It may be the most popular, most marketable and most lucrative domestic league in world football but the Premier League is, in many ways, broken. It’s floundering implementation of Video Assistant Referees is eroding the very spirit of the game and it ceased to be a sporting competition, in the true sense of the word, years ago.

Ever since Abu Dhabi United Group fundamentally altered the landscape with its almost unfathomable buying power and crystallised the era of mega-billion pound institutional and sovereign ownership, England’s top flight has been an exercise in futility for all but a select group of increasingly rich and powerful clubs.

Ironically, perhaps the most thrilling story of the Premier League era wasn’t Manchester United edging Arsenal to the title by a point in 1998-99 on their way to the treble, Manchester City’s first petro dollar-fuelled title win in 2012, or the same club’s hair’s-breadth triumphs over Liverpool in 2019 and 2022, but Leicester City’s 5,000-1 miracle Championship win in 2016.

That improbable achievement, on the back of a narrow escape from relegation the previous season, was unlikely but feasible during the first century of the professional game in England; back then, it was possible to come up from the second tier and win the league the next season, as Everton did in 1931-32. It was also the event that many cite as the catalyst for the moves made by the so-called “big six” over the past few years to consolidate their stranglehold on both the major domestic honours and entry to the Champions League.

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First came Project Big Picture, a cynical power grab led by the Northwest's two red giants, in October 2020 and then there was the even more Machiavellian European Super League(ESL), an attempt by the six most powerful clubs in England to pull the ladder up behind themselves and ensure that no club could ever “do a Leicester” and deprive any of them either the title or a place on the Continent’s gravy train again.

While not a move designed to immediately break away from the Premier League, the ESL would, nonetheless, have led to the destruction of domestic football over time by ensuring that these six clubs’ revenues would dwarf those of the other 14 in the top flight to such a vast degree as to render the concept of competition even more meaningless than it was becoming.

When you raise the issue of the ESL with fans of the “Shameless Six”, some point to the fact that Everton were once part of an elite cabal of clubs who, in the name of self-interest and consolidating wealth at the top of the domestic game, ushered in the Premier League in the first place in 1992.

This is, of course, true — as one of the old “big five”, Everton did lead the push for the creation of a new league, separate from the old Football League. But no one could have foreseen back then extent to which the monster they helped create would mutate from the globe’s oldest and best sporting competition into an inequitable business playground and sports-washing enterprise for super-rich moguls, oligarchs and sovereign wealth funds. It is, as they say, relative; what was envisioned in 1992 is a far cry from where we are now.

The inception of the Premier League lured in the cream of the world’s footballing talent and made England’s league the most popular and exciting in the game, but the trade-off has been the gradual but ever more drastic tilting of the playing field towards those clubs fortunate enough to have been at the top when the real money was being made (or pumped in, as was the case at Chelsea and Man City).

Had the likes of Sir Phillip Carter known the extent to which the spirit of sporting competition would be eroded over the subsequent three decades, they might well have paused for thought on their grand venture. With the benefit of the hindsight available to us, they might have tried to build in the safeguards that are belatedly — but cack-handedly — being applied now by an institution petrified of an independent regulator.

Neither Everton’s unmatched membership of the top flight since 1888, nor the part the club played in the formation of both the original Football League and Premier League 104 years apart, has afforded them any special dispensation, as is right. Sadly, as was seen when the six ESL rebel clubs were punished with a paltry £22m fine between them (largely because no mechanism existed at the time to formally charge and censure them), the same standard isn’t applied to others.

The shockingly harsh 10-point penalty meted out to Everton this month for violating the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) perhaps succinctly illustrates the Blues’ standing in the modern game – big enough to be made an example of as a warning to others but not big enough to disrupt the “big six” power bloc and the newcomer to the banquet table, Newcastle United.

Thankfully, the outrage from much of the footballing world, and a select band of pundits, high-profile journalists and politicians who agree that the sporting punishment was massively disproportionate to the financial crime and smacked of over-reach by an organisation with both eyes on the threat of the aforementioned independent regulation has been robust and vocal.

It couldn’t possibly match the anger felt at Everton, however. Even allowing for the scandalous and ill-timed revelation that the Premier League had "adopted a sanction policy that it considered to be appropriate to breaches of PSR" as late as August and were seeking a heavy 12-point deduction before the “independent” commission had even finished deliberating, the club were said to be stunned by the panel’s verdict. Despite their well-founded cynicism and distrust of the League, Toffees fans were equally shell-shocked by a ruling that erased 10 points from Everton’s tally for the season and dumped them into a third successive battle against relegation.

It made a mockery of the very intent of the rules that the Blues were adjudged to have broken – by taking away 10 points, a larger deduction than the one handed down to Portsmouth for actually going into administration, the commission’s decision might not only have effectively fined the club as much as the £20m by which they broke the spending threshold (every place in the table is worth around £3m) but threatened Everton’s very existence to boot.

The club’s accounts for 2021-22 contained the alarming note that relegation to the Championship would challenge Everton’s ability to continue as a going concern given the debts that have been run up under Moshiri’s auspices and his inability to keep throwing money around. Even if the Blues stay up, any ruling that permits any of the recently relegated clubs to sue them for damages could also send them under.

The decision to refer Everton to the commission in the first place was galling, firstly, given how closely the club has worked with the League since the summer of 2021 on all of its transfer dealings. Richarlison was sold in order for the club to remain PSR compliant; Moise Kean's and Anthony Gordon’s departures for a combined £73m brought Everton’s budget deficit down considerably; and other top-flight clubs were told in May 2022 that the Toffees had no case to answer for where PSR was concerned.

Secondly, because, as Ian Herbert pleasingly highlights in his article for the Daily Mail, the Premier League “moved the goalposts” on Everton in the middle of the rolling three-year period under consideration by disallowing the deduction of interest on loans associated with the construction of the new stadium.

As Herbert asserts, “Everton were given the very distinct impression that the cost of interest on loans to build their Bramley Moore Dock Stadium would be excluded from sustainability considerations, just like [Manchester] City’s.” He also rightly points out that six other clubs (including another gifted a tax payer-funded stadium, West Ham), “had been able to keep them out of the financial calculation and that this was an investment in the long-term future of a club and its city”.

Indeed, what could be more beneficial to a club’s long term sustainability than a new stadium with an increased capacity to drive the revenue to enable them to compete with richer clubs already playing in larger arenas and/or blessed with more advantageous socio-geographic circumstances, like those playing in the wealthier environs of London?

And yet, despite all that; despite the club admitting it’s guilt on one single charge, albeit with a number of mitigating factors; despite the commission agreeing that Everton did not wilfully break the rules to gain sporting advantage; despite the club bending over backwards to trim the wage bill and rein in their spending with complicated deals involving little to no money up front, they were still found to be in breach of the spending threshold to such an extent that it warranted a 10-point penalty.

Everton will lodge their appeal by this Friday and, hopefully with the continued backing of the media and tenacious politicians like Andy Burnham, enough pressure will be brought to bear that the new panel that assesses the club’s claim will see fit to either reduce or erase the points sanction on the basis that it was overly harsh.

No one of a Blue persuasion will be holding their breath and, if the 10-point penalty is upheld, it would stand as a punishment that hits the supporters the hardest, those most innocent of all. Indeed, the pointed irony of the whole situation is that there was criticism from many parts of the fanbase at the outlandish spending and lavish salaries splashed through much of the Moshiri era and a growing band of Everton fans have been protesting the very mismanagement from the top that got the club into hot water in the first place. What’s worse is that all but one of the culprits is gone, with Moshiri having one foot out the door himself; the can for past misadventures will be carried by those who played no part in them.

In the meantime, the fight for Everton’s survival will continue on the pitch. Manchester City, with their army of lawyers, will continue to obfuscate and obstruct the Premier League in their attempts to nail them on any number of 115 separate charges. The football world will wait to see if Chelsea will ever feel the ramifications of bending spending rules to breaking point in recent years with an outlay of close to a billion pounds on incoming players. Manchester United will continue to labour under another billion in their own debt while seemingly being able to buy whomever they please. And the VAR controversies, refereeing incompetence, and unevenly applied rules and directives will continue to affect the outcome of games, decide futures, European qualification places, relegation spots and trophies… to the point where you wonder what the point of it all is.

There are joys to be had in the moments of pure football played out between minutes 1 to 90-plus on a given match day but this is no longer the game we grew up loving. It’s become something ugly, corrupted by greed, self-interest and the malign influence of far too much money. One wonders how long the status quo can be sustained before English football eats itself.


Reader Comments (129)

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Ken Kneale
1 Posted 29/11/2023 at 07:21:12
Lyndon – as ever, a superb piece. Thank you.

What should be the next step for fans in terms of building pressure to have the draconian penalty discharged absolutely?

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 29/11/2023 at 07:39:02
Hear 'kin hear
Jonathan Haddock
3 Posted 29/11/2023 at 07:53:28
I totally agree with everything you say, Lyndon. The Premier League has hopefully just shot a massive regulator-sized hole in its gold-digging foot! The game is now a snake that's eating itself.

What worries me for Everton though, is where do we stand for season 2022-23? We presumably will have an extra £20m+, that we now have to account for, after the commission ruling.

I understand that the FAB are asking for reassurance from the club. It doesn't bear thinking about, going through all this, maybe getting some of the points penalty suspended, only to find that we are in breach again for a second time.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 29/11/2023 at 07:57:03
Lyndon, your articles are always a great read – well-informed and well-constructed. But this surpasses anything I've read from you.

Various articles here and elsewhere, including your own, have given us parts of the story – parts of the history and development of all this, and outwards to parts of the wider context and implications. This article just draws it all together. Nothing in the press or produced by other commentators gets close.

