On Friday evening, the Premier League confirmed that Everton had been handed an immediate 10 point deduction to their league tally having been found to have significantly breached financial fair play rules.
Clubs are permitted to lose £105 million over a three year period and an independent commission has concluded that Everton’s losses to 2021/22, totalled £124.5 million, and this punishment leaves the Goodison Park outfit in 19th place in the table and represents the biggest sporting sanction in the competition’s history.
A ‘shocked and disappointed’ Everton have already confirmed their intention to appeal, even though they admitted to the breach as charged.
“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. The club will also monitor with great interest the decisions made in any other cases concerning the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.”
The last line is undoubtedly meant to be a barb given previous punishments handed out, the ongoing and lengthy Manchester City investigation, and big questions being raised about Chelsea’s spending since the new owners walked through the door (and outstanding issues that have been self reported).
From the commission’s side, they explained.
“Everton’s understandable desire to improve its on-pitch performance (to replace the non-existent midfield, as Mr Moshiri put it in evidence) led it to take chances with its PSR position. Those chances resulted in it exceeding the £105m threshold by £19.5m. The position that Everton finds itself in is of its own making. The excess over the threshold is significant. The consequence is that Everton’s culpability is great. We take into account the fact that Everton’s PSR trend over the relevant four years is positive, but cannot ignore the fact that the failure to comply with the PSR regime was the result of Everton irresponsibly taking a chance that things would turn out positively.”
Chair of the commission, David Phillips KC, also addressed the applications for financial compensation from Burnley, Nottingham Forest and relegated sides Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton, stating that he was ‘satisfied that the applicant clubs have potential claims for compensation’ and that will only anger Everton fans further as the commission has now ‘inherent jurisdiction’ over those issues, as Phillips admitted.
Opening a can of worms come to mind here, as arguably a line has now been drawn.