The legal battle over the Carlos Tevez affair will stretch into the new year after West Ham lodged an appeal against a High Court ruling in Sheffield United's favour.
Mr Justice Teare granted a temporary injunction stopping West Ham appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over a ruling that it had breached Premier League rules in playing the Argentina striker.
The Hammers have lodged an appeal against the judge's decision, and the matter will return to the High Court for a full trial next year when Sheffield United will be seeking a permanent injunction.
The court case stems from an independent arbitration tribunal's ruling that Tevez was not eligible to play for West Ham at the end of the 2006-07 season.
The striker, who now plays for Manchester United, was deemed to have played a key part in the London club's Premier League survival as the Blades were relegated.
The South Yorkshire club are expected to claim up to £30million from the Hammers, but this will be assessed at a future arbitration hearing in private.
The Blades went to the High Court to stop West Ham from appealing against the arbitration tribunal's findings that hiring Tevez was in breach of Premier League rules and the Blades were entitled to recover damages.
The judge granted Sheffield United's application for a temporary order restraining West Ham from taking any further steps to pursue an appeal or challenge the tribunal's findings other than by way of an application to the High Court.