My sense of outrage deepens.

Rob Halligan
5 Posted 29/11/2023 at 08:59:55
Everton may well have been part of the cabal of clubs that wanted the formation of the Premier League, but it is still English football, with promotion and relegation assured every season between the Premier League and EFL.

The ESL would have been a closed shop (and could still happen), with all the clubs shouting “Sod off, no entry without an invite”.

We led the campaign for the ESL to be disbanded before it really got off the ground, and let's be honest here, it would have gone ahead if it weren't for government and fan intervention of the Sceptic Six.

Dave Williams
6 Posted 29/11/2023 at 10:18:58
What a cracking article Lyndon. Well reasoned, factual and pragmatic - so well written. I’d get a copy to Andy Burnham asap as he seems in the mood for a fight now.
FFP only serves to protect the big boys and needs to be drastically revised with transfer limitations relating to spend and number of players acquired. The only way to truly level the playing field is to allow owners to inject however much they want to improve the fabric of the club but then put a limit on transfers which will then force clubs to develop their own players.
Keep fighting everyone- it ain’t over til it’s over!
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 29/11/2023 at 10:32:00
A very sensible post, Lyndon, that shows the whole picture of how the Premier League is now run with the formula of helping the rich to get richer and slamming the door shut against the majority of the rest of the clubs.

The Premier League can't be sustained in this present form and I think those running it are making a good case for the government to intervene and start controlling it.

Mark Taylor
8 Posted 29/11/2023 at 10:42:04
Lyndon,

I think you know as well as I do that loan interest could have been deductible if only our useless board had ensured that the loan agreements specified their use for stadium construction.

As the commission discovered, they did not, it was for the club's working capital, so not allowable.

We can also suspect why that happened. Moshiri did not want external lenders attached to the stadium while he sought his 'big partner' to fund its completion, given he had run out of the will and the money.

I'm moderately confident the punishment will be reduced on appeal. Possibly even to a different form of punishment, though that is less likely. Not only do we have widespread support for a reduced punishment from across the game, we are now also starting to assemble more robust legal arguments.

Hopefully we will do a more professional job presenting our case than we did with the commission.

Anthony Hawkins
9 Posted 29/11/2023 at 10:58:48
This article contains the type of response I was hoping for from the club and its representatives.
Danny Baily
10 Posted 29/11/2023 at 11:17:26
Anthony, I assume the club is restricted in what it can say about the matter until the appeal process has been concluded.
Rick Tarleton
11 Posted 29/11/2023 at 12:14:35
I'm not sure how much good it will do Andy Burnham to be seen supporting Everton vocally and politically, bearing in mind his fiefdom is the area which, if he succeeds, will least benefit from his intervention.

The Premier League is looking after its own interests, whether that is corrupt or shrewd depends on whom you support. Manchester City bring great kudos to the Premier League, they are glamorous, possibly the best team in the world and, outside of Merseyside, especially in foreign climes, are rather admired.

Morality and ethical considerations don't seem to enter the equation at any point. I said when Everton received the 10-point deduction that I'd accept it if the same criteria and the same punishment was pro rata for Chelsea and Man City.

Everton are an appropriate club for the Premier League to punish. Once an elite club, now permanently struggling and judged by the supporters of other clubs as "entitled" and living in the past, even the song we sing, "If You Know Your History" harks back to the days before Sky and the Premier League.

There isn't actually a great deal of sympathy out there for us. I live near Leicester and my best friend is a Palace supporter and basically they say serves you right.

Too many clubs also benefit from Everton's deduction: it gives Luton, Burnley, Sheffield United, Forest, Bournemouth et alia a big reduction in the odds of their being relegated. Leicester, Leeds and Southampton feel they may have been better placed to avoid the drop if we'd been punished earlier.

So while I, and everyone else of a blue persuasion want the same rules applied to Chelsea and Man City, Newcastle and anyone else with dubious dealings, I'm not sure they will be. Moreover, I think the supporters of most teams secretly don't want the League to be without Man City etc.

The punishment was harsh and vindictive. It should at most have been 6 points or 5 this season and 5 conditionally for the future if we do not solve the financial issues.

But don't expect the supporters of other clubs to necessarily feel the same. Self-interest rules.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 29/11/2023 at 12:29:58
Rick (11),

Re “But don't expect the supporters of other clubs to have much sympathy for our predicament” or words to that effect.

Thankfully supporters of other clubs will not be judging our appeal; hopefully, just, fair-minded and honest men will be.

Jim Burns
13 Posted 29/11/2023 at 13:45:32
Lyndon,

I've rarely, if ever, read an article that so perfectly summarises the issues that matter – both in terms of the scandalous decision and punishment meted out to us – and the wider context that should (but won't) concern all genuine football fans who profess to love this wonderful game of ours.

Cutting to the chase, I urge you – if you haven't already – to forward your wonderful piece to every national press and media outlet … including MPs and anyone else that shares the concerns we all should have.

Well done – a perfect and balanced account of this watershed moment in the history of our national sport… in my humble view, a genuine fork in the road.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 29/11/2023 at 14:37:22
After the weekend and Sky managing to broadcast, where I am anyway, our game using camera angles, sound reduction and interference and showing nothing until seconds before kick-off, they managed to make it look as though there was little if any protest and this, I think, will be their and the Premier League's tactics until Everton face an appeal panel appointed by the Premier League.

Then it will be a whitewash with no reduction in our penalty and at best maybe a resignation, with appropriation compensation, of a senior League official followed by rule changes to ensure this never happens again, well, not to certain clubs.

Then, if we don't avoid relegation, they will have a couple of months relief in the off-season and everyone bar Evertonians will almost forget the matter or see it as some sort of aberration that will not be repeated.

Our only hope maybe to now seek an injunction to have the penalty at least deferred until after the appeal is heard if not thrown out completely — as Man City had done to their UEFA(?) penalty.

John Raftery
15 Posted 29/11/2023 at 14:39:01
Lyndon, a perfect summary of the issues and implications.
Rob Williamson
16 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:08:11
It will be interesting to see on what basis Everton (or their lawyers) make their appeal and the effect this will have on the ultimate outcome.

If the appeal is based on some of the accusations made by the Premier League and accepted by the commission, does that mean that the new “independent” (ho, ho) commission will have to trawl through the entire 40,000 documents bringing us closer and closer to the end of the season with the 10-point penalty hanging over us and the effect that will have on the team's performance?

Or, will they just appeal against the severity of the punishment which, to my non-legal mind, would suggest the new commission only has to read the report, and assess whether or not the penalty is appropriate. This surely would not take as long and allow us to move on ……. whatever the outcome.

Any views out there?

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:27:10
The Premier League had an agenda and Everton was the guinea pig.
Rob Dolby
18 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:37:00
I think if Sky and other media outlets are trying to play down and not report the situation properly, then maybe we have to do something more physical that can't be ignored.

Andy Burnham mentioned how disturbed he was that his interview wasn't broadcast. Our non-UK fans reported the game coverage and protests were dumbed down with camera angles and sound dampening.

Munich had a game stopped this year as fans threw hundreds of tennis balls on the pitch. Reading and Sheffield Wednesday fans have done something similar. Sky couldn't fail to report a televised match being disrupted with such an action.

The pre-game fair play handshake should be canned and the Premier League arches not displayed on the Goodison pitch.

Players warm up kit, tracksuits should have some sort of slogan on to highlight the mess.

Instead of taking the knee, maybe all players lining up with their backs turned to the ref for a minute or so to delay the live game and get some publicity, obviously if it's our kick-off!

The fans can only do so much, the club and players need to stand up and be counted.

The game is built around the top teams and always has been, even prior to the Premier League. It's the money involved that has spiralled out of control.

Andy Crooks
19 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:53:01
A few thousand cancellations, all with the same reason given, would make Sky think. They fight to hang onto every customer. Imagine them losing 10,000 on a Sky cancellation day.
Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:56:20
Well said, Lyndon. I think the Everton supporters groups should write to every supporters group and ask for support in the fight against the Premier League.

Imagine if at every match we had a demonstration against the Premier League, showing solidarity against unjust decisions. This corrupt organisation, if allowed – and possibly with the behest of certain owners – can take out anyone they want. I don't think any team is safe, either in the Premier League or the Championship.

Solidarity has to be shown by all, forget who hates who.
As the American revolutionary, Patrick Henry, said, "Together we stand, divided we fall." Or you can go with the Canned Heat version, let's work together.

Bill Hawker
21 Posted 29/11/2023 at 17:11:58
Bang on!!!

Your comment about Everton being big enough to be made an example out of with disrupting the big four, six or seven and the money was right on the mark. It's always been that way.

From the infamous FA "diving" panel which only punished Niasse of Everton and Lanzini for West Ham (while known serial divers were scot-free from this) to VARs inconsistent (read: corrupt) application of the rules towards Everton.

It's clear to even the most biased or cynical observer of all this that there are clearly greater forces at work here designed to keep the top at the top and the rest under foot.

I've said it once and I'll say it again. Let the four, six, or seven go start the ESL and let the rest of us get back to football as it was 20 and 30 years ago. Where everyone had a chance to go up or go down, to win the league or get into Europe.

Those days are long gone and yes, Lyndon, it's killed the game.

(One side note: How about the government take a page out of the third world playbook where foreign companies are concerned and "nationalize" the Premier League? Take the teams back from the corrupt owners who have gotten their hooks into the game and the money.)

James Hughes
22 Posted 29/11/2023 at 17:21:26
Talking of selective punishment, I see that the VAR official for the Skunks game last night has been stood down.

