It has been a turbulent time for Everton fans in recent weeks as the club were punished with a ten point deduction for a breach of Financial Fair Play regulations. The Goodison Park outfit intend on appealing the punishment but with Manchester United’s visit to their home ground being the first game since the Premier League announced the decision, naturally, the Toffees faithful were out in force to have their voices heard.
With Everton’s punishment being the biggest sporting sanction in the competition’s history, thousands of fans took part in a march to the Stadium to voice their concerns at the scale of the sanction, especially given the previous punishments handed out to clubs in more recent years. Even for those using a full bet.co.za app download guide, the odds on where this argument now ends up are all over the place.
Everton were 14th in the table and arguably slowly improving under manager Sean Dyche, but with the ten point deduction, they have dropped down to 19th place in the table and only goal difference keeps them out of bottom spot.
Fan group, The 1878s, raised more then £40,000 via crowdfunding for material, and their sense of injustice is squarely aimed at the PL itself. The march itself was peaceful, and cards with the word ‘corrupt’ printed under the PL logo were handed out by protestors. Inside the ground, new banners had also been made featuring messages like ‘Premier League, hang your heads in shame’ and ‘we shall not be moved’.
In an organised tenth minute display of dissatisfaction, chants against the Premier League could be audibly heard, with fireworks being set off outside of the ground at the same time.
In a further move, the group took advantage of the game between Manchester City and Liverpool on Saturday, by paying for a plane to fly over the Etihad Stadium which trailed a banner saying ‘Premier League = corrupt’.
Writing as a fan, Greater Manchester Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham, has written to PL chair Alison Brittain asking for the punishment to be declared ‘null and void’ as he argues that despite there being a case to answer, there was no valid sanctions policy in place in advance of the hearing. He states that trying to implement one mid-process is an ‘abuse of process’
“From my experience of regulation, introducing new rules in the late stages of a process would be regarded as regulatory malpractice.”
The Premier League have declined to comment, but it is widely understood that they completely dispute Burnham’s suggestion that a sanctions policy was formulated after Everton’s charge was levied.
The mood of the fans was not improved at the full time whistle, as Dyche saw his side lose 3-0 on the day and there will be deep frustration with the performance, as Everton were the better side, with far greater chances, but they had no end product.
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