Sheffield United have a double standard for West Ham and Iain Hume By Ian Winwood 28/11/2008 (Daily Mirror)

Sheffield United were unusually blasé this week following the FA's decision not to take any further action regarding defender Chris Morgan's elbow smash to the head of Barnsley striker Iain Hume earlier this month.

Speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield, Blades assistant manager Sam Ellis said his club now consider the matter "closed."

Actually, make that almost closed, because Ellis couldn't resist one final parting shot.

"We didn't think there was anything more [to the incident]," he continued. "We think people have made a little bit more out of it than they should have."

Oh really, do you?

It's a fact of football journalism that interviewers don't ask those being interviewed to expand on their answers, so we don't know who Ellis thinks these "people" actually are.

But let's try and have a guess.

Could Mr Ellis be talking about Iain Hume himself? Leaving aside the question of intent, the facts of the incident are as follows: Chris Morgan planted his feet on the ground and swung his elbow into the Barnsley player's head with enough force to fracture his opponent's skull, leaving a scar the size of a breakfast bagel.

It's probably safe to assume that Iain Hume did not undergo this life-threatening misfortune so he could get himself on the telly.

Is it, then, the FA who have made more of this matter than they should? No it's not, because the FA have done nothing at all. Chris Morgan was awarded a yellow card for his foul (rather than a three month prison sentence) and that's how it's going to stay.

The Football Association would consider further punishment were the 'circumstances' more 'exceptional', but everyone knows that in the Championship fractured skulls are as common as throw-ins.

So it must be that Sheffield United are referring to Barnsley Football Club as the people who have made too much of the unpleasantness at Oakwell. It is, after all, Barnsley who are threatening to bring a civil action against Morgan and his club. United obviously think this is all wrong, and that the FA's ruling should be a final end to the matter.

This, by the way, is the same Sheffield United who refused the official ruling on the West Ham saga, and are using their own lawyers to try and grab £30 million. The double standard at work here is both hilarious and pitiful.

If Sheffield United can have their day in court, then why can't Barnsley? If an official ruling is the end of the matter in one thing, then why not in everything?

Why not? Because Sheffield United's talk of fairness only applies when it's fair to them, that's why. Anything else gets the elbow.
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Ian Wilkinson

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