WEST Ham co-owner David Gold has vowed to pursue a legal challenge to a three-match ban striker Andy Carroll is due to serve, believing their Premier League status has been put in jeopardy.
Carroll was shown a straight red card by referee Howard Webb in last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Swansea after appearing to swing an arm at defender Chico Flores.
An appeal against his ban was dismissed by a three-man Football Association panel earlier this week.
Gold believes Carroll’s presence in the team can make the difference between success and failure in their relegation battle. And the 77-year-old argues he owes it to West Ham’s long-suffering fans to fight the FA’s decision and plans to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“We are hugely disappointed at the outcome of the process,” said Gold, who co-owns the club with David Sullivan.
“There is nowhere to go other than to seek some kind of legal redress. It’s not ideal, the last thing I want to do is go to some kind of legal issue because I think it’s a footballing issue.
“But we are fighting for our lives to retain our Premier League status and we owe it to our fans, we owe it to ourselves.
“You can see the impact he has on our football club. He was shrugging the guy off, okay he has messed his hair up, but I don’t think you should get sent off for messing somebody’s hair up.”
Carroll, who has made only two Premier League starts since a £15m summer move from Liverpool due to an ongoing foot injury, is set to miss the forthcoming matches with Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton.
West Ham are 18th in the Premier League table, one point adrift of safety.