential claim in breach of contract and there is a potential claim of negligence.
In relation to negligence the first question would be: is that a claim of negligence against the makers of Hawk-Eye and the technology, or is it against the referee?
Heath compared Bournemouth’s possible legal action to the famous Carlos Tevez case, with the Argentine playing a key role in West Ham’s top-flight survival in 2007 despite him and Javier Mascherano being signed while partially owned by a third party.
One case you could look at is the Carlos Tevez case,” he added, “which ironically involved Sheffield United as well.
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West Ham had been found to have breached rules in relation to the registration of Tevez, and Sheffield United argued that if Tevez hadnt been playing for West Ham they [Sheffield United] wouldnt have gone down.
An independent arbitration panel decided that they were prepared to decide that Tevez was worth more than three points to West Ham, and he was the difference between Sheffield United going down and not going down.
When you are looking at a claim of negligence you have to establish there has been negligence, and then you have to show there has a direct, consequential loss because of that negligence.
And youd have to argue the direct loss is that if that goal had been given then overall on the points tally Bournemouth wouldnt have gone down.
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan refuted this comparison, however, saying the Hawk-Eye error is nothing like the ‘clear and utter unequivocal rule breaches’ involved in the Tevez case.
West Ham and Sheffield United eventually reached an out-of-court settlement concerning the Tevez and Mascherano case, whereby the Hammers paid the Blades £20m in compensation
“If you put a lawyer in charge of a business you will end up in court,” said Jordan. “So when you are asking a lawyer what potential opportunities there are of course they are going to err on the favour of an opportunity for legal guys to get busy.
Whenever we hear about legal issues around football, they run through the newspapers and come to nothing, because there is a set of protocols in football that clubs sign up to; one of them is match validity which is the exceptions where referees and technology make a mistake.
There isnt a case.
Comparing to Tevez and Mascherano which are clear and utter unequivocal breaches of rules which the clubs agreed, implemented and stand by is very different to compensation culture.
There is no way games are going to be reversed and there is no way points are going to be brought back into the occasion.
But then we move into the territory of compensation culture, and this is specifically excluded by the nature of what they signed up for. What you are asking for is a legal framework for lawyers to find a place in sport where they can start to find a compensation culture mentality, which means when something goes wrong compensation, when something goes wrong compensation.
And that is not what sport was built for.
I dont like this, and I dont think Bournemouth will do it.
Ask a lawyer if theyll run this on a no win, no fee basis, and see how clearly they say not sure about that one.
Simon Jordan says there is ‘no case’ and doubts Bournemouth will take legal action
Jordan finished by making it clear Bournemouth were relegated for one reason and one reason only – being worse than 17 other teams in the Premier League throughout the 2019/20 season.
The Premier League is the sum of all its parts, he concluded. If Bournemouth, or any of the other 19 clubs, didnt want that technology or had questions about the nature of how it was set up, they had their opportunity to say to Richard Masters or Richard Scudamore before him, we are not having that because it doesnt do this.
When you dont do that, you cant predict the future.
Bournemouth got relegated because they were poor, they got relegated because they deserved to get relegated.
Watch a clip of Simon Jordan on talkSPORT, above…