Sports Writer, Sam Lord, discusses the effects of the breaking news that Everton FC have been deducted 10 Premier League Points for breaches of FFP law.
Being an Everton fan, as I am, can be a turbulent time. Too often it seems when the club has any chance for success, disappointment is around the corner. Take the 2020/21 season, when Everton found themselves top of the league for the first part of the season under the managing of Carlo Ancelotti and with big names like James Rodriguez and promising talent like Lucas Digne, Richarlison and an in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
After a spell of successes on the pitch (winning three out of the last five games) that have seen the club go from a relegation scrap to a mid-table position, the Premier League on November 17 announced an immediate deduction of 10-points, making it’s the largest sanction in Premier League history. The decision came after an independent commission found Everton had breached financial fair-play (FFP) rules during the 2021-22 season.
Premier League clubs, under the rules, are permitted a maximum loss of £105 million over a three year period, and the commission found Everton’s losses exceeded this, to around £124.5m. The club itself has announced an appeal, though in all this seems unlikely to be effective.
The fact Everton had breached FFP laws is not a surprise. People who have followed the club in the last few years can easily recognise a slew of poor transfer decisions, both in and out of the club. And this of course has been
But what was a surprise was the fact the premier league acted on it, and in such a harsh manner. The statement that Everton put out following the decision talked less about whether the club had or had not breached the loss, but rather that is felt the club had been “open and transparent in the information it has provided”. It then goes forth to say: “the harshness and severity of the sanction imposed… are neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection”. The club seems to be taking the position that even though it can’t outright deny reports of FFP abuse, it is arguing that the punishment seems unfair.
The argument most Everton fans will be throwing around is what about Manchester City? They are the only other Premier League club to have been charged by the Premier League, with more than 100 alleged FFP rules breaches. Yet this case is still ongoing and no punishment has been implemented yet. Perhaps this Everton decision is the writing on the wall for City. Yet it does appear to many as one rule for some and not for others, as Everton face punishment for only a single case compared to City’s 115. And in a similar case, Chelsea have faced scrutiny for alleged reports of payments linked with former owner Roman Abramovich, who is now official sanctioned by the UK government. It’ll be interesting to see if this will mark a shift in how the Premier League will manage FFP abuses in the future.
But ultimately, on the pitch, the situation could have easily been much direr. This 10-point deduction doesn’t even put Everton into last place. Everton currently now stands on 4 points, same as Burnley (with much worse goal difference), Sheffield United on 5, Luton on 6 and Bournemouth on 9. Considering Everton’s recent form, it doesn’t seem like that high of a mountain to climb. All it would take is one win for them to climb back out of the relegation zone. Though this is Everton, where it seems any successful streak can abruptly end. But then again, to this day, Everton have never been relegated from the Premier League. Its now up to Dyche and the boys on the pitch to keep it that way.