But what about the referee who has to award the penalty? Surely he is just as wrong.

Darryl Ritchie
23 Posted 29/11/2023 at 17:36:18
The Premier League is a mess. Anyone that thinks calling a corrupt entity, corrupt, is the answer, is deluded.

If anything, it just puts us in the crosshairs; and we will become the targets for more "abuse". Our off-field situation (we don't have a board and our owner is getting the hell outta Dodge), made us a prime target for the Premier League to show everyone that they were "in charge". There's more to come. I don't think we will like it, either.

Another observation: The VAR is useless. It's causing more problems than solutions. get rid.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 29/11/2023 at 18:06:56
Excellent piece, Lyndon, identifying all the key points of unfairness.

I still think we need a lot more support to get this ridiculous penalty overturned or reduced, especially in the light of so much self interest by other Premier League clubs.

For the future, we have to have a totally independent overseer but this doesn't help the present.

I still can't understand why more hasn't been made of the makeup of this so called independent committee which was headed by a KC with a long association with Leeds and included an ex West Ham finance director as part of the trio. Why not a 5 person committee or a 12 man jury-like committee?

The whole procedure was a kangaroo court.

Barry Hesketh
25 Posted 29/11/2023 at 18:31:56
Jay,

Last night, I watched an episode of the BBC Documentary about HMS Brilliant whilst it was on a tour of duty. One of the lads got into an altercation with a petty officer whilst on shore leave, and following a hearing, the accused had to decide whether to go before a Court Martial or accept a Summary Punishment from his Captain.

One of his mates explained that in his opinion Summary Punishment wasn't really a trial, and was a total farce, and even if you have mitigation, the punishment has already been decided upon, and it isn't really a trial but a showcase, particularly if they decide to make an example, they will come down really heavily on the accused.

As it happens, the sailor didn't do too badly, because he only got a fine, and didn't lose his rank; however, he was a popular member of the crew and the unnamed guy who made the complaint didn't seem to be particularly popular.

This episode was entitled Gladys takes the Rapp.

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 29/11/2023 at 19:07:31
You captured that excellently, Lyndon, as always. I can't add anything really. The six got away with participating in a plan to disrupt football. Your point about Everton being champions of promoting the Premier League is valid, but I doubt anyone envisaged the beast that was about to emerge.

Sunday was emotional. But then so have the past few decades and certainly the past couple of seasons.

I would challenge the most exciting league tag. Maybe the most sought-after media-driven league, which has fuelled the frenzy around it. I enjoy watching the Bundesliga just as much, if not more. Apart from Everton obviously, which carries a health warning.

It was a very harsh punishment, which has been discussed on these pages and elsewhere. But they are now in the window of national scrutiny and hopefully will be subject to genuine independent and external audit and regulation right up to Government level?

Even the staunchest of Evertonians are not denying we broke the rules. But we seem to have been victims of being open and trying to comply whilst concurrently, the so-called authorities changed the goal posts half way through and then leaking information as to what they decided they wanted to happen.

Let's see what they do with the rest, including our next opponents.

Fight it Everton. Don't stand for this. Take the spirit from your supporters.

Meanwhile, we've got Forest on Saturday. I have to focus on that. To put a light heart on it. I think before then I'll be taking in a few tunes in the build-up.

Ray Charles. I can't stop loving you. I can't stop wanting you.

Elton John. I guess that's why they call it the blues. I might refer to the Max and Paddy, Road to Nowhere version.

The St Domingo song.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Bitter, Twisted and Proud.

We're not done yet. Not on the pitch and not off the pitch.

75 points to play for.

Andy McNabb
27 Posted 29/11/2023 at 20:59:22
Great article, Lyndon.

I do wonder if Andy Crook's suggestion might actually hit them where it hurts?

I am cancelling my Optus subscription over here in Australia. I am so disenchanted with the game in general anyway, that if I want to watch any highlights, they are available on YouTube.

Ben King
28 Posted 29/11/2023 at 21:37:22
I've reread this article a few times: it's so so brilliant in it's synopsis and distillation of the wrong mindedness of ‘sustainability' rules:

A new stadium is built to encourage more income to compete.

We worked with the Premier League on transfers.

We were impacted by external forces (war, depression of the transfer market post-Covid, and Player X being banned). It's madness that these genuine issues have been ignored.

And it's genuinely crazy that ‘sustainability' rules could lead to us being relegated and an unsustainable entity going forwards.

Barry Hesketh
29 Posted 29/11/2023 at 22:01:34
Chris Beesley in the Liverpool Echo says about the punishment:

Indeed, this is the most severe sporting sanction in the 135-year history of English top flight football. This is a period that began with no cars in the UK and spans the invention of the aeroplane, television, two World Wars, man on the moon, the rise of the internet and of course the creation of the Premier League – in short, a society in which everyday life has been transformed to create the modern planet we now inhabit – but throughout all these revolutionary changes, no club at this level has ever been punished as harshly.

So as it stands, given the sentence dished out, Everton have seemingly been deemed guilty of the biggest crime the sport has ever seen in this country. While you're inevitably going to get a minority who will put partisanship above reason, most right-minded people, including some high-profile Liverpool fans have called out this arbitrary and draconian castigation for what it really is.

The many unanswered questions as Everton prepare to appeal Premier League's biggest points deduction

Rob Halligan
30 Posted 29/11/2023 at 22:28:10
The Premier League will select those who will now sit on the Appeals Board, an entirely different set of individuals.

So welcome to Mrs Phillips, Mrs Greenwood and Mrs Igoe.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
31 Posted 29/11/2023 at 22:54:15
Why do we still refer to Player X?

We know who it is. He was never prosecuted. He had no case to answer. Why do we still not name him and show our sympathy that he was so badly treated by Greater Manchester Police and that Everton did the right thing by taking him out of the spotlight?

Ricky Oak
32 Posted 29/11/2023 at 23:33:35
Excellent article, thank you.

Add the retired referee that came back for one game, possibly his home town club? It might be persecution complex that bit, truth is, said referee promptly retired again once seeing us out of the competition with some very lousy decisions.

Lee Howard
33 Posted 30/11/2023 at 00:21:18
What happens if Man City and Chelsea (and anyone else) don't get punished?

The media is lining it up by saying Man City is different so can't be compared, and Chelsea was nothing to do with the current owners, so it's not fair to punish them.

Sky has proved that protesting can be ignored, the amount of times I've seen or read journos saying Everton admitted the charge so they have no legal right to have it overturned.

Si Cooper
34 Posted 30/11/2023 at 00:28:45
Sorry, but I'm not cancelling my Sky subscription. There are too many things I enjoy about it (and that includes watching other football matches where I'm not emotionally invested).

I don't want to rely on highlights; I've seen them deliberately misrepresented (which I believe MotD2 did on Sunday) and I'm not getting to any live games anytime soon unfortunately.

Plus I don't think Sky are the actual ‘enemy' – just typical greedy capitalist bastards who will take the side of anyone who can make them rich.

I don't think all Evertonians cancelling for the clear reason that we feel we have been hung out to dry will change their dealings with those they have to make deals with.

Sky do pay money for the games they get to broadcast and Everton get a share of that. I'm not sure that is true for all the other ways you can potentially get to watch the games live.
Happy to be re-educated on this if anyone can supply indisputable facts and not conjecture or hearsay.

Kieran Kinsella
35 Posted 30/11/2023 at 01:41:05
Si,

No one said you had to mate. But those that do are obviously hoping it causes a discussion.

Sky are obviously synonymous with the Premier League from inception and the editing Burnham interview, while it may have been a purely editorial decision, coupled with not showing the plane, feeds that narrative.

Do I think subscription cancellations in isolation will make a difference? Probably not… but, in conjunction with everything else, maybe.

But if you don't want to go down that path, I don't think anyone is judging you or seeing you as a lesser fan. It's simply one action some have taken that May or may not make an impact.

Christine Foster
36 Posted 30/11/2023 at 03:47:42
If any of you think Man City, Chelsea or anyone for that matter, will get as harsh a penalty as Everton, you're dreaming.

The Premier League cannot afford to penalise either with points deductions or relegation, they are the elite, the crown jewels, the very basis the brand is built on.

Hefty negotiated financial penalty? Absolutely… closure without damage. Except of course, the so-called "Independent Commission" has made a nonsense out of any settlement with them by going so overboard for what is an accountancy interpretation that gives them no room for variation.

Should the appeal or the Premier League verify the 10-point sanction, stand by for a set of new rules or a get out of jail card for Man City & Chelsea.. .in fact anyone and everyone.

Finally, I would just say I believe the club was within its rights to claim back interest on the stadium irrespective of where the funds came from. When it was pointed out to them the alleged error of their ways, they probably conceded the point, hence an admission of guilt... genuine mistake anyone?

The Premier League's response is disgraceful, how can a club work with the league on buying and selling, have purchases approved, then used against them??

It frankly stinks.

Jack Convery
37 Posted 30/11/2023 at 04:32:46
Sly Sports showed the fans' protests when the Sly Six plans to join a super duper league would have impacted their contract with the Premier League. When it suits them they've done it. Right now with Everton it does not. Why assist Everton in shooting the goose laying the golden eggs?

Stop your subscriptions is my message to all football fans. Football is ruined. Let's reclaim it back. Without fans watching and paying subscriptions things will have to change. Use the power of depriving them of profit. It's the only thing these greedy charlatans understand and that will get their attention.

The next time they have a game at Goodison, all arrive with 15 minutes to Kick-Off. Queue in an orderly fashion and delay the broadcast.

