08 April 2024

Everton planning to appeal against two-point deduction for second rule breach

08 April 2024

Everton are planning to appeal against their two-point deduction for a second breach of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

The Toffees have already been hit by a six-point sanction this season relating to breaching PSR in the assessment period up to the 2021-22 season.

Everton have now been handed a further punishment for the three-year cycle to 2022-23, dropping them one spot to 16th in the Premier League table, two points above the relegation zone.

The Premier League said in a statement: “An independent commission has given an immediate two-point deduction to Everton FC for a breach of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSRs) for the period ending season 2022/23.

“Over a three-day hearing last month, the independent commission heard evidence and arguments from the club in respect of a range of potential mitigating factors for its admitted breach of £16.6million, including the impact of its two successive PSR charges.

“Having done so, the commission determined the appropriate sanction to be a two-point deduction, taking effect immediately.

“The independent commission reaffirmed the principle that any breach of the PSRs is significant and justifies, indeed requires, a sporting sanction.”

The written reasons show the Premier League felt five points was the appropriate starting place for a sanction, comprised of three for the PSR breach and two for exceeding the upper loss threshold by 15.8 per cent – £16.6 million.

But the independent commission knocked off two points as Everton had already been punished this season “for losses in years which overlap with the years at issue in these proceedings”.

A further point was reduced to a combination of the loss of sponsorship of Russian company USM and the fact the club admitted guilt at the first opportunity.

Despite that, Everton plan to appeal against the two-point punishment.

The Toffees said in a statement: “While the club’s position has been that no further sanction was appropriate, the club is pleased to see that the commission has given credit to the majority of the issues raised by the club, including the concept of double punishment, the significant mitigating circumstances facing the club due to the war in Ukraine, and the high level of co-operation and early admission of the club’s breach.

“Everton remains committed to working collaboratively with the league on all matters relating to PSR but is extremely concerned by the inconsistency of different commissions in respect of points deductions applied.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to the Fan Advisory Board and other fan groups for their submissions during this process, and to all Evertonians for their ongoing patience and unstinting support.

“The club and its legal representatives have begun the preparations to appeal the commission’s decision.”

Everton found out in February that their appeal against the punishment dished out in November for their first PSR breach had been reduced from 10 points to six.

The appeal board rejected seven grounds for mitigation put forward by the club, but did find the original commission made legal errors.

Last month fellow Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest were punished for their own PSR breach, leading them to be docked four points.

The Premier League said Forest admitted breaching those rules by £34.5m above their permitted threshold of £61m.

Forest are awaiting the results of their appeal.

Last month also saw Leicester referred to an independent commission by the Premier League for an alleged breach of PSR for the period ending 2022-23.

The Championship leaders went on to announce they had launched “urgent legal proceedings” against the Premier League and the EFL.

The Premier League has yet to issue an update on the 115 charges laid against Manchester City in February 2023 for alleged breaches of financial rules.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told MPs in January that a date had been set and the case was “progressing”.

Everton have seven Premier League matches remaining this season and travel to Chelsea next Monday.

The club remains in the midst of a protracted takeover, with owner Farhad Moshiri recently saying the sale was in “the home straight” after first agreeing a deal with prospective owners 777 Partners last September.

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