Put yourself in the position of Mr Laurence Rabinowitz KC appearing before the Premier League's independent panel to hear the appeal by Everton against the imposition of an immediate 10-point deduction for a claimed breach of Profitability and Sustainability Rules in the 3-year period up to and including season 2021-22.

What arguments would you present in Everton's favour to press the case for reconsideration of the mitigating factors, which were substantial but were brushed aside in the original hearing, and reduction or complete elimination of the points deduction as overly harsh and disproportionate to the nature and extent of the claimed breach — especially considering that this punishes the current players, the management team, and above all the Everton fans, instead of the club owner, board members and senior executives who were directly responsible for financial mismanagement that resulted in excessive fiscal losses over the period in question?

The following argument leverages a multi-pronged approach, emphasizing mitigating factors, highlighting the disproportionate impact of the current penalty, and proposing alternative, effective sanctions. It appeals to the panel's sense of fairness, acknowledges responsibility without accepting blanket blame, and ultimately champions the interests of the innocent stakeholders unfairly caught in the crossfire.

Mr Chairman, esteemed members of the panel,

I stand before you today representing Everton Football Club, a proud institution deeply aggrieved by the unprecedented severity of the 10-point deduction imposed for alleged breaches of Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs).

While we acknowledge certain financial irregularities during the period in question, I urge you to reconsider the mitigating factors that were, unfortunately, brushed aside in the original hearing. We contend that the punishment, in its current form, is not only disproportionate to the claimed breaches but also demonstrably unfair to the very stakeholders the Premier League seeks to protect - the players, management, and most importantly, the loyal Everton fans.

Mitigating factors unjustly ignored:

  • Proactive action: Upon identifying potential PSR non-compliance, Everton swiftly rectified the situation, implementing stringent cost-cutting measures and restructuring financial arrangements. This proactive approach demonstrates commitment to fiscal responsibility and should be acknowledged.
  • Transparency and cooperation: Throughout the investigation, Everton maintained complete transparency, openly providing all requested information and actively cooperating with the Premier League. This stands in stark contrast to instances where clubs obfuscate or stonewall, suggesting genuine intent to comply.
  • Exceptional circumstances: The claimed breaches coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented global event with devastating financial consequences for all industries, including football. The pandemic's impact on gate receipts, sponsorships, and player valuations fundamentally altered the financial landscape, rendering historical benchmarks for PSR compliance inaccurate and inapplicable.
  • Intent vs negligence: There's a crucial distinction between deliberate financial mismanagement and unintentional non-compliance due to unforeseen circumstances. In Everton's case, there's no evidence of willful misconduct or attempts to circumvent the rules.

Disproportionate impact:

The 10-point deduction, the harshest in Premier League history, has inflicted unimaginable suffering on parties beyond those responsible for the alleged breaches.

  • Players and staff: They face the immense pressure of salvaging the season in the shadow of relegation, unfairly penalized for actions they had no role in.
  • Management team: Their carefully crafted strategies are thrown into disarray, jeopardizing their hard work and potentially even their careers.
    Everton fans: The lifeblood of the club, they bear the emotional brunt of seeing their beloved team teetering on the brink of relegation due to external circumstances. Their loyalty and passion deserve better.

Alternative sanctions and remedies:

Instead of this draconian measure, we propose more just and effective means of addressing the situation:

  • Financial penalties: Imposing a significant financial fine would hold the responsible parties accountable while avoiding the collateral damage of a points deduction.
  • Conditional points deduction: Deducting points contingent on future non-compliance incentivizes continued financial prudence without immediate and irreversible harm.
  • Collaborative rectification plan: Working with Everton to develop a plan for addressing any remaining PSR discrepancies fosters a spirit of cooperation and ensures long-term sustainability.

Conclusion:

Everton acknowledges the importance of PSR compliance and takes full responsibility for any unintentional failings. However, the current punishment exceeds all bounds of fairness and proportionality. To punish the innocent for the actions of a few sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the very spirit of sporting competition.

We implore you to reconsider the mitigating factors, recognize the disproportionate impact, and implement a just and balanced alternative to the devastating 10-point deduction. Let us not allow Premier League history to be remembered for punishing passion and loyalty instead of financial mismanagement.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Reader Comments (90)

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Robert Tressell
1 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:14:55
Michael, good article.

However, I was listening to (I think) TalkSport earlier and even they managed in a few minutes to decently articulate why we do have a case to answer. I won't go into it all but this isn't an open-and-shut case unfortunately. We all know that deep down.

I'm also concerned that the unwitting mis-handling so far will hurt us worse than, say, Forest. They have the benefit of seeing how not to handle the Premier League in the earlier stages of a case like this.

But rest assured that the KC will come up with a very detailed analysis of rules, procedures etc that will borrow many of the themes you've identified and then some. It will be thorough.

Personally, I believe our points deduction will be reduced – perhaps down to 5 points. However, I also expect that we will start next season with a 5-point deduction due to the ongoing nature of the breach (and we have breached).

Shitty as that would be, I would gladly take it now.

Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:20:40
Excellent summary, Michael.

Let's pray and hope that Laurence Rabinowitz KC does the business for Everton.

UTFTs!

Dave Cashen
3 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:39:02
Excellent piece.
Joe Cavanagh
4 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:57:06
Good points, well made. Can I add some others….

In addition to the double jeopardy point made elsewhere; the point about the size of the penalty being disproportionate to the size of the offence (£19.5M when clubs are spending hundreds of millions, and the lack of adjustment for inflation).

Also the nonsensical exclusion of interest on stadium loans.

I'd like to add the crazy logic of the 6 points for any breach of the rules, even by £1 – this makes no sense whatsoever. The penalty regime should be much more graduated, and maybe a mix of points deductions and fines.

For example 1 point for every £5M or part thereof, and a fine of 10% or 20% of the excess losses. The initial 6-point deduction has no logic – a club that makes £104m losses has no points deducted, whilst just £1.1m more means 6 points deducted.

The other point about the stadium loans is that

(a) accounting treatments do allow the interest associated with loans linked directly to major capital projects to be depreciated, capitalized or amortized over the lifetime of the resultant asset and not counted against profit/loss over the loan period;

(b) to do otherwise distorts the profit and loss account for the period of the loan;

(c) and the Premier League's treatment thereby acts as a huge incentive against clubs wanting or needing to borrow to build or upgrade their stadiums.

In Everton's case, we are being punished by a retrospective change to the rules for a decision amd action that was already made – this breaches a principle of law.

Brendan McLaughlin
5 Posted 20/01/2024 at 16:30:29
I know i'm not entering into the spirit of the thread but the thing that strikes me is the paucity of convincing arguments that can be advanced in Everton's defence.

Someone suggested on another thread that Rabinowitz was on a fixed fee of £100,000. If he can get the penalty reduced even by a few points – which I actually think he will – the lad will have earned his fee.

Rob Halligan
6 Posted 20/01/2024 at 16:35:29
Michael,

I would just like to comment on your bit about the impact on us, the Everton fans, and particularly those who travel away. This is not knocking those who don't travel by the way.

