November 17 – In the biggest sanction in Premier League history over financial fair play, Everton have been docked a staggering 10 points after being found to have breached profit and sustainability rules.
The punishment leaves the club one place off the bottom of the table on a new total of four points.
The Premier League referred Everton to an independent commission in March but did not reveal the specifics of the club’s alleged breach. The club posted financial losses for the fifth successive year that same month.
Under Premier League rules, clubs are allowed to lose a maximum of £105 million over three years – and those who break its profitability and sustainability rules (PSRs) can be fined or deducted points
Following a five-day hearing last month, the commission found in favour of the Premier League but the stunning sanction took the club totally by surprise.
Everton said they were “both shocked and disappointed” by the “wholly disproportionate and unjust” ruling and said they intend to appeal.
Leeds, Leicester and Burnley have previously written to Everton’s prospective new owners, 777 Partners, warning they intended to sue for damages in the event of a guilty verdict. All three clubs were relegated in the past two seasons when Everton narrowly survived.
But a lengthy Everton statement argued: “The club believes that the commission has imposed a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction … Everton maintains that it has been open and transparent in the information it has provided to the Premier League and that it has always respected the integrity of the process.
“The club does not recognise the finding that it failed to act with the utmost good faith and it does not understand this to have been an allegation made by the Premier League during the course of proceedings. Both the harshness and severity of the sanction imposed by the commission are neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection of the evidence submitted.”
Portsmouth were the last Premier League team to be docked points, back in 2010. They were also given a 10-point penalty, ultimately relegating them, but that was for entering administration. Everton will no doubt argue that entering administration is a more serious breach than their alleged wrongdoings.
The only other club to be deducted points in the Premier League era was Middlesbrough who were slapped with a three-point deduction for illegally postponing a game in 1997.
The Premier League said in their own statement following Everton’s punishment: “During the proceedings, the club admitted it was in breach of the PSRs for the period ending season 2021-22 but the extent of the breach remained in dispute.
“Following a five-day hearing last month, the commission determined that Everton FC’s PSR calculation for the relevant period resulted in a loss of £124.5 million, as contended by the Premier League, which exceeded the threshold of £105 million permitted under the PSRs.”
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