Alan J Thompson
38 Posted 30/11/2023 at 05:24:39
I was disappointed with the coverage via Optus but have not cancelled my Sports subscription but have complained to them that I do not pay money to have them or Sky censor what I watch, especially protest against a penalty most think is excessive.

But how many of us don't know this is Murdoch and Sky's way? Even if you don't cancel your subscription, at least complain to them and tell them you are considering such action.

So far, I've only received confirmation of my complaint without further comment but I will be pushing for a response.

Peter Mills
39 Posted 30/11/2023 at 06:52:06
Thanks, Lyndon.

I have moved on from wishing I could write as well as you, to a position where I am simply grateful that we have someone who can express things so superbly.

John Keating
40 Posted 30/11/2023 at 08:02:57
Christine, I agree.

I think the Premier League and its chosen “independent” flunkeys will continue with their decision to make an example of Everton.

I then believe there will then be a later thorough review, either by the government or the Premier League, which will completely change its remit and penalties.

Man City et al will be recipients and we, well… too late!

The whole thing stinks.

Colin Glassar
41 Posted 30/11/2023 at 08:19:37
Lyndon, I've been saying the same for years now. The Premier League is like Melisandre from Game Of Thrones ie beautiful on the outside, haggard and corrupt on the inside.

I have little hope of this “independent” commission backtracking. They, and the PL, will dig in their heels to save face just like their incompetent refs and bent VAR officials do when they make clear and obvious blunders.

As for the “outrage” from certain sectors (unlike the fans) this will eventually wither over time and be forgotten, giving Masters and Co the breathing space they need to reconfirm their ruling in the spring.

Sadly, my (our) prediction that the Moshiri - Kenwright partnership was destroying the club has come to pass.

Jim Bennings
42 Posted 30/11/2023 at 09:06:48
The way I see Dyche:

He can set the team up to do a decent job away from home but at Goodison, since that Arsenal game he won in February, it's been absolutely clueless.

I can't work out why he hasn't come across by now a way of playing at home but we just don't pose any threat and we seem to be downed easily by opponents.

If he can somehow get the balance right then maybe, just maybe, he's on to something.

For me, the team is still lacking a creative central midfielder in the Arteta mould and also the wide players are too slow and don't offer anything like enough threat.

Jerome Shields
43 Posted 30/11/2023 at 09:37:50
Jim #42,

When you look at the player ratings, most of the players on Sunday were below par. Meaning that preparation over the International break was not good enough. Dyche did not even select the same players from the last game, where he could, and in the second half he maintained the same formula, which handed the initiative to the opposition, as it has done in the past.

A creative midfielder would not get the space particularly in the second half and the playing space is not far enough forward for winger runs. On top of that, the positioning runs of forwards is questionable.

That is where the balance of the side hinges and nearly every Premier League side exploits that weakness. No crowd can lift an unprepared squad and players who are not motivated.

It is a perennial problem at Everton that existed before Dyche, and is even evidenced in the way that the club has dealt with the Premier League.

But now it is crunch time and something has to be done.

James Hughes
44 Posted 30/11/2023 at 10:07:51
Jerome,

Dyche was in Dubai palying golf with Tommy Fleetwood during the break so I am not sure much prep was done.

Man Utd were there for the taking IMO, but we suffered yet another home defeat, with their Onana making 6 saves, a real shame he couldn't have put in a display like last night.

My opinion of Dyche swings worse than an alcoholic on a see-saw. I just know we cannot change manager again, well not for another couple of seasons.

Brian Harrison
45 Posted 30/11/2023 at 10:09:32
There is a very interesting piece on the BBC website about how the FA and the Premier League are allowing Premier League players and a Premier League manager who are under investigation from the police for various sexual charges to continue.

These people are very rich and very powerful and can employ top lawyers where their complainants don't have that luxury. They can also put gagging orders on the media reporting any of these allegations.

There have been quite a few players appearing in court, namely Mendy who was cleared of all rape allegations, and Greenwood whose complainant withdrew her complaint. Anthony from Man Utd has withdrawn from the squad and is still under investigation for rape charges back in Brazil.

Now I am sure there are cases which are brought forward which have no chance of success for whatever reason. But it seems very unlikely that all these players charged or not charged are completely innocent.

Also to highlight another situation that puts the Premier League under scrutiny is the Ivan Toney case. The Premier League found him guilty of betting on football matches yet it was a further 3 or 4 months before he was charged and suspended but they allowed him to use the close season as part of his ban.

Kevin Molloy
46 Posted 30/11/2023 at 10:30:02
Brian,

If it was the Premier League who forced us to suspend Gylfi Sigurdson, I reckon their case against us is now dead in the water.

If it was the FA, why the hell did the FA stay silent about the others? Perhaps cos they didn't know, cos the Premier League didn't tell them, which again places them in difficulties.

We've clearly been unfairly treated. If we had had the benefit of Gylfi Sigurdsson, I think we can argue this would have reduced our spending.

Steve Johnston
47 Posted 30/11/2023 at 10:44:59
Sorry, maybe slightly off topic, but:

Regarding the Premier League and proposed European Super League.

What is maybe forgotten, is that the Premier League was also a breakaway 'super' league. They wanted to stop promotion & relegation and keep the top 22 clubs (as was) as an elite league.

I believe the plan was to shrink to 18 'Premier' clubs, which (probably) meant losing the lowest ranked (ground, facilities or £££) 4 clubs over a short period of time. Plus, this has never happened as probably the clubs would complain of less income.

Fan outcry etc stopped this and they reluctantly agreed to keep promotion and relegation. Similar to the ESL breakaway ('fans would be hurt' etc).

There is the sheer hypocrisy! Can't have the ESL breakaway and hurt the fans, but the Premier League did try it initially! No wonder they bend over backwards for the so-called 'Super 6/7', they don't want to lose their golden egg-laying geese, the worldwide brand clubs.

Personally, I wish they would go join an ESL. But not be able to leave 'A' teams in the Premier League… a complete break. Then, at least for a while, there would be a more level playing field.

John Chambers
48 Posted 30/11/2023 at 11:59:28
Jonathan #3.

Any fine we eventually suffer will be in the current financial year, 2023-24 not last year as, I think, our year-end was 30 June 2023. My worry is that the accounts for 2022-23 will have the same assumptions that the commission have disagreed with. I suspect that means we will be in danger of a breach again.

The impact of any points deduction will be in 2023-24. Last season, 10 additional points would have seen us finish 11th. That was worth about £15M. That is money we will “lose” from this year's accounts and will impact the following 2 years P&S calculations.

Nicholas Ryan
49 Posted 30/11/2023 at 12:17:05
People are saying that the Appeal is a foregone conclusion and that the Appeal Committee will be Premier League 'flunkeys' etc.

As I've mentioned on another thread, the most similar case to ours was: EFL v Sheffield Wednesday, which related to overspending. The Appeal Committee reduced the penalty from 12 points to 6 — largely because Sheffield Wednesday had, since the offence, done their best to put things right.

The Appeal Committee was headed by Lord Dyson, Supreme Court Justice, and not I suspect, the Premier League's nor indeed anyone else's 'flunkey'.

Anthony Hawkins
50 Posted 30/11/2023 at 12:18:01
The issue with the process is that nothing illegal has happened, and the Premier League has been relatively open about it, even the implementation of rules mid-process. It's the lack of morals, subjective interpretation of the rules, implications and the knock-on impacts that gall most.

We all know that, with Everton, 'it's £19.5M overspend!' Had it been one of the Sky 6, it would have been 'it's only £20M'. There was little to no acknowledgement of effort to conform, only judgement of not achieving it.

Then there's the Premier League's selection of the independent board. Did they follow process? Yes. Was the board truly independent? No.

This is why it makes challenging the events so difficult as it falls into a massively grey area.

The conversation may as well have gone: 'but, but, but ' '...but you still breached.' The process was followed but as a tick-box exercise rather than consideration of the broader picture.

David Vaughan
52 Posted 30/11/2023 at 12:47:45
Is it not in Mr Moshiri's own interest for the club to suffer its points deduction than him a hefty fine? Any negative impact on the club's stock value as a result would be maxed only if we suffered relegation as a result, causing him an even greater financial squeeze.

Is it not therefore a gamble worth him taking – fewer points but with still a chance of survival? Does he in fact have any other option?

Forgive me if this idea has been addressed earlier, or elsewhere. Or if indeed it's utter tripe.

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 30/11/2023 at 13:04:32
In the commissions findings they agreed that they had worked with the club since 2021, but they state in their report that Everton still carried on spending. So I looked at what each of our last 3 managers spent during this period.

Benitez from 20 July 2021 to 22 January 2022, when he was sacked, he spent £30.7M and sold £33.7M

Lampard from 22 Jan 2022 to 29 January 2023, when he was sacked, he spent £53M and sold £95.5M

Dyche from 28 February 2023 till now, he has spent £38M and sold £76M

So given that this commissions claim is that we went on spending since their involvement since 2021, well these figures show since they became involved we have spent in that time right up to today, £121.7M and sold £204.5M, so a net profit on transfers of £83M.

Andrew Bissett
54 Posted 30/11/2023 at 13:39:56
This is what should happen to Manchester City and Chelsea:

Saracens docked a further 70 points and chief executive resigns

Derek Knox
55 Posted 30/11/2023 at 13:43:37
Brian H, as you have exemplified with those figures, hardly reckless spending and Financial Mismanagement! Which makes me think something else has gone on!

Never really trusted Moshiri, and Kenwright even less. Like that other maggot Harry Redknapp in court for tax Eevasion. Got off with it saying he couldn't read and write!

A pig has just flown over my neighbour's roof!