When we were deducted the ten points, we had 14 points at the time, 4 of those being won at home, with 10 being won away. A few days after the deduction I sent the following email to Richard Masters………..

Dear Mr Masters

Seeing as your organisation has decided to deduct ten points from Everton Football Club, ten points which I will deem to be points obtained from away games at Sheffield United (1 point), Brentford (3 points), West Ham (3 points) and Crystal Palace (3 points), can I reasonably expect your organisation to reimburse the travelling Everton fans the money spent on tickets for these games?

As Everton sell out their entire allocation for away games, I have come to the figure that 9725 tickets were bought by Everton fans, at a cost of £30 per ticket, (We'll forget there were concessions) meaning £291,750 was spent by Everton fans for away games which are now rendered meaningless.

You can send this money to Everton Football Club, who hold a record of every person who bought tickets for these aforementioned games, and they will be able to reimburse all the travelling fans who now had a wasted journey, three times to London and one to Sheffield. If you have got any interest in fans, then you may well consider also factoring in the cost of transport for these games, after all, it's not cheap travelling to London from Liverpool.

I remember very well, when the Premier League decided to punish the six clubs who threatened to breakaway from the Premier League to set up the European Super League, all done behind the backs of the Premier League by the way, that the only punishment given out was a fine, with a combined total of £22M, about £3.5M per club (not a points deduction or even relegation), with a statement from the Premier League saying “Well, it would be unfair to punish the fans for something they had no control over”. Well, this points deduction is something that we, as Everton fans, had no control over, and therefore you are punishing the fans as well as the football club.

I look forward to your reply, but somehow do not expect a favourable response

Yours Sincerely..

Having looked at the Matchday programme from Wednesday night, you can find how many Everton fans attended each of those four away games in question, and the total is actually 10274, meaning Everton fans shelved out an astonishing £308,220 on Matchday tickets, (forget concessions etc), for games which as I say, are games now rendered meaningless.

Needless to say, I have not had a reply to the email sent, and although it would not have any impact whatsoever on the appeal, it would have been nice to know what Masters's thoughts would be for what is a very substantial amount of money paid out for, in the end, NOTHING!!

David West
7 Posted 20/01/2024 at 16:40:23
Points well made, MK. I'm sure you would take Rabinowitz's fee to argue our case!

Let's hope that this KC will have a couple of aces up his sleeve as we all know the points of contest, so this guy must be bringing something extra to the fight, considering how much these guys are paid.

One point I heard made was if we're cleared or the points reinstated, will the club have grounds to make the Premier League cover our legal costs?

Surely if were given a financial penalty in the first instance, the club could argue we wouldn't have had to spend all this money, time & energy fighting our case?

Are the fees and costs incurred for all this going to be excluded from future PSR calculations?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
8 Posted 20/01/2024 at 16:54:27
Michael, I object to the opening phrase of your 2nd paragraph:

While we acknowledge certain financial irregularities during the period in question.

Financial irregularities are what gets you taken to court and investigated by the Fraud Office and Accountancy Bodies.

We have not committed any financial irregularities.

We should never allow this phrase to be used at any time and should challenge it any and every time it is used.

I would also add – and I am sure our learned KC will – that any conditional points deduction based on future breaches should not include years for which we have already been punished. It would be interesting to know how much of the 2023 loss, which replaces the 2020 loss, is stadium related and how much is non-stadium.

It would seem particularly harsh to penalise a club who is trying to replace a stadium which is over 100 years old in parts (and of the other 19 how many did it before PSR?) with something to allow England to host the European Championships in 2028.

Dave Williams
9 Posted 20/01/2024 at 18:01:04
I would be amazed if the KC fee is fixed at £100k. In my quite considerable experience of QCs I'd expect it to be much higher, especially given this guy's reputation.
Tim Welsh
10 Posted 20/01/2024 at 18:16:24
I am absolutely furious about this 'they knew the rules and broke them, so they are guilty' trope. And to see it underwritten by somebody above is a nonsense.

Can't anyone else see that it is the rule that is wrong? It was agreed to by halfwits who had no concept of how it would be implemented. It has never been reviewed or index-linked.

And on top of that, has no transparent sanction structure. I work in education and a relatively astute 14-year-old would tear this to pieces if the same approach was taken in a school.

And furthermore; Just because a rule exists does not make it right. Was apartheid right The Nazis passed laws; were they right?

Everton have done nothing morally wrong or legally wrong, yet we are, at the time of writing, the most punished team in the history of the competition. Arrant nonsense.

So to those of you who say TalkSport were quite convincing or accept the words of that John Cross* creature… Wake up!

The Premier League has its foot on our throat and timidly accepting a technical infringement that no other type of business is subject to just compounds our subjugation.

(* To whom I would ask: "Have you had a increase in your salary in the last decade?" If so, why haven't PSR limits been adjusted similarly?)

Brian Williams
11 Posted 20/01/2024 at 18:44:58
My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that we'll have the 10 points reduced to 6 and then get another 6 for our second transgression.

And if we're still in the Premier league next season, we'll start with another 6-point deduction.

Get through all that and we're in the pink!

Brendan McLaughlin
12 Posted 20/01/2024 at 18:46:14
If Tim #10 was Rabinowitz... I could see our appeal resulting in a further points deduction.
Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 20/01/2024 at 18:50:00
Thought it a great piece and the tone spot on.

Respect and lack of ranting goes down a bomb with adjudicators who usually look for a middle-ground solution. Unless we get ripped a new one by the Premier League the median path of a 5-point penalty seems likely.

I disagree with invoking the fans having shaken my head umpteen times over mindless clowns saying "It's not my money – pay whatever it takes for player x".

Not your money but your club… and now look at what such thinking has brought on.

Brian Wilkinson
14 Posted 20/01/2024 at 19:46:42
Excellent article, Michael.

I do not know how to add a YouTube link on here but there is a brilliant one gone on YouTube a few hours ago from across the park podcast entitled Andy Burnham exclusive, FFP breaches, appeals, Premier League.

A lot adds to your weight Mike, one of the best hour clips anyone will watch this weekend, some interesting points at the end about writing and asking for answers in the upcoming meeting next Month with the Premier League and Parliament.

There's your Saturday night entertainment sorted, if anyone can add the link on here, I would strongly recommend you to give it a viewing, superb Andy Burnham.

Thanks for the article again Mike, some great valid points in there.

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 20/01/2024 at 19:56:45
I think the points deduction will be from 10 to 8 points. The narrative has been worked on since the commission sanctions, but not by Everton. It is the opinions of some well-placed individuals and the continued media scrutiny of the Premier League that have provided this narrative, which Everton's KC will ride on the back of. FABs submission will be a great help.

The new commission which Everton have been referred to will try to apply a 6-point deduction for a second offence.

The compensation is a different matter. We do not know which clubs, if any, have submitted a claim. I felt initially when this was mentioned, that the Premier League were not encouraging such claims and the onus was very much on the claiming club to provide evidence. But it is still very much an unknown area.

The content will include Michael's arguments, though I think a lot of them will have been put to the original commission. It will be won and lost on the narrative and how well Everton are able to present that. Everton ignored the narrative in the build-up to the last Commission, allowing the Premier League total control of it, and got hammered as a result.

