West Ham hope the opening of proceedings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will lead to a full hearing as they continue their legal battle against Sheffield United over the Carlos Tevez affair.
The court in Lausanne, Switzerland, confirmed on Thursday they have started an arbitration procedure despite opposition from the Blades.
West Ham want CAS to adjudicate on an independent tribunal's decision they should pay compensation to Sheffield United for their relegation from the Premier League in 2006/07 and a Hammers spokesman said: "West Ham United welcome the statement by CAS that they have initiated an arbitration procedure."
The statement continued: "This is the start of the CAS process and we hope that it will be the first step toward a full arbitration hearing in due course.
"West Ham are doing no more than Sheffield United have already done in seeking a right of appeal and we believe that CAS is the appropriate body for this."
CAS said the first step would be to decide whether they had the power to hear the case.
A statement from CAS read: "The CAS has initiated an arbitration procedure and will first examine its jurisdiction as a preliminary issue after both clubs have had the opportunity to file written submissions on this point.
"For the moment, no decision has been made with respect to the holding of a hearing. In any event, a decision on jurisdiction is not to be expected before the end of November 2008."
The independent tribunal, convened under Football Association rules last month, found West Ham won at least three points due to Argentina striker Tevez - whose registration with the London club was ruled to have breached Premier League rules on third-party ownership in April 2007.
The tribunal ruled Sheffield United were due compensation, which has yet to be determined but they are claiming £50million.
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