Everton's punishment for Premier League financial rules violations reduced from 10 to six points on appeal

Everton’s 10-point deduction for breaking the Premier League’s profit and sustainability regulations (PSR) has been reduced to six points.

The Toffees pronounced themselves “satisfied” with the decision of the appeal board, who concluded that the independent commission tasked with setting Everton’s sanctions had been too harsh when they handed out a 10-point deduction in November. The club had breached Premier League spending limits which state that no side can lose more than £105 million over a three year accounting period. Up until the end of the 2022-23 season and accounting period, Everton had lost £124.5 million.

The board also added that while the club had breached the Premier League’s spending limits they had acted in good faith throughout the process. Those were the only two of the nine grounds on which Everton appealed in which the board concluded that the commission had made errors.

Everton now find themselves on 25 points in the 2023-24 Premier League table, albeit with the looming threat of further sanctions relating to PSR breaches that encompass last season’s financial results. Nottingham Forest, another club facing charges over their finances, and Brentford now sit between Sean Dyche’s side and 18th placed Luton Town.

“While the club is still digesting the appeal board’s decision, we are satisfied our appeal has resulted in a reduction in the points sanction,” said an Everton statement. “We understand the appeal board considered the 10-point deduction originally imposed to be inappropriate when assessed against the available benchmarks of which the club made the commission aware, including the position under the relevant EFL regulations, and the 9-point deduction that is imposed under the Premier League’s own rules in the event of insolvency. 

“The club is also particularly pleased with the appeal board’s decision to overturn the original commission’s finding that the club failed to act in utmost good faith. That decision, along with reducing the points deduction, was an incredibly important point of principle for the club on appeal. The club, therefore, feels vindicated in pursuing its appeal. 

“Notwithstanding the appeal board’s decision, and the positive outcome, the club remains fully committed to cooperating with the Premier League in respect of the ongoing proceedings brought for the accounting period ending in June 2023.”

The Premier League pronounced itself satisfied with Monday’s decision, even though it said the commission appointed by the league had not “taken into account available benchmarks” which could have guided their decision over how strict a points deduction Everton should face. The EFL, which administers the second to fourth tiers of English football, had established guidelines on financial sanctions prior to the commission’s decision over Everton that are “the closest available benchmark”, according to the appeal board. A six point deduction would have been broadly in line with [EFL guidelines].”

Despite this decision, there is still work to be done if Everton are to assure themselves of Premier League football next season and avoid the almighty financial damage that would come from relegation. With a five point cushion from the relegation zone, Dyche’s men host West Ham on Saturday before facing Manchester United and Liverpool.

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