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 20/01/2024 at 20:01:49
John Keating
17 Posted 20/01/2024 at 20:13:54
To be honest, I would mention nothing in regards points reduction. None at all

It was a financial irregularity and we therefore should pay a financial penalty.

We can show our overspend gave us no football advantage.
Had that been the case, then fair enough a points deduction may be considered. Certainly not more than an administration penalty!

I also think more should be made on the argument of spend in infrastructure. We allowed the new stadium in our calculation whereas the Premier League's “independent” commission disallowed it. Surely the Premier League oversight of the club would have brought this up?

How the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our player who cannot be named, who just happened to be innocent, and our subsequent loss cannot be seriously considered is crazy.

All these issues are financial and therefore only a financial penalty should be given

Get a full points deduction reinstated.

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 20/01/2024 at 20:37:05
I would argue the £19.5M was just resting in our account!
Christine Foster
19 Posted 20/01/2024 at 21:09:15
Phil 8, Tim 10.. I am in both your camps...Brian, Barry and Brendan, I cannot agree less...

Michael.. as Phil pointed out, I would not admit we are guilty of anything, much has been said that we and Forest voted for the rules 10 years ago.. as I stated on another thread, 9 of the clubs involved in the 2013 vote are no longer in the EPL, and only 9 clubs (of which 6/7 are the same "top" clubs who had already benefitted from owner money before any impositions.. read the Guardian article of 2013 on the other thread for background. (Forest where not in the EPL and have not been for 23 years)

So, the narrative is wrong.. as is "we broke the rules" "do the time" bullshit.. the rules were put in place and never used 10 years ago or since.. they were never refreshed, amended in line with inflation, wages, costs.. NOR did they address the huge debt, the huge wages, the other accountancy irregularity of extending players contracts to 8 or 10 years to get around PSR or FFP..

No.. sorry, I agree with many of the points Michael goes into.. but will never go into an appeal with cap in hand admitting guilt, we thought we lived within the rules.. but the league accountants dismissed our numbers on the stadium interest, our back up mitigating issues where also dismissed without due consideration or reasoning. (minimal)

No one is fighting our corner except the fans. If you cannot see the injustice, cannot see the duplicity of the league, if you think we should just bite the bullet, meekly take whats coming.. I am sorry I can never stand with you.

Brendan McLaughlin
20 Posted 20/01/2024 at 21:20:54
Christine #19,

You do know the club pleaded guilty in respect of both the first and second charges.

Of course, ToffeeWebbers will know better.

Danny Baily
21 Posted 20/01/2024 at 21:22:58
Brendan 20, you're on the wrong side of this argument.
Brendan McLaughlin
22 Posted 20/01/2024 at 21:27:12
How so Danny? #21

I've just offered the best defence of our situation #18 that I've read on Toffeweb and yet still get grief.

Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 20/01/2024 at 21:54:54
Hi Brent, yes that’s the one mate, cheers for adding it.
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 20/01/2024 at 22:09:53
If I understand it correctly (and I'm quite happy to be corrected):

We pleaded guilty at the Commission hearing.

It would appear contradictory and inconsistent if we now pleaded not guilty to the initial charge.

Guilty in this context meant exceeding the higher threshold of £105m overspend (having exceeded the two lower, more lenient thresholds).

At the same time, we argued mitigation (normally an indication of having accepted guilt).

The Commission gave reasons for declining to accept all but one of the mitigating factors.

Our own accounts show that the interest-bearing loans were not set off against the stadium build, but a non-interest-bearing Moshiri loan was.

At the same time, the Commission held several aggravating factors against us.

The Commission arrived at the guilty verdict and applied a ten-point sanction.

The level of sanction applied was not derived from any sanctions framework or tariff previously introduced into EPL Rules (although the EPL Handbook allows for a points penalty).

The sanctions had not previously been applied to any other club.

Notwithtanding the lack of a sanctions tariff, the ten-point sanction applied appeared to be arbitrary, and to be excessive in light of the lower nine-point penalty for a club going into administration.

On that basis at least, the level of the points sanction should be appealed, if not the nature of the sanction (i.e. points penalty as opposed to financial penalty).

We should not meekly accept the sanction imposed, and I've read nobody suggesting that.

We broke the rules but should not have to "do the time" as it was specifically applied to us.

Don Alexander
25 Posted 20/01/2024 at 22:31:02
The new guy, appointed far too late of course ("Everton that!") will not be eating from a plate of his own choice. No, Moshiri has long since caused that to disappear forever. Shame really because he might have enjoyed it and, yea, he might even have won!

Instead he's now adjusting to a whole plateful of pigs-ears, seasoned with whatever unpalatable sauce Moshiri has for years repeatedly cooked up for ever-so-grateful minions and anybody outside the club, who he has blatantly treated with contempt (the main case in point being his years-long public claim to one and all that his very own Everton had always complied in full with the rules, until he pleaded guilty at the hearing itself!).

Anyway, hopefully the new guy has a grasp of the "lawful authorities" that might assist our frightful plight. He'll need them, if any exist.

"Lawful Authorities" derive from previous senior court decisions on their rationale for allowing successful appeals. They're complex, and it needs a HUGE brain/s to know about them, correctly understand them, and then cogently explain them to any bunch of numpties put up to judge the hearing.

All the best Larry la'!

No pressure but you're the only hope for us true, life-long, community-based supporters of an esteemed football club, not a business!

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 20/01/2024 at 22:39:54
I actually think that Brendan is on the right side of the arguement. He is looking at the facts of the original Commission and rightly has assumed that the new Commission is on the same bases.

Everton's approach obviously was not successful the first time around. It was a four feet in the air approach hoping for mercy.The Premier League via the Commission rode rough shod through there arguements and did not follow due process. They invented the wheel to suit and Everton accepted that.

So attacking the process, which they accepted will not get Everton anywhere.They need to refine their purpose to achieve small changes.That way the Premier League without losing face make a adjustment to the sanctions, bearing in mind that they have referred Everton to another Independent Commission based on subsequent years.

Peter Mills
27 Posted 20/01/2024 at 22:56:50
In terms of the impact of the punishment, perhaps there is room somewhere for the hit that relegation would have upon Everton in the Community?

I cannot guarantee the information, but I’m confident of it:- I know that EitC is a major provider of social services around Merseyside. I have been told by a well-placed source that relegation, and its impact on the finances of the club, would have a severe impact on the ability to deliver this.

I would not expect this to butter many parsnips with the likes of Richard Masters, but it’s got to be worth dropping into the conversation.

David West
29 Posted 20/01/2024 at 00:02:06
Listening to Andy Burnhan on the pod cast interview, a man who is well experienced in regulatory matters. The whole premise that the sanction determined was left to the independent commission is false.

Masters and the league know it's not the case, they set the parameters, the guide, the "formula ".

Which is not how the rules are meant to be enforced.
I'm no, KC, QC or even KFC.

The Premier League are meant to leave it to an independent body to come up with a sanction, not tell the body what that sanction should be.

Masters seems to have misled the select committee.
Burnham to his credit has leapt on every slip by the league, just need the rest of football, MPs and people in power to see how this process is not transparent or fair.