Brent Stephens
56 Posted 30/11/2023 at 13:59:52
The rationale for the Profitability and Sustainability Rules is to avoid clubs going bust, as I understand it.

We've been sanctioned because we weren't allowed to claim interest on some of the loans against the stadium and therefore exempt from calculations about our level of expenditure.

The two sets of loans were the Moshiri loan without interest, and the the Metro and R&MF loans bearing interest.

So regardless of whether the Moshiri loan (no interest) or the Metro and R&MF loans (bearing interest) are assigned to the stadium, the total borrowing remains unchanged, so the risk (of gong bust) remains unchanged.

Jonathan Haddock
57 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:27:04
Dyche asked about alleged 2022-23 overspend today by Vinny from Sky.

I can't find any information, does anyone know where this has come from?

Paul Washington
58 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:35:51
Excellent article.

I'll have a guess that, by the time other teams are up before the beak, the media will be full of "You can't punish the fans by taking points, relegation, demotion" etc.

Matt Traynor
59 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:36:04
Apparently, the Premier League has said they will scrutinise our next set of accounts and if there is another breach, will fast-track the hearing so the penalty applies this season.

Ever get the feeling they have it in for us?

Barry Hesketh
60 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:50:20
Matt @59,

I think the early submission of the accounts was clearly stated, somewhere or other in recent months. We don't know if Everton will have once again breached the PSR rules, but it's not impossible.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's charges will apparently be heard next summer but an outcome could take a lot longer, and according to some reports, because City's breaches are not at all similar to Everton's, City could delay any punishment by going to CAS,

I wonder what division Everton will be playing in when the City hearing eventually concludes?

Tim Welsh
61 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:54:01
Has anyone informed the Premier League that there is such a thing as malicious prosecution...?
Tim Welsh
62 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:54:45
...oh, and that they are not God.
John Keating
63 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:55:41
Makes you wonder if Everton's finest attending the "independent" commission managed to negotiate a massive 10-point deduction, what can they achieve with the second set of Premier League flunkeys?

Hopefully our team will bring up things like Brian's figures to disprove statements the Premier League team made.

It looks as if the Man City and Chelsea whitewash will not sit until late next year with a decision made in 2025. Plenty of time to move the goalposts again in order to enable both to be awarded additional points.

Christy Ring
64 Posted 30/11/2023 at 14:58:52
Great article, Lyndon, all true and shows how corrupt the Premier League is. Rumours today Man City's case won't be dealt with until 2024-25.

Regarding the latest news of more points deductions this season, over our latest accounts, I understood we spent no money this season, everyone we signed, the fees are over the coming 3 years, and that's not including the sales Dyche made, including Cannon and Gray?

Didn't Kieran say the FA banned Player X?

Kim Vivian
65 Posted 30/11/2023 at 15:29:43
I'm sure this has probably been said or asked or answered already but if so I have missed the salient fact.

Can anyone advise just how much we have spent in compensation to sacked managers and staff during the period of our 'overspend'?

Would this have been a significant contribution to the damage inflicted by Moshiri?

And some of his appointments, processes and associated costs were bewildering. (Silva – cost to hire and then fire, anyone?)

I have slightly lost track of how much we breached the guidelines by (£5M? £19.5M? £105M?) so as to attract what's starting to feel like a fatal wound to the club, but my gut feeling is that sticking rather than twisting somewhere along the line might have helped.

The one name that springs to mind because he wasn't sacked because he looked like he was sending us down, but largely due to pressure from fans, was Allardyce. He didn't really help his own cause being the knob he was, but I always thought at the time that he had been presented with one of the best opportunities of his career and blew it with his arrogance.

Eric Haworth
66 Posted 30/11/2023 at 15:51:43
Brian #6,

That's the sort of detail that was clearly missing from our presentation at the hearing and is further proof of the incompetence of our senior team not ensuring we were fully prepared for all eventualities, with the best legal & financial representation that money could buy (perhaps Man City's) and the wisdom of letting our buffoon of an owner present our case. Little surprise then that we came away with a 10-point deduction?

On this one particular item, it is clear from their reply to Andy Burnham that it was the belief of the Premier League, and the basis upon which they made their case to the commission, that we only breached the threshold by £19.5M over that 3-year period, because we deliberately chose to ignore their direction and continued to “recklessly” squander money on transfer fees, and we didn't have the necessary detail or expertise at the hearing to challenge such an obvious and basically flawed accusation.

Just as worrying though, is the fact that the commission, made up of both legal & financial representatives, were prepared to merely accept these unsubstantiated claims by the Premier League on face value, without any research or even the simplest of checks?

Having the evidence at hand to blow these claims out of the water there and then, would've gone a long way to not only undermine the Premier League case, but also the commission's confidence in what they were being fed by them. Instead, through our owner's and senior team's incompetence, we faced the consequence of the old adage of their perception becoming reality.

We can only hope that our appeal submission is professionally researched, prepared and containing the necessary detail this time to make an air-tight case, and that the make-up of our team for the appeal hearing is of equal professionalism and knowledge to present it in such a manner that we can back them into a corner, with nowhere to go, other than overturning their original decision? 🤞

John Raftery
67 Posted 30/11/2023 at 16:27:50
As regards the 2022-23 accounts, I have read the deadline for publication this year is still March but the Premier League has said visibility is required by 31 December 2023.

Next year., the deadline for 2023-24 accounts publication will be 31 December 2024.

Chris Milligan
68 Posted 30/11/2023 at 17:10:04
Personally, I think they should postpone our punishment until the Man City and Chelsea cases have been heard. Then the punishment can be dished out fairly based on the severity of the offences.

Blue Sky thinking… not going to happen — that would demand fairness.

Jack Convery
69 Posted 30/11/2023 at 17:12:02
The BBC are reporting that 2 Premier League footballers and a manager, who are under investigation for sexual violence and domestic abuse are still being allowed to play and manage.

How come our Player X was banned? I thought the club suspended him but doesn't the deduction report mention it was the FA? Or am I wrong?

Is this another case of us being treated differently once again? After all, the player in question was worth about £20M at the time and we got zilch for him. Imagine that £20M in the credits column!

Michael Kenrick
70 Posted 30/11/2023 at 18:32:24
Brian @53,

Good calculations, and they should help us understand our PSR situation in upcoming years...

The numbers certainly might help us plead Sheffield Wednesday's defence or mitigation that saw their 12-point deduction reduced to 6 points, showing that we knew there was a problem by 2021-22 and we drastically modified our recruitment policy in subsequent years.

However, my concern is the relevance of this to the commission's claim that we kept on spending, regardless of the recognized problem that had us running transfers past the Premier League for their approval.

For it to be meaningful in the context of the commission and the appeal, I think you would have to show the numbers for all four financial years (with Covid; not three) that make up the PSR calculation for 2021-22, which we stupidly admitted we breached.

I'll have a shot at what they look like but you might beat me to it! Let's see what story they tell?

Kieran Kinsella
71 Posted 30/11/2023 at 18:32:37
Jack,

The report said the FA banned him. Without naming names there is one partey at a North London club who has faced similar accusations and carried on regardless.

Tom Bowers
72 Posted 30/11/2023 at 18:35:43
There is so much inconsistency in the Premier League and with the authorities who run it, one can understand all the frustration we all have.

The offside rule as it is now is just a waste of time and should be amended. The flag should go up immediately.

The VAR has become a joke. They, far too often cannot make a decision and just refer it back to the referee so, why are the VAR people getting paid?

The players are now just coached to be robotic as many times they can go forward but waste opportunities to put the opposition under pressure.

Just count how many times a player taking the ball on the run at halfway, stops, looks back and then the ball ends up with the keeper to start all over again.

This is boring to say the least and people are paying hard earned money to watch this trash.

Only teams flush with expensive talent can exploit this method to the max. because they pass it around the best until the opposition gets dizzy.

Sadly, like many forms of ''entertainment'' today, the quality is sadly lacking but the cost is skyrocketing.

Bobby Mallon
73 Posted 30/11/2023 at 18:56:34
The VAR should only be brought in if there is a serious foul the ref has missed, for offside, and if the ref says no penalty, then it's no penalty.

Let's start having people in the VAR room who don't have an affiliation to football.

Bobby Mallon
74 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:00:24
Kieran,

There are two players under investigation but allowed to play.

Fucking stinks.

Danny O’Neill
75 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:09:40
It will be interesting, Michael.

Yes, we kept spending, but we sold as well and offloaded a lot off the wage list.

I've seen the reports today of the potential threat of an additional points deduction. Would that take us to the maximum 12? Before an appeal?

I don't know the answer, by the way. All I can do is focus on Saturday and 3 points. That's all the team can do.

Billy Roberts
76 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:12:44
Chris @68,

Absolutely, exactly what I have been thinking. We are all in the same league.. now. We are all facing charges that could relegate us, so let's get on with it now, this season.

If we go down because of our 10 points or whatever it ends up(??) this season and then Man City and Chelsea get a 50-60 point fine the next season... for retrospective "crimes", surely we will have a case to say we have gone down unfairly because of the Premier League dragging its feet with them ant not us.

Of course... prioritising our case because we complied with their investigation. That "unfairness" is a fuckin' understatement!!

Eric Haworth
77 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:19:49
My previous post should've been commending Brian #53 post not #6.

Not sure where that came from, perhaps it's old sausage fingers again. 🙄

Michael Kenrick
78 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:22:12
If I'm tasked with producing the numbers Brian references that reflect our player trading over the 4 years in the PSR calculation, then I'm doing it the quick way, from the annual reports: player costs (aka amortisation of player registrations) versus profit on player trading:

2021-22: costs of £68.3M vs profit of £67.7M
2020-21: costs of £81.2M vs profit of £13.2M
2019-20: costs of £99.2M vs profit of £40.5M
2018-19: costs of £95.1M vs profit of £20.3M

I think we tried to make the case that profit on selling players was way down in 2020-21 because of the impact of Covid.

