Nottingham Forest drop into relegation zone after Premier League docks 4pts for overspending

March 19 – Nottingham Forest have become the latest Premier League club to be savagely punished for overspending, dropping into the relegation zone as a result with nine games remaining.

Forest have been docked four points after being found guilty of breaching the league’s profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR), which typically allow clubs to lose a maximum of £105 million over a three-year period or face sanctions.

Forest’s assessment period ended in 2022-23 and therefore included two seasons when the club was in the second-tier Championship.

For that reason, Forest were permitted losses of up to £61 million in their first year back in the Premier League last season but went way over the threshold by £34.5 million, having made an unprecedented 21 summer signings following promotion.

The team managed by Nuno Espirito Santo have now fallen from 17th to 18th and down to 21 points. Luton climbed out of the relegation zone as a result.

Forest have seven days to appeal the decision and in a statement said they were extremely disappointed with the decision.

“After months of engagement with the Premier League, and exceptional cooperation throughout, this was unexpected and has harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League,” the Midlands club said.

“We believe that the high levels of cooperation the Club has shown during this process, and which are confirmed and recorded in the Commission’s decision, were not reciprocated by the Premier League.”

PSR was introduced in 2013 to level the playing field and prevent clubs with rich ownership groups from spending vast sums on players. Everton were famously docked 10 points earlier this season, reduced to six on appeal. Everton are still waiting on a potential second punishment relating to the 2022-23 season.

Forest were treated more leniently after displaying what the independent panel regarded as “a level of cooperation which is above the level reasonably expected.”

Last year, European champions Manchester City were referred to an independent commission over more than 100 alleged breaches of finance rules since the club were acquired by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group in 2008. No verdict has yet been reached in that case.

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