Si Cooper
30 Posted 20/01/2024 at 00:03:27
Whilst it is obviously true that global / multinational scenarios can have consequently far-reaching effects, it is the temporal proximity of a pandemic and a war in Europe that has created financial issues for Everton which go well beyond anything that could reasonably have been predicted only 2 or 3 years before.

The 3-year rolling period probably seemed like enough time to engineer sufficient cost cutting for a moderate overspend but that fundamentally changed in 2020. I doubt anyone ever had good reason to model being financially hamstrung in the way we have been that has rendered us vulnerable (possibly uniquely) to repeated sanctioning in the same season.

What about the severity of the sanctions? Again, something unknown when we deferred the results of the first investigation so could we have reasonably expected to be getting somewhere in the region of a 20-point deduction at some point this season?

"The punishment must fit the crime" means the impact of the sanctions must be proportionate. The Premier League cannot simply wash their hands of the way their handling of our case has led to the punishment schedule lacking the opportunity for provoking genuine rehabilitation that underpins modern justice sensibilities.

Christine Foster
31 Posted 20/01/2024 at 00:07:53
Brendan & Barry,

No one I have read here or anywhere else for that matter denies that Everton had exceeded the £105M losses before the loan interest payments had been deducted or additionally before the clubs requested mitigation calculations.

If the contested interest payments where calculated in error, the club would have to either dispute them or acknowledge it was wrong. The "admission of guilt" was that they had exceeded the £105M if those deductions were not allowed. Mitigation had been requested on several counts but all but one dismissed.

Exactly what do you think we are appealing? Mitigation? Accountancy interpretation?

Without the above, we have no appeal other than the severity. Are you therefore suggesting we meekly accept our fate and ask for leniency? Or contest the detail?

Brendan McLaughlin
32 Posted 21/01/2024 at 00:42:34
Christine,

The interest argument isn't even an arguement.

We have to hang our hat on the fact that that the process was flawed.. pretty weak arguement to be honest.

Or the punishment was excessive...that's my only hope.

In the name of the Father..

Eric Myles
33 Posted 21/01/2024 at 03:10:13
I hope he introduces some element of precedent in his argument that the points deduction is disproportionate to the overspend. Leicester's fine for example, and the other cases of points deductions being reduced on appeal.

Also there is the anomaly that there are 2 sets of rules in existence, one for the EPL and another for EFL which has more structured and transparent guidelines. The fact that teams promoted to the EPL can suddenly free-spend since their cap has now been increased X3, and the opposite for relegated teams is incongruous.

Lastly there is the EPLs own double standards that a financial penalty should not be imposed on Everton as they have a wealthy owner c.f. their stance that the Super League clubs, who all have wealthier owners, should only pay a meagre fine as a points deduction would adversely affect the fans.

Steve Brown
34 Posted 21/01/2024 at 03:55:24
Very good article, Mike, and I agree that we must approach the appeal in a calm, measured and consistent manner.

However….

We are bang to rights and admitted it, the interest argument isn't even an argument and citing due process is weak?

Keep going Brendan @35 as you are on a roll!

1) This issue of whether Everton breached PSR is a technical argument based on accounting interpretations of our accounts.

2) Everton admitted a breach of the PSR based the Premier League's interpretation (not our own), which appears to have changed in relation to the interest payments for the stadium in particular. It goes without saying that admitting the breach was moronic and typical of Moshiri-Bill's hair-brained thinking.

3) The Premier League's argument is that interest payments should have come directly from the lender rather than via the club's current account. This is a technical accounting matter as the club did make the payments and they did go to the stadium, unless what we are seeing at Bramley-Moore Dock is a mirage.

4) Our mitigation was dismissed without consideration at all – for example, ignoring macro-economic events like the Ukraine-Russia war which directly cost us tens of millions in sponsorship.

5) Governance and due process is fundamental to our appeal. I recommend that you listen to Andy Burnham's podcast posted by Brent @16 as it sets it out far better than I can.

6) Double jeopardy is a principle of criminal law and doesn't directly apply, but the principle that you should not be punished twice for the same offence is certainly a regulatory principle.

7) Severity of the penalty – of course you are right that this will also be a key element of our appeal argument.

This is not to let our abysmal and dysfunctional ownership and board off the hook. They are a disgrace.

But the way that the Premier League has managed their own processes is the reason why an independent football regulator will be introduced by the government – fairness, transparency, consistency and equity are completely absent from how they have dealt with us.

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 21/01/2024 at 08:11:07
I would question the management of their own process, Steve. It smells more like a mismanagement of a lack of process, made up on the fly. Probably in some private London gentlemen's club over a couple of tots of whiskey and a few cigars, followed by a feeling of self-satisfaction.

Michael, get your barrister wig out. You capture it perfectly.

Unjust punishment.

Self-regulating.

No consideration for our honesty, transparency and cooperation only for them to seemingly change the goalposts at the 11th hour.

No question of whether the crime fits the punishment, just a wet-finger-in-the-air decision.

And those who suffer the most are the players and supporters.

Let's not forget the background staff who run the club. The ticket office. Dare I say, Everton in the Community.

They are indirectly punishing the wrong people rather than those culpable for the mismanagement of the club over several years. We have done nothing wrong other than support our club.

Jerome Shields
36 Posted 21/01/2024 at 09:17:51
Again I think Brendan is right. It is being assumed that the process was straight and right; it was not. It was stacked against Everton and they were shafted with the Premier League's full knowleadge.

The hope is that they have compromised themselves, getting the over-exposure they deserved. Not being faceless is their weakness.

The appeal will consist of a similar attitude to the Premier League. They control the process from Commission investigation to appeal without recourse. Only being held accountable by the way the wind is blowing in the media and pushing self-regulation, which they have at the moment.

Michael Kenrick
37 Posted 21/01/2024 at 09:19:10
Sorry this thread got sidelined by the 'guilt' question.

Phil @8: You're right – I think I was wrong to use the phrase "financial irregularities".

My view is that it's not guilt for some crime – it's an apparent exceedance of an arbitrary limit which could just as easily have been avoided if any one of a number of mitigating factors had been allowed by the commission.

The numbers in the accounts wouldn't change. The (incredible) amount of money Everton chewed their way through in the 3- (or 4-)year period remains the same — it's just that arbitrary question: allowed or not allowed? — puts that money under or over this arbitrary line.

Just to be completely clear, Christine, to be punished by a 10-point deduction for such administrative subtlety — and claim that it somehow conferred a "sporting advantage" — is heinous in the extreme.

[ps: Sorry but I've moved some of the 'double jeopardy' posts to a different thread as I don't think they come into the appeal but relate more to the second alleged breach.]

Michael Kenrick
38 Posted 21/01/2024 at 09:40:32
Steve Brown,

Superb post. Every point bang on! And presented more forcefully than this rather tame Rabinowitz chap in the OP!

Kevin Molloy
39 Posted 21/01/2024 at 10:01:08
I would say the main battle will be on whether a 'competitive advantage' was gained. this is absolutely key as, if this is found to be the case, it turns a fine into a points deduction.

The previous judgment found a similar case in the Championship where financial irregularities had led to points deduction, and said 'same here'.