Considering the lag effect of amortisation (spreading player costs onto future years per the length of contract), then we did indeed start taking drastic action to limit player costs, certainly by the middle of this period.

Note also that Everton agreed to obtain the Premier League's approval of purchases of new players only from August 2021 — so only in the last year of this 4-year period (Clause 102), which concludes:

The Premier League approved each such request but when doing so cautioned Everton that it (the Premier League) was not managing Everton's finances, and that it was for Everton to ensure that it complied with the PSR. The Premier League asserts that for Everton to have persisted in player purchases in the face of such plain warnings was recklessness that constitutes an aggravating factor.

Combine that with the steady trend in increased profit as we continued to make huge sales of our better players, and it sheds considerable light on the commission's lie that (Clause 103):

The Commission considers that it was unwise for Everton not to have curtailed player purchases. It was aware of potential PSR difficulties but pressed ahead in the hope that it would make sales of players that would
enable it to achieve PSR compliance. Events have proved that to be a poor judgment.

It is vitally important that this interpretation is challenged on appeal, as it also speaks to the fundamental lie in all this nonsense — that a 'sporting advantage' is implicit in our supposed breach.

And just to add this from Clause 126:

Everton had planned to sell a
number of its players in the summer 2020 transfer window. Mr Brands had placed values on eight of the players who had been targeted for sale, producing a total sale value in excess of £80 million. In the event sales did not take place as projected. Everton argues that that failure was caused by the impact of Covid, which depressed the market, preventing it from making sales at the expected prices.

I believe the numbers I list above reflect and prove exactly this point. Up to £80M in player sales not possible due to the impacted market. Giving us credit for just a quarter of that claimed amount would bring us below the breach line. But the commission's outright rejection of this mitigation is totally unfair, biased, and yes… corrupt.

John Flood
79 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:27:19
The club accounts for 2022-23 will not be released until next spring. It is important to note that the losses shown in the accounts are not the same figures as those used for the P&S calculations as all sorts of expenditures are allowed to be discounted for P&S.

However, just looking at the club losses along with the net transfer spend since 2019-20, it gives a good indication of where the club is going in attempting to get their finances under control:

2019-20 Company losses: £139.9M. Net transfer spend: -€33.2M (-£28.65M)
2020-21 Company losses: £120.9M. Net transfer spend: -€69.95M (-£60.35M)
2021-22 Company losses: £44.7M. Net transfer spend: +€6.5M (+£5.61M)
2022-23 Net transfer spend: +€25.4M (+£21.91M)
2023-24 Net transfer spend (so far): +€42.3M (+£36.5M)

Net transfer spend figures are from transfermarket.co.uk

We have been found guilty of breaching the £105M P&S losses for the rolling 3 seasons of 19-20, 20-21 and 21-22 by £19.5M; however, the club losses in that time added up to £305.5M, so it is clear there is a lot that can be deducted for the P&S figures.

For the next P&S rolling 3-year period, season 19-20 will be removed and season 22-23 added. The above trend indicates that means replacing heavy club losses with a much smaller loss and a negative transfer spend with a transfer profit.

We do not know how this pans out with P&S figures, but the general trend is of a club attempting to get their house in order, rather than one who (according to the commission verdict) carried on spending money on players.

Looking at club losses and transfer expenditure, we are no means the worst, and Chelsea and Nottingham Forest have got be foul of the P&S rules, especially Forest as they will not have the big incoming revenue streams of a big established Premier League club, and they couldn't even get a shirt sponsor for the first half of last year, yet they have spent a net sum of around £217M since they got promotion!

What I have seen nobody ask is why are the agreed P&S figures for every club are not published by the Premier League season upon season, as at the moment we can only guess? Surely that would be the open and transparent way to manage things, and that way, a club (and its supporters) can see where they are and take appropriate measures to address the situation.

As it is, it very much appears the clubs are all sailing blind, and we are being made an example of after falling foul of the ambiguous allowed deductions.

Kim Vivian
80 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:37:26
I can't see what grounds could conceivably exist to increase the points deduction. It's like stuff is just being made up day to day.

They should be in fucking government.

To add... do trading figures only relate to squad players, not managers/coaches or whatever they want to call them these days? I refer back to my question earlier.

David West
81 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:44:23
Excellent peice, Lyndon.

If the Premier League can't see that the lack of competition is eventually going to erode the brand of the Premier League, then the game will cease to be the global marketing and sponsorship beast it is right now, and no one wins in the longer term.

The Premier League grew so big because of the competition. Man Utd could be treble winners but could still lose to Stoke or Charlton. A club like Everton who never really spent much could grow to get that 4th Champions League spot.

The Top 6 may change a bit, shuffle round year on year, but they will effectively be there every year.

The FFP, P&S are the root cause of the competition stifling, I'm not a fan of the Newcastle takeover, but they are not in danger of going bust, they have plenty of money yet are not allowed to spend it the way Man City and Chelsea did.

Newcastle may catch up over time, because they can bide their time with endless money. Moshiri didn't have that endless pit, without a state's huge corporate funding, no team can now compete until the balance is reset.

The gap just continues to grow, the competition gets more boring and the brand will suffer… it's inevitable.

It will end up like La Liga: 1, 2, or 3 teams can win; the rest are just making up the numbers.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 30/11/2023 at 19:54:59
Kim #65,

"I have slightly lost track of how much we breached the guidelines by (£5m? £19.5m? £105m?) so as to attract what's starting to feel like a fatal wound to the club, but my gut feeling is that sticking rather than twisting somewhere along the line might have helped."

Kim, para 8 from the Commission report:

"8. Although a club's target is that adjusted earnings before tax should not show a loss, the Rules provide a degree of latitude. A loss of up to £15 million is largely forgiven. The only consequence is that the Premier League will determine whether in T+1 (the following year) the club will be able to discharge its obligations under Rule E15.9. Greater consequences arise if the loss exceeds £15 million but is less than £105 million. In that event, the club is required to provide the Premier League forecasting to the end of T+2 (the year after the following year), as well as to satisfy the Premier League of its ability to provide evidence of Secure Funding."

I wonder if a valid analogy (all analogies fall down at some point) is the 70mph limit on the motorway (equates to the Premier League's preferred threshold of break even). Imagine you're doing 73mph (let's say, equates to being just under the Premier League's £15M threshold) and plod pulls alongside in his car, winds the window down and just looks at you, and then moves on.

The next day, same spot on the motorway, you're now doing 77mph (equates to being over the Premier League's £15M threshold), the same plod pulls alongside, waives you over to the hard shoulder and has a word with you, saying he's keeping an eye on you (equates to the Premier League starting to discuss matters with us).

The next day, same spot, you're now doing 80mph (equates to just over the the Premier League's £115M threshold), plod pulls you over and issues a ticket; you get a penalty (equates to the Premier League setting up the Commission, which finds us bang to rights and imposes a penalty).

Kim, I think that might be an analogy. But as the driver, you might have mitigating circumstances etc etc.

Michael Kenrick
83 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:13:14
Kim,

I saw your question @65, and again @80.

The numbers most of us are looking at refer only to players because it is player costs that are cited by the commission as the main reason that Everton breached PSR.

I'm sure the added costs for, let's call it management transition, come to at least the amount of the breach, if not a heck of a lot more; however, this is definitely an added business cost incurred through our own volition with no possible mitigation, and therefore of limited relevance, I believe. I don't think it even rated a mention in the commission's findings.

Whereas mitigation for 'Player X' should have recognized a loss of 1 year of his amortized contract, at a minimum – not to mention his value to the team as a player. Why didn't that not reduce our breach by £8M? Or even £20M?

And the effect of losing USM sponsorship through no fault of our own and definitely most unusual business circumstances — we should have made a lot more of this, but seems we had no paperwork to show that they would have continued to sponsor us by significant amounts where it not for Putin's disgusting war of attrition in Ukraine. Surely that alone has to have created a £20M hole in our accounts by itself?

The whole thing absolutely stinks.

Danny O’Neill
84 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:19:52
You're right, Brent. If you get clocked by a speed camera, they give you 10% and usually results in a discussion.

Thanks, Michael and John, although those figures are making my head hurt.

If the Premier League persists with this, then our next opponents have to be in the firing line.

When Saturday comes as they say. I can focus on the football.

Barry Hesketh
85 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:20:56
I think it has come to the point where the Bottom 10 of the Premier League should swap places with the Top 10 of the Championship at the end of every season. Perhaps then, clubs won't feel as if they have been cheated out of money or their place in the top flight.

It would freshen up both leagues and may even lead to some unfamiliar names in the Premier League. It won't affect the usual suspects because they rarely end up outside of the Top 10, do they?

I'm uncertain if I'm being sarcastic and slightly barmy or if this type of plan would actually curb the spending and the mad-dash for success, relegation wouldn't be such an issue if you could end up in tenth place of the Championship and regain top level status.


Brent Stephens
86 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:26:17
Barry #85,

Imagine before the season starts, when young lads "graduate" from club academies. And the club that finished bottom of the league in the previous season gets first pick from that pool of graduates.

Second bottom club gets second pick and so on. Mad I know, you'd never see anything like that anywhere.

Charles Brewer
87 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:45:20
If the Premier League was in the least serious about any kind of restrictions on expenditure in the matter of "Fair Play", it would simply impose a player salary cap.

