15 January 2024

Everton and Forest may face points deductions over alleged financial breaches

15 January 2024

Everton and Nottingham Forest are facing possible points deductions over alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules.

The league issued a statement on Monday afternoon which claimed the clubs had confirmed to it that they had breached profitability and sustainability rules after incurring losses above the permitted threshold for the assessment period up to and including the 2022-23 season.

Both cases have now been referred to the chair of the independent judicial panel, who will appoint separate commissions to determine the appropriate sanction, the league said.

The clubs could face points penalties, with Everton having been docked 10 points last November over an earlier PSR breach. That sanction is the subject of an appeal.

The league’s statement, which came shortly after each club had released their own statements acknowledging a referral, read: “Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC have each confirmed to the Premier League that they are in breach of the league’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

“This is as a result of sustaining losses above the permitted thresholds for the assessment period ending season 2022-23.

“In accordance with Premier League rules, both cases have now been referred to the chair of the judicial panel, who will appoint separate commissions to determine the appropriate sanction.

“Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The proceedings are heard in private with the commissions’ final decisions made public on the Premier League’s website. The league will make no further comment until that time.”

Everton issued a statement which read: “Everton Football Club acknowledges the Premier League’s decision to refer a breach of Profit & Sustainability rules (PSR) for the assessment period ending with the 2022-23 season to an independent Premier League commission.

“This relates to a period which covers seasons 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23. It therefore includes financial periods (201920, 2020/21 and 2021/22) for which the Club has already received a 10-point sanction. The Club is currently appealing that sanction.

“The Premier League does not have guidelines which prevent a club being sanctioned for alleged breaches in financial periods which have already been subject to punishment, unlike other governing bodies, including the EFL.

“As a result – and because of the Premier League’s new commitment to deal with such matters “in-season” – the club is in a position where it has had no option but to submit a PSR calculation which remains subject to change, pending the outcome of the appeal.

“The club must now defend another Premier League complaint which includes the very same financial periods for which it has already been sanctioned, before that appeal has even been heard. The club takes the view that this results from a clear deficiency in the Premier League’s rules.

“Everton can assure its fans that it will continue to defend its position during the ongoing appeal and, should it be required to do so, at any future commission – and that the impact on supporters will be reflected as part of that process.”

Forest’s statement read: “Nottingham Forest acknowledges the statement from the Premier League confirming that the club has today been charged with a breach of the league’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

“The club intends to continue to co-operate fully with the Premier League on this matter and are confident of a speedy and fair resolution.”

The clubs have been contacted by the PA news agency over the Premier League’s assertion that they have confirmed they are in breach of the rules.

The profitability and sustainability rules have been in place for over a decade, but clubs chose at their last annual general meeting in the summer of 2023 to run an expedited “in-season” process.

That includes the submission of accounts for the previous season, in this case 2022-23, to the league by December 31, with any complaint concerning a breach needing to be laid by the Premier League within 14 days.

The clubs now have 14 days to submit their formal responses, and under league rules the hearings must be concluded within 12 weeks from Monday.

Appeals hearings must conclude no later than May 24 and final decisions must be issued on or before June 1.

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