But the Premier League is vastly different to the Championship. In the Premier League, the idea that all teams start from the same position (and that therefore a competitive advantage can be gained if someone spends more than another team) is clearly a total nonsense.

We've had the best net spend of the last 5 years excepting Brighton, while Chelsea spent near a billion pound this year alone. So the argument we gained a 'competitive advantage' is total nonsense.

You might be able to apply it in the Championship, where most teams are much of a muchness, but not here.

Christine Foster
40 Posted 21/01/2024 at 10:05:02
Michael, 36,

In my hamfisted way, you captured what I was trying to say or express. Sheer frustration due to incompetence drives one to distraction.

Without express verbatim of what was said, we are chasing probabilities, as always the devil is in the detail. Something about Everton FC means truth is never true. Whose truth are we left to believe anymore.

Michael Kenrick
41 Posted 21/01/2024 at 10:06:17
David @29,

"The Premier League are meant to leave it to an independent body to come up with a sanction, not tell the body what that sanction should be."

My reading of the findings indicates that the Premier League made a submission about what their Board thought might be an appropriate formula for determining the correct sanction.

The commission, in very clear and unambiguous terms rejected that submission and confirmed they had full and free remit to decide any sanction whatever.

They went ahead and chose what they did: 10 points.

Funny thing is... it just happens to fit exactly with the Premier League's proposed formula!!!

The argument in the end is the same – it just has a difficult logical step to get over as the commission appeared to say they were not swayed by the Premier League's submission – only to go on and impose the Premier League's proposed sanction formula to the letter!


Brian Harrison
42 Posted 21/01/2024 at 11:22:16
I have just read a piece by investigative journalist Russel Scott, he said that Man City had a meeting last May with Stuart Andrew the Sports Minister.

The meeting was to discuss the Football Governance White Paper. Now the cynic in me saying why did this 1 club get a meeting with a Minister over a white paper if it wasnt to gain an incite into how they would view Citys previous charges by the Premier league.

Also Russel Scott applied through the Freedom of Information act for details of the meeting, the reply was the Ministers didn't believe it was in the public interest, really?

Phil Greenough
43 Posted 21/01/2024 at 11:37:24
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

If the rules were fit and proper to find Everton guilty, why does the Premier League feel the need to change them in August?

Nick Page
44 Posted 21/01/2024 at 11:57:53
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this (as I haven't read the whole thread) but I was thinking last night, whilst watching Andy Burnham on the Across The Park podcast: Why is the PSR limit the same for all clubs?

Obviously I know why – because they're corrupt bastards with an agenda to maintain the status quo. But in reality, this is ridiculous!

If you finish first for 3 years, your income is much higher vs say finishing 17th for three years. As well as taking inflation into account annually, PSR calculations should therefore be based on a percentage of that club's earnings power (an allowable loss ratio) not a simple straight line total for all clubs.

John Raftery
45 Posted 21/01/2024 at 12:21:12
I am mindful of the comment made by Masters in front of MPs about having to think about the other 19 clubs. I believe at some point in the appeal hearing, Rabinowitz must seek to quash the argument that our overspending delivered a sporting advantage over those clubs.

The burden of interest payments on the club's finances was necessitated by the requirement to pay for the new stadium. The net effect will be delivery of a new stadium at the expense of short- to medium-term success on the pitch.

No sporting advantage was achieved by our club and equally no sporting disadvantage was suffered by other clubs.

Jerome Shields
46 Posted 21/01/2024 at 12:54:11
Brian #42,

He also had a meeting with the Owners of Man City while on a visit to Saudi Arabia.

David West
47 Posted 21/01/2024 at 13:30:29
MK.

Isn't the formula the part that is not included in the rules? If the formula is the basis for coming up with what sanction is imposed, then surely that should be in the standard P&S rules.

Everyone should've been aware of this formula before it got to the point of it being used.

I get it is a recommendation that the commission say they rejected, but with the commission having no previous P&S breach to use as a reference, no clear guidance in the rules, they have no option but to use the formula the league provided.

Can the club or clubs argue they never got the chance to vote on this aspect of the P&S rules?

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 21/01/2024 at 13:43:10
David #47,

Was the 10-point penalty applied to Everton derived from a formula that the Commission adopted?

Or was it just a 10-point penalty?

Barry Cowling
49 Posted 21/01/2024 at 14:00:31
Steve (34),

I totally agree with all of that. I also think the Russian sanction was a very significant mitigating factor, that £20M would have covered our loss.

Also, Phil (43) gets it spot on. Also I was rather surprised that we admitted the charge… if only we knew a decent accountant!

Kevin Molloy
50 Posted 21/01/2024 at 14:03:44
The elephant in the room here is that these nonsense rules set up to supposedly prevent clubs from going bust are being pursued with a vigour which, if successful, will be the main cause of us going out of business.

A one billion pound corporation put out of business in one of the poorest areas of the country, and for what? It won't improve things, it will be one of the scandals of the age that a founder member of the Football League was put out of business over an accountancy rule that everyone agrees is a nonsense.

Have the adults all left the building? is there nobody with any sense at the Premier League who can see the bigger picture here? It just doesn't make any sense; it has to be war-related.

Rob Halligan
51 Posted 21/01/2024 at 14:16:17
David # 47…

I think you are saying what I said back in November when the points deduction was announced.

The independent commission had no idea what punishment to hand out, they had no case history or guidelines to go on, until, very conveniently, about a week before the decision was announced, the Premier League came out saying they wanted a 12-point deduction.

So there you go, David Phillips KC, there were your guidelines. But, to make it look like you came up with it all by yourself, you recommended a 10-point deduction.

Michael Kenrick
52 Posted 21/01/2024 at 14:47:00
David @47,

I know for certain the formula was not a part of the 2022-23 P&S Rules under which Everton were first charged in March 2023.

The commission asserted that the formula was not appropriate under those existing rules, which gave completely free rein to the commission to impose any sanction they could think of. That's in effect what the rules say.

The formula came from a Premier League board meeting on 10 August 2023. I don't know if all clubs were represented there (I doubt it somehow) and it could have been that it was dreamt up solely as part of the Premier League's presentation / submission / testimony to the commission in Everton's case. That's what casts a huge shadow over the whole thing.

But the commission have said (with a straight face???) they were impelled under the P&S Rules (W.51) to ignore the formula and instead imposed whatever sanction they thought appropriate…

… which just happened to directly reflect the exact content and result of applying the formula!!!

"they have no option but to use the formula the league provided."

OMG… you've just given the Premier League's independent appeals commission the defence they need to justify the sanction they came up with! I don't believe it!

Can the club or clubs argue they never got the chance to vote on this aspect of the P&S rules?

Well, it's not an aspect of the P&S Rules. It's a formula suggested by the Premier League Board when they drafted up a sanctions policy to put before the commission hearing the Everton case first time around.

As far as I know, that's as far as it went. I imagine they only change the rules once a year, in the off-season, so there may have been no opportunity for then to vote on it.

And even if there was, it could not apply in Everton's first breach because it was not in the Premier League Handbook for 2022-23, under which EFC were first charged.