This would have an immediate effect on club annual expenditures, and would also reduce the transfer market (assuming that suitable restrictions were placed on any kind of "signing on fee") values and make the game far more interesting since paying a Kevin de Bruyne 30% of the expenditure allowed, paying Haaland 40% of the amount allowed would result in Manchester CIty having just 30% of the allowed amount to spend on the entire rest of the quad.

Everton, of course would have a special rule that required them to spend 100% on a bum from Spurs who refused to play.

Ian Edwards
88 Posted 30/11/2023 at 20:51:31
It seems to me that the Premier League are not happy with the publicity our fans are quite rightly generating.

They have got Sky on side. They've sent a letter to Burnham defending their position and criticising the Club for spending when they said they were advised not to.

The Premier League are leaking stories to their favoured Journos. They will be selecting the appeal commission members.

As for Player X... the judgement states that the FA suspended him straight away and we sacked him 2 months later. So, we didn’t keep him on the payroll unable to play him for a season: we sacked him.

The Premier League seem to be mobilising against us.

Given the above, I can't see us getting any points back.

James Marshall
90 Posted 30/11/2023 at 21:26:57
I see Shane McGowan finally left this mortal coil - not really relevant to this thread but a favourite quote of his back in the 90's when The Pogues played in Liverpool and he was asked what the best thing was in Liverpool, he replied, "Everton".

He was right. He was also an amazing lyricist and true poet, and clearly knew which way the wind blows. I never knew he was a blue.

Tony Everan
91 Posted 30/11/2023 at 22:39:39
Loved the story of wanting the NYPD choir for the video. It didn’t exist, so they bussed in a group of Police officers from up state somewhere. They all got bladdered on the bus to the studios and we’re almost in no fit state to be filmed. (If I’ve remembered it right!)
Si Cooper
92 Posted 30/11/2023 at 00:14:30
Sorry if these points have already been made.

On the banning of Player X but not others, I wonder if the fact that he was being investigated for offences involving a minor meant he was seen as too toxic to not being disassociated with / potentially in peril due to ‘retaliatory' attacks.

On how we may have overspent whilst have a negative net spend on players, I believe that our wage bill may be the significant problem. That wasn't reduced by as much as we would have liked due to the problems selling unfancied players, and at the same time it has potentially been added to by having to pay to keep those players the club considered essential.

Jerome Shields
93 Posted 01/12/2023 at 00:26:58
My concern is how this year's 2022-23 final accounts stack up. They are slower in publishing them than last year.
Neil Carter
94 Posted 01/12/2023 at 01:43:38
Agree with the article – let's hope all this shite is the start of the end of the Premier League.

Time for another revolution in English football and it needs to find its way back to being a competitive sport again rather than a list of bank balances.

Regulation salary and transfer caps and scrapping of VAR are the way forward

Derek Knox
95 Posted 01/12/2023 at 06:16:53
Danny @ 84,

Speed Camera - 10% -Michael Keane will be safe then! They may even urge him to be a bit quicker.

Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 01/12/2023 at 06:38:28
I don't think there is any chance of Michael breaking the speeding limit Derek.
Mark Murphy
97 Posted 01/12/2023 at 07:38:02
Turning circle of the Torre Canyon – as my dad would have said!
Christine Foster
98 Posted 01/12/2023 at 09:08:08
If we are being done for a specific 3-year period, found guilty and sanctioned, then the specific time period should then be closed off, no double dipping by including a year already included in a sanction period.

If we broke the rules in a specific time period then it should not be used again to further a future sanction.

Mal van Schaick
99 Posted 01/12/2023 at 09:17:54
No doubt there will be Jacob Marley and Ebenezor Scrooge on the appeal panel muttering bah humbug as they ponder an increase in our penalty.

Let’s join La Liga, the Spanish FA may be more forgiving and we would have all those away games in the sun.

Michael Kenrick
100 Posted 01/12/2023 at 09:26:24
Sadly, Christine, I don’t think the Premier League rulebook has such a provision…

Rather the opposite, the PSR jeopardy exists for each rolling 3-year period (4 years with Covid).

Jerome, as per usual, is telling us porkies @93: the Accounts for 2021-22 were published on 31 March 2023. I think they have to be submitted before 31 December this year… so no way are they “slower”.

Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 01/12/2023 at 09:47:16
Ian (88), To give you your due Ian you are mostly consistent on the downside of affairs.

Mal (99), It could be the Ebenezor Scrooge who woke up on Christmas morning who judges our appeal.

Always look on the bright side,ffs! ——If you can like!

Ian Jones
102 Posted 01/12/2023 at 09:48:27
Ian, 88

You say Player X was sacked by us. Was he, I assume he was suspended and his contract expired at end of June 23. I assume it's all tied up with employment law. Whether he received any payment over the months he was suspended is a different thing, assume he wasnt.

Christine

Don't see it that way. I don't see why we can't be punished for the next 3 year period, 20-21, 21-22, 22-23.

I think it's immaterial that we have already been done for some of the years on the previous 3 year period.

Not sure whether Man City's situation is similar to ours.

I have no idea what Man City's 100 plus alleged breaches are but from what I have read some of the alleged breaches have been repeated over several years. So, they'll hopefully be punished for each occurrence.

Brian Harrison
103 Posted 01/12/2023 at 10:00:06
What it must be like to live in the wonderful land that the Premier league live in, while most of the world has struggled with inflation in double digits, its P&S rules havent gone up with inflation. Then yesterday because they are coming under increasing pressure they out of the blue announce that they will be bringing charges against City which they will hear late next year and a decision in possibly May 2025. They know that by then the government will have already appointed someone to make that decision. Strange nothing about Chelsea who have flagged up to the Premier league that when Abramovich was in charge they breached the financial rules.

As for the independence of any panel or appeal panel I am extremely sceptical. When the original panel were chosen the premier league would have picked people who fitted the narrative they wanted, and I expect the same criteria will be applied to the appeal panel. I wonder how an independent practising judge would have viewed our case. We worked closely with the Premier league to try and stay within their rules yet the commission didn't seem to take that into account. I read that Simon Jordan said yesterday they wouldnt get City before any commission till 2030, as City who have admitted nothing will take this through every court they can.

John Chambers
104 Posted 01/12/2023 at 10:30:30
Ian #102, I agree entirely with what you say re “player X”.Here is a link to the official club statement
https://www.evertonfc.com/news/2193203/club-statement
It is also clear in the findings that the “conviction” is for 3 years 19/20, 20/21 and 21/22. We will have to comply with the £105m for 20/21, 21/22 and 22/23. As I’ve said earlier I would assume our accounting assumptions made in previous accounts would have been part of the budgeting for the 22/23 figures so I have real concern that we will be considered to be in breach for that period
Mal van Schaick
105 Posted 01/12/2023 at 10:35:30
#101. Dave. Like every Evertonian, we just want justice to be seen to be done, restore our points, and if anything find us and put us on probation.
Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 01/12/2023 at 11:14:15
Mal (105) Now that reads much better Mal, thank you.
James Hughes
107 Posted 01/12/2023 at 13:11:55
i see we have appealled as expected, hope we have soime decent lawyers this time

Link

Ian Jones
108 Posted 01/12/2023 at 13:30:16
I need to correct what I said about Player X. His contract expired at end of June 2022, not 2023 as I said.
Charles Brewer
109 Posted 01/12/2023 at 13:50:19
So the latest piece of corruption from the EPL is that Everton are to be done repeatedly for the same offence. It is like saying that if you were speeding over a distance of 100 metres you committed 100 offences each of speeding over 1 metre (those with an interest in maths can, of course use the basis of differential calculus to repeat the exercise ad infinitum) and so get 6 points for each offence, giving a total of 600 points penalty.

Using this logic, is there any reason why our dear neighbours should not be banned for 5 years for each Italian they murdered? On the basis that they were suspended for the murder of one Juventus supporter for 5 years, that should mean that they are banned from European competition for 38*5 years, that is 190 years. Actually, that seems a lot more reasonable to me.

Pete Neilson
110 Posted 01/12/2023 at 14:15:31
If Sheffield Wednesday is the precedent, their appeal took a little over 3 months. The next international break March 18-26, 2024. I’m expecting them to reveal their wisdom on Friday 15th March. Whether some/all/none of the deduction is rescinded it makes a mockery of the league competition. The PL isn’t fit for purpose.
Danny O’Neill
111 Posted 01/12/2023 at 14:16:41
They have now cornered themselves Charles.

Whatever they do to us, they have to do to others in proportionality.

I don't often say this, but the Government needs to get involved and regulate this.

They are marking their own homework and making it up as they go along.

Barry Hesketh
112 Posted 01/12/2023 at 14:52:15
Due to our 2023 accounts being looked at by the Premier League, probably early in the New Year and if the Premier League decide that Everton have another case to answer, they'll get yet another panel to oversee that hearing, which may come to their conclusions in that next International break in March.

That raises the possibility of the 'appeals' panel overseeing two appeals, the original, that Everton put in today, and possibly another one if we are found guilty of a second charge.

Who knows when or what will happen, all we know for certain, is that all charges, if there is more than one, will affect this season's league table.

Steve Brown
113 Posted 01/12/2023 at 15:23:13
Stuff might happen to Everton, followed by further stuff.

These journos are the last to find out and the first to make shit up.

Let’s now focus on the football and supporting the team. The appeal is a long-way away.