Same applies to the second alleged breach, which is being prosecuted under 2023-24 rules that do not include this formula.

[Shooting from the hip here without checking every exact detail, so happy to be corrected on any of this.]

Michael Kenrick
53 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:05:21
Phil @ 43,

I very much doubt that your concern about the rules being 'fit and proper' would form any part of Mr Rabinowitz's case to the appeals commission.

The P&S Rules are in the Premier League Handbook. Everton are in the Premier League. All the rules in the Handbook apply to Everton. I don't belive Everton thought to challenge them at the commission.

The rules are set by agreement among the clubs in the Premier League at any given time. The rules can change with the say-so of those clubs. The new rules apply going forward.

(I'm assuming here that they wouldn't apply new rules retrospectively… but I suppose you just never know with this lot!)

Sorry, but I just don't buy this narrative about "changing the rules". I'm sure it has no bearing whatsover on the defence of Everton's first alleged breach, or the appeal.

David West
54 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:15:42
MK. Surely Everton were not present at the meeting that came up with the formula?

This is why, as Burnham says, the minutes should be published to show transparency. The rules can't be made up on the spur of the moment after a rule has been broken.

It screams to me of the commission going blind into this. Not knowing what should or could be imposed. The commission, knowing the formula would breach their independence, have no option but to say it will be disregarded; however, it surely has had a bearing on the commission with their outcome being so closely aligned with what the Premier League proposed.

The commission could have imposed a transfer ban, and or fine, point deduction even relegation due to the "open sanction process," so for them to be so close to the Premier League position is strange to say least.

Michael Kenrick
55 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:20:21
Kevin @50,

Some really good points there, that build on the FAB 25-page submission and which should form a strong part of the argument.

I wonder if it would be kosher for Rabinowitz to fold in the whole 777 Partners fiasco and the inordinate delay in the Premier League giving their approval for the takeover – which is of itself an existential threat to Everton's onging existence as a viable football club?

Brendan McLaughlin
56 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:36:48
Being reported that the appeal hearing is expected to begin this month.

Timing seems about right.

David West
57 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:40:01
Yes the whole issue of P&S is now coming to the fore, Kevin@ 50.

The very thing the club is trying to build (the stadium) to make us profitable and sustainable, the league are punishing us for a technicality on a £550M project they are going to potentially relegate us over a £19.5M accounting issue.

They should be insulating clubs from the threat of P&S while big infrastructure projects like this are ongoing.

The league, club, area, community and wider region will all benefit from the completion. Who benefits from us being deducted 10 points?

I don't believe it's a witch hunt against us, it's just an indication of the way the game is run.

Michael Kenrick
58 Posted 21/01/2024 at 15:42:55
Rob @51,

Not sure I really agree with your version of things there.

"The independent commission had no idea what punishment to hand out, they had no case history or guidelines to go on"

In coming up with their sanction, the commission cited the earlier case of Sheffield Wednesday FC v The Football League Ltd as precedent for the breach of PSR conferring a sporting advantage on the defaulting club (See §92).

"About a week before the decision was announced, the Premier League came out saying they wanted a 12-point deduction."

Really, weeks before that, the Premier League had submitted their formula to the commission during the hearing. It was rejected… but seemingly applied anyway to give the 10-point deduction.

The Premier League supposedly wanting a 12-point deduction was a leaked story in The Telegraph, published after the hearing was complete and the findings were being written up. And in any event, it was wrong: 10 points, not 12.

"But, to make it look like you came up with it all by yourself, you recommended a 10-point deduction."

The 10-point deduction was in fact completely in line with the Premier League's proposed formula, suggesting he didn't come up with it all by himself but was actually perfectly happy to implement the sanction policy the Premier League had advocated — despite adamantly saying previously in the findings that they were doing entirely their own thing!

Graham Fylde
59 Posted 21/01/2024 at 17:01:44
Just on the 10-point penalty, if you are Mr Rabinowitz, you will be looking to link the process outlined in the commission's ruling and showing they subsequently erred either in law or in (interpretation) of the facts.

So, a basic strategy might split that into three:

1) The Premier League attempted to introduce a policy formula, that had not been ratified, into evidence. This is documented and Mr Rabinowitz would only be interested that the commission had, therefore, seen it rather than whether it's an abuse of process.

2) The commission's ultimate sanction of 10 points was the same outcome as the policy formula in 1). This clearly violates a tenet of English law often heard in real life as "Justice must not simply be done but be seen to be done".

[The actual ruling came from a Lord Chief Justice of England where a person with a conflict of interest withdrew from a sentencing discussion but remained in the room. The mere presence provided a suspicion (even though, on the facts, he clearly didn't intervene).]

Therefore, you don't have to show that the commission was influenced by the policy – just that the possibility was there. Slam dunk, I would have thought!

3) While not explaining how it reached its decision, the commission laid out 4 sentencing guidelines for themselves which were taken from a direct request of the Premier League (we should note EFC lawyers did not complain!)

Notwithstanding the question of independence, the guidelines included a caution that 'recognises that adoption of (the) approach should not result in a sanction that is greater than one that is necessary and proportionate for achieving the purpose that underlines the individual heads.'

I think they might have erred there, don't you?

David West
60 Posted 21/01/2024 at 17:24:46
Graham @59,

Your second point is exactly what I was trying to get across.
Surely just the fact that they have seen the Premier League formula, even if ignored, creates a suspicion.

The Premier League itself should be trying to irradicate any whiff of suspicion if they are truly fair and transparent, yet this formula only serves to increase suspicion.

I'm sure they now won't be sending the same formula to the second hearing or the Forest hearing as now they know they over-stepped the mark in my veiw.


Graham Fylde
61 Posted 21/01/2024 at 17:52:17
Yes, I understand your point David.

Tying the sanction of the commission directly to the policy/formula, especially as the commission rejected the policy, is not possible but I don't think it negates the common sense interpretation that the two outcomes are exactly the same and therefore, suspicious. What I have tried to outline is a legal argument that is well-established to do that.

The commission's judgement has other areas which I'd see as being open to legal and interpretative questions but Mr Rabinowitz is both more qualified and more up-to-date than me, I'm sure, so good luck to him!

David West
62 Posted 21/01/2024 at 18:01:24
Graham, your post was excellent.

You would think Rabinowitz has to be confident also, as I'm sure someone like him wouldn't be confident taking a high profile case like this, without a reasonable chance of success.

Even if he's making a lot of money from the case, if it was a lost cause, I don't think he'd be anywhere near it!

Jerome Shields
63 Posted 21/01/2024 at 18:33:34
The only rules are the Premier League Rules and they are being implemented by a Commission set up by them, which have gven consideration to the Premier League's submissions regarding sanctions.

The KC would have to be in a Court of Law with a legal framework and process to affect legal arguements. He is not going to be and I doubt Everton have the stomach for such an action, which could go on for years.

He is there to reframe the Everton presentation on appeal. within the Premier League Rules and the terms of reference of the Appeal Commission.

Brendan McLaughlin
64 Posted 21/01/2024 at 18:48:55
Sharp intake of breath... good point, Jerome #63.

The Appeal Panel isn't going to be concerned with who introduced the rules, or when, or that a specific punishment metric wasn't included, nor the fact that the £105 million wasn't indexed linked etc.

None of that is within their remit.

Graham Fylde
65 Posted 21/01/2024 at 19:06:59
He is there to appeal the decision of the commission, specifically the sanction imposed. That includes exposing all elements of that decision to review in line with the rules of the Premier League and general legal administrative principles.

Dennis Stevens
66 Posted 21/01/2024 at 20:14:42
If you are Mr Laurence Rabinowitz, what are you doing here?

Log off immediately – you've got an appeal to prepare for!

Jerome Shields
67 Posted 21/01/2024 at 20:20:21
Brendan #64,

I agree on those points.

Graham #65,

That should be the case, but the findings will be what suits the Premier League and what happens will follow from that.

Hans Fyhrqvist
68 Posted 21/01/2024 at 20:48:49
Expert article by Michael and very good clarifications to many good comments afterwards, too.

After watching yesterday the Across The Park podcast where Andy Burnham talked with Judgy, I wrote my views in the comment section today, and decided I will copy that text here because I think it shows the way I have perceived our case, in general terms, and the way Evertonians are admirably defending our club.

Great to hear Andy Burnham and many other influential Evertonians voicing and writing their valued opinions about how unjustly Everton were treated by the deduction of 10 points by one minor breach of the P&S rules.

Surely the Premier League Appeals Board, if their members have any sense of fairness, will return us, if not all, but the majority of our points, which were honestly earned on the football field.

This must also be the case with that other commission, which will later examine our second alleged breach, which can´t be in its nature any different.

So after the first allegation is hopefully overturned by our appeal, if the reason prevails at all, then this latter one should not end in any points deduction, which is a sporting sanction, only some financial penalty, if there needs to be any sanction at all. That is because of the double jeopardy, concerning at least most part of the second allegation.

It´s also great that many YouTube channels by Everton fans are taking firm and vehement stances to defend our case. And the same goes for example the excellent ToffeeWeb site, with its chief writer and many regular contributors, many of them having good knowledge, apart of course football itself, also the financial part of it.

And then the Everton Fan Advisory Board has produced a superb paper for both our club officials and the Premier League to study.

So if Everton´s legal team should need any extra tips and information for our defence, they have many places to check and get some added inspiration!

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 21/01/2024 at 21:02:18
Brendan (64) thinks that Jerome @ (63) makes good points about our appeal to the commission decision to knock 10 points off our league table position and Jerome @ ( 67) agrees that Brendan makes good points about our appeal, they appear to think not a lot of good will come out of our appeal when it is heard.

Graham (65) thinks that our barrister will approach the commission in a different way than Jerome and Brendan do and seems to look at our outcome in a different light.

None of us know what the outcome will be but I hope Graham's version is closer to the eventual verdict.

Brendan McLaughlin
70 Posted 21/01/2024 at 21:28:49
Dave #69

As do I and I have no doubt Jerome as well.

The difficulty is even with my limited experience of such matters I can see huge holes in the arguments being advanced on here in terms of Everton's case. The good news is that I've never earned even £1 from my legal prowess.

Much earlier in this thread I posted that I thought Rabinowitz would get a result. I'm hopeful rather than optimistic though.

Graham Fylde
71 Posted 21/01/2024 at 21:47:32
Important to say that, even though I have a legal background, I don't have any insight on how we will approach it or what the outcome will be.

That's why I was clear to say it was a basic legal strategy and approach; it was more as an illustration of the detail I think we'll have to employ rather than some of the more 'it's all unfair' approaches on the thread.

We shouldn't have that long to wait if the latest reports are true.

Jerome Shields
72 Posted 21/01/2024 at 22:06:29
Dave #69

I also hope that Graham's approach is closer to the truth (there is no question of its validity). But as Brendan says let’s hope that Rabinowitz gets a result.

I have a similar opinion of the outcome. I hope that the Premier League succumb to face-saving pressure.

Christine Foster
73 Posted 22/01/2024 at 09:40:42
There are so many good points from posters that it's difficult to know exactly what path Laurence Rabinowitz will take or what will win the day.

I remember sitting with a Queen's Council before fighting a personal legal battle in Australia a few years back, in which he expressed the view that I should not expect justice in court but fight the right case to win.

This will be the challenge for our legal team, to decide what fight to pick, what to leave, no matter how valid, and what to win.

One wonders too, the rules of appeal being that it is not a court but allegedly an independent commission, what will be allowed, or not. Rules are not laws but what is allowed is not even written down. I hope it will be.

The sense of injustice is very real though, LR has to use his skills to win, not fuel our anger with defeat. But that's so hard when we know so little, when so much can be said and so little make a difference.

I need to go to mass on Sunday... after I have been to an extended confession on Saturday... good luck LR, choose wisely!

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 22/01/2024 at 10:45:32
One thought I had this weekend is that the points deduction itself is more punitive for the clubs at the bottom than the top.

If a bottom club lose 10 points, then those are the points it may have taken them 10 or 15 or even more matches to accumulate. You're essentially wiping out maybe a 1/3 of their season's work.

Whereas if you deduct 10 points from Man City or Liverpool, then that is likely recovered in 4 matches.

The emotional and mental toll of seeing 10 matches worth of hard work wiped off is far more considerable then for the players of the lower teams. And of course the financial cost of relegation is far greater.

Although it might feel intuitively non-sensical would it not be fairer to say that a club loses a proportion of its points for the season. Say 15% for a heavy punishment; which in our case might come to 5 or 6 points.

I realise that fixed penalties are the way of the world but just a thought.

Alan J Thompson
75 Posted 22/01/2024 at 11:32:54
Whatever the outcome, I would hope that he asks that all other clubs charged but not yet investigated by an "Independent" Commission face the same scale of penalty.

Also, in the interests of consistency and precedent, that perhaps all cases should be heard by the same Commission members whenever possible and regardless of any future rule changes.

I'd have thought that any first offence should have been given a suspended sentence with the proviso that steps are taken to correct the situation.

The accounts usually show how you intend to repay any borrowings and which may also cover the effect of a "rolling" loss, possibly affecting future 3-year time periods.

Les Callan
76 Posted 22/01/2024 at 12:03:51
Sam, a person's financial status is taken into account when imposing fines.
Charles Brewer
77 Posted 22/01/2024 at 19:45:12
From an online piece on the site of Pinsent Masons published 25 February 2022:

Rather than aiming to level the playing field for clubs, there is a risk that the new requirements will drive a further wedge between lower-tier clubs within the Premier League and their top-tier competitors, who already benefitted from heavy investment before the rule changes were ever contemplated. Inevitably, such heavy investment will have enabled the top clubs to bolster the FMV of key assets, guaranteeing further financial stability when future transactions are contemplated under the new rules.

I think Gabrielle Armstrong got that one spot on.

Essentially, it shows that, apart from the Shit Six, the rest of the clubs are run by cretins who can't recognise something intrinsically extremely inimical to their existence. The idiots didn't even have the foresight to get some kind of force majeure clause in the sanctions which would allow for things like war, pandemics, death or other non-game related loss of players.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 23/01/2024 at 11:02:22
Christine #74

Lord Denning, former Master of the Rolls, once said the law is not the law of the land, but an agreement between two solicitors (or two KCs). Which is similar to the advice you received.