George Stuart
114 Posted 01/12/2023 at 23:27:37
It was a truism back until the beginning that it was not possible to buy a championship.
Preston were simply too good. As were Villa and maybe Arsenal in the thirties came close but I would submit the only club to ever buy a championship was Blackburn in the premiership era. Thier fast burst overwhelmingly superior buying power lit a brief and successful flame.
Little did we know.
Chelsea's Obramavich era eclipsed that so thoroughly it is scarcely imaginable. And set the stage for Man City. And soon Newcastle as they make their financial advantages tell. A few clubs managed the new order, Liverpool, Man U., Arsenal, Spurs but even these are slipping down the competitive index. The worthy also rans.
The premiership is a mess. Due in no small part to Sky.
The solution if available at all is beyond me.
I used to love football.
George Stuart
115 Posted 01/12/2023 at 23:55:06
It was a truism back until the beginning that it was not possible to buy a championship.
Preston were simply too good. As were Villa and maybe Arsenal in the thirties came close but I would submit the only club to ever buy a championship was Blackburn in the premiership era. Thier fast burst overwhelmingly superior buying power lit a brief and successful flame.
Little did we know.
Chelsea's Obramavich era eclipsed that so thoroughly it is scarcely imaginable. And set the stage for Man City. And soon Newcastle as they make their financial advantages tell. A few clubs managed the new order, Liverpool, Man U., Arsenal, Spurs but even these are slipping down the competitive index. The worthy also rans.
The premiership is a mess. Due in no small part to Sky.
The solution if available at all is beyond me.
I used to love football.
George Stuart
116 Posted 01/12/2023 at 00:03:30
You may also note that the 10-point deduction made national news here in Australia, fair enough. But also, lodgement of the appeal also made the newscasts. That suprised me.


I wonder if it made the SkySports News? I wouldn't know. I don't knowingly watch that filth. The occasional thoughtless click is sufficient.

Like last week when, for a while, I watched the Man Utd Show with Roy Keane from a resplendent Royal Blue and white media room. Roy Was surprisingly balanced whilst being slightly biased as you would expect.

Good News: Tim Cahill's son Shae made his professional debut yesterday for Perth Glory. Good luck to you lad.

Kevin Molloy
117 Posted 02/12/2023 at 00:17:31
I've just seen the headline in the Mail: 'Palace take legal action' and thought "Not them as well!"...
Brian Williams
118 Posted 02/12/2023 at 08:49:30
There's journo talk of us getting punished again once this years accounts are submitted and vetted.

Surely if the years taken into account for the present punishment include seasons 19-20, 20-21 and 21-22 we can't possibly have breached P&S in two years (22-34, 23-24) can we?

If the last year was 21-22, do we not start afresh from 22-23 because otherwise we'd be getting punished twice for he same offence wouldn't we?

Or am I being stupid and looking at this all wrong?

Jonathan Haddock
119 Posted 02/12/2023 at 09:31:38
You're not being stupid, Brian. The PSR rules are based on a rolling 3-year number, which means that the club could be charged every year if the losses exceed the £105M over the previous 3 years.

So the reports are saying that our 22-23 losses when added to 21-22 and 20-21 could also have breached the £105M. The losses for 19-20 will drop out of the calculation used for the current charges.

It's also complicated by Covid because the Premier League used a 4-year period, averaging out the results of 2 of the years. Whatever, it is a big concern that there could be a second breach, especially if the £20m overspend is adjusted to the club's results.

Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 02/12/2023 at 09:50:12
Brian (@118),

Like many of us Bluenoses, you are worried sick by the situation we are in and it's not a nice feeling to be in, worrying and fretting day after day and there isn't really anything we can do, except protest, to ease the worry.

Speaking for myself, I'm just concentrating on the football and hoping we can garner some points while we wait for the verdicts on the appeal and hopefully we will get some relief from that.

Best wishes, Brian – hoping we are all smiling tonight with 3 points in the bag.

Brian Harrison
121 Posted 02/12/2023 at 10:02:23
Dave @120,

Agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly, after the last 2 seasons avoiding relegation and with hope that this season we wouldn't be again in a relegation battle, then along comes this commission's decision and we are back in big trouble.

If we are still in this position come January, I think it may be worth contemplating going into administration. I know that guarantees us being relegated but at least it stops us haemorrhaging money, and yes some people sadly won't be paid and it's not a path I suggest lightly.

But all reports are that we are very close to transgressing again when last season's accounts are published, so again it will be up to a commission to decide our fate, whereas if we go into administration, we are determining our own fate.

Dave Abrahams
122 Posted 02/12/2023 at 10:04:53
George (115), Good post that, I enjoyed it.

You might have mentioned Sunderland who tried to buy success in the First Division in the 1950s in the days of £20 maximum wages, they used under-the-counter methods paying over-the-top wages and signing players the same way.

They got copped and the club and the players were punished, forget what the punishment was, probably fines.

Les Callan
123 Posted 02/12/2023 at 10:12:59
I believe they were fined and some directors banned. Certainly no points deductions, though I think they were relegated in the aftermath of all this anyway.
Brian Williams
124 Posted 02/12/2023 at 11:10:21
Jonathan #119,

Thanks for that, mate, but that's ridiculous, isn't it? We could get punished over and over again.

Say for instance the in last year of the rolling 3-year calculation we had a 'mare and went over by £100M. That would mean we could only go over by £5M for the total of the next 2 years.

I know it's meant to make clubs responsible with their business but this just seems ridiculous to me!

Brian Williams
125 Posted 02/12/2023 at 11:20:41
Dave #120.

Cheers, Dave. Fingers crossed mate. We need something to go our way!

Dave Abrahams
126 Posted 02/12/2023 at 11:24:05
Les (123),

Yes, I just had a gander at the case on Google and it all came about because Trevor Ford, one of the players at Sunderland, wrote about the payments in his autobiography and was probably jealous because he wasn't getting as much as the other players.

Alan Hardaker, a league official, was about to give up on the affair when he noticed huge amounts of money, at the time, we're being spent on bundles of straw, to use on the pitch in winter to protect it from the weather.

This led to the discovery of the illegal payments to players and, as Les @123 said, this led to Sunderland FC going into disarray and being relegated not long after.

Dave Abrahams
127 Posted 02/12/2023 at 11:31:55
Not to go on about Sunderland (@126) too much but it was common knowledge at the time that almost every club in Division 1 was doing the same thing as Sunderland.

Their real crime was getting caught or not being clever enough to cover the payments up, a bit like today and the Premier League's shenanigans with Everton guilty of getting caught and fuckin' useless with their cover up!

Ian Jones
128 Posted 02/12/2023 at 11:40:48
Brian, 124...

The whole point is to make clubs responsible with their business, so I don't feel the theory behind the rolling 3 year periods as unfair. If there in place, rules are rules.

However, what I see as ridiculous is the circus surrounding the whole thing and that includes the actual reasoning behind P&S, FFP, and any other previous versions of it, how it came about, how it's managed, how it will evolve no doubt to suit the top clubs etc. No need to go further as all angles have been covered

It's a very sad situation for all involved with Everton and could potentially have implications at all levels of football.

Also see that Bill Kenwright's memorial service on Monday 18th December at Liverpool Cathedral. End of an era. I wonder what he would have thought about Everton's plight and how much he knew what was going on.

I saw a report about Ramsgate on the BBC earlier today. They are in the FA Cup, first time in the second round. Thought how much fun it must be to support a club so much further down the football 'pyramid'.Football as it was

John Pendleton
129 Posted 02/12/2023 at 16:14:23
Regardless of the circus around the hypocrisy of the EPL punishment, the majority of my ire lies with the people who clearly broke the rules then belatedly scrambled around for mitigating factors to minimise said punishment.

Had the commission looked favourably on those factors and had given us the most positive of impacts (player X £20m, USM £10m etc) we'd have avoided such sanctions - just.

However, the record shows we still operated at a £300m loss over a given period. That is down to us. That we flirted so closely on the edge of the rules for so long is on Everton.

There's planning and there's wishful thinking - Everton chose the latter.

Jacques Sandtonian
130 Posted 04/12/2023 at 13:20:54
Great article as always.

One thing that has bothered me in addition to all your points, Lyndon, is the suggestion by the independent commission that things like the Sigurdsson situation and the Ukraine war are events that affect any business and can't be used as an excuse to fall foul of the regulation. But any other business doesn't have such regulations on loss-making.

Businesses that are badly run either result in leadership changes, bankruptcy or both.

Wars and players being sidelined indefinitely through criminal proceedings are black swan events by almost any reasonable definition. If a public company was exposed to that and reported heavy losses attributed to such events, the market would respond by pricing the shares accordingly.

However, in a football club which runs close to the limit, as all these clubs need to in order to be halfway competitive, the outcome of losses under such mitigating circumstances is punishment that could jeopardise the club's very existence.

It's a twisted logic. If the league is going to sanction clubs under such circumstances they should legislate for it before the fact, not afterwards and arbitrarily.

It really underscores just how poorly run the Premier League really is.

Barry Hesketh
131 Posted 04/12/2023 at 13:40:03
Jacques @130,

Regardless of the merits of the mitigating circumstance, which the commission seemed to dismiss out of hand, as I've just read elsewhere, the points deduction is akin to giving a horse its handicap midway through the race, with the possibility that the handicap will change later in the race or even be removed completely.

But it's a far worse case than that example, because, to impose a points deduction against any side, a third of the way through the season, which could then be reduced or removed, on appeal, with a third or less of the season remaining, is to interfere in every club's destiny, not just the club that was given the punishment.

How can clubs budget, plan and do the everyday stuff, if they can't be sure where they actually stand in the table, should the points deduction against the guilty club be reduced or removed?

It's one of the reasons, that I fear that the total of 10 points deducted will stand, no matter how good Everton's appeal. The longer it takes to set an appeal date, the less likely that Everton will get anything useful from that appeal.


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