The difference is, in court, the referenced laws are set by a time-honoured process, whereas in this situation, the rules are made to suit, with agendas, and can change during the process. It is likely no other club will be subject to such criteria. Nottingham Forest 'sappeal will coincide with changes to the rules expected in August.

It occurred to me that football was born out of working class roots and was originally managed according to that ethos, but the advent of the Premier League has basically seen a right-wing takeover of the establishment and the implementation of market forces and self-regulation, which are always unfair and unjust.

John Chambers
79 Posted 23/01/2024 at 11:15:59
Another point is that, as well as the “Double Jeopardy” of the second charge covering much the same time period, the deduction of points is also penalising the club twice.

As things stand at the moment, the loss of places due to the deduction of points is also likely to cost more than £10M in prize money. This then makes the ability to meet future PSR limits more challenging.

Christine Foster
80 Posted 23/01/2024 at 11:42:42
Jerome 78# indeed, if this was a legal dispute, I would have the greatest confidence in Rabinowitz winning; however, this is a private commercial entity, a club with club rules. Even their so-called "independent commission" is nothing of the sort.

The chair of the Premier League's judicial panel, Murray Rosen KC, appointed the three-person commission that heard Everton's case. Rosen will also select the board that hears Everton's appeal from a judicial panel of between 15 and 20 members. The panel was introduced by the Premier League, which brought the case against Everton, although it is Rosen who selects its members. (from The Guardian – 1 December 23)

Someone should complain or request that the club should have a say in who is selected. Is this not bias? Influenced? Certainly not independent. Not by any stretch.

I believe there is not a chance in hell we will walk away unscathed. The rules which Rabinowitz goes by may not be the rules the Premier League plays by. One cannot help the nagging feeling that this is intentional, vindictive... justice is dammed, negotiation is the name of the game.

Anthony Hawkins
81 Posted 23/01/2024 at 12:21:59
We do not want to table any option for 'Conditional points deduction' as we already know we're headed for round 2 and this will simply delay the impact of points deduction and not resolve it.

It would be a repeat of naivety or arrogance to contemplate this as a viable notion.

Brian Harrison
82 Posted 23/01/2024 at 13:09:04
We know the Premier League are going to change some of the criteria of the rules in August.

Obviously the rules brought in by Uefa endorsed by the usual cartel and the P&S rules brought in by pretty much the same cartel as voted for the Uefa rules. These rules were designed in both cases not to produce a level playing field but quite the opposite: to stop any club doing what Chelsea and Man City have done in spending their way into the elite.

The cartel obviously thought the 3-year period gave them another advantage as they can do what Chelsea are doing – spending a billion this season but will correct this spending in the summer – whereas the lower clubs don't bring in this sort of income to allow them to make these adjustments.

If this had been about a level playing field and to help newly promoted clubs, they could have made the spending limits based on percentages. But that would erode the advantage the cartel have – so that rule won't change.

Andy Finigan
83 Posted 23/01/2024 at 13:15:56
Some really good points on here but I think we all know, if we get any points rescinded, it will be an achievement with the kangaroo independent (My arse!) commission – which takes me to my next concern.

Do you think the next leaflets with "You don't know what you're doing" written on them will antagonise Mr Masters? Making him more determined to do his worst???

Would it have been better to say "The best community club bar none" on them or has anyone got better suggestions?

I am just worried that the commission will do just what Mr Masters tells them to do.

Eric Myles
84 Posted 23/01/2024 at 14:02:00
David #47,

"Can the club or clubs argue they never got the chance to vote on this aspect of the P&S rules?"

They did vote on the chance of having a defined penalty, and rejected it.

Kevin Molloy
85 Posted 23/01/2024 at 14:11:30
Can you imagine if this was Liverpool or Man Utd (neither of whom are founder members, of course) fallen on hard times, and now in danger of being put out of business cos of this nonsense? Just imagine all of the appeals and wails from the usual talking heads:

"Of course if Liverpool have breached a rule, then they should be punished, but is anyone here seriously saying we want to liquidate one of the greatest teams in the land over an accounting error? The Premier League need to understand they will never be forgiven if they push through with this. they will never be forgiven!"

It would be an endless loop. But what have we had? There's been nothing. Well, except a few have said, "Well, Everton broke the rules… what do you expect?"

With any judgment, there are the strict legal principles which must be followed, and then there are the 'policy reasons' which courts can never cite as a reason, but which we all know affect the actual decision.

Well not having the most storied club in the history of world football go out of business is the mother of all policy reasons in the footballing arena. We were here before Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs, all of them.

People supported and loved Everton before the Boer War. It's kinda important that the useless twats currently running football don't accidentally on purpose end it all over a cartel breach.

Jamie Crowley
86 Posted 23/01/2024 at 14:40:42
Brent Stephens, back at 24:

Notwithtanding the lack of a sanctions tariff, the 10-point sanction applied appeared to be arbitrary, and to be excessive in light of the lower 9-point penalty for a club going into administration.

There's the crux of the argument. For me, it all hinges on that point being pounded relentlessly.

Jerome Shields
87 Posted 23/01/2024 at 16:06:33
Christine #80,

A very accurate portrayal of the situation. I think you can see the difficulty of getting this across and whether the Premier League may pull back. They might even revel in taking unpopular decisions.

It's hard for Evertonians to fathom this since many of them represent generations of support (more than any other club) going back to the Football League foundation and they have a different ethos. That is why many of the posts are of outrage and protest.

The other factor is that the Everton heirarchy thought they had the inside track in the Premier League and have basically played along, until they found themselves at the top of a cliff.

Members of the Premier League were openly talking of draconian measures well before the Everton referral. Obviously they believed they were unchallenged enough to go public, so it is no surprise the scale of sanctions that were imposed on Everton.

The Premier League believed it was pushing an open door. To highlight now these and other inadequacies would not help. You cannot beat the referee.

They and their process has not been able to be faceless or avoid scrutiny. It will be up to the KC to bring this to bear, offering them a face-saving way out.

At the Parliamentary Committee, Masters (Premier League) and Parry (Football League) were both singing from the same hymn sheet of self-regulation.

David West
88 Posted 23/01/2024 at 22:55:48
Jerome.

I don't believe Parry was advocating self-regulation at the select committee.

In my view, he was basically saying they need a go-between as the Premier League has too much power. Parry and the EFL can't argue with the Premier League – they hold all the cards and cash.

It's a pyramid!! The Premier LeaguePL may be at the top but it's nothing without the rest of the pyramid. As shown by the sly 6 proposed Super League. They shouldn't get to hold all the power.

The only thing about a regulator is that it will be filled with a load of the same self-serving suits and bellends who run the game now and will no doubt be no better in the long run.

Jerome Shields
89 Posted 24/01/2024 at 08:46:16
David #88,

I didn't get that end of the proceedings. Mostly Masters and Parry at the end.

What you say makes sense though and I can see it being Parry's pitch. But I do think they are singing from the same Hymn sheet on sanctions and trying to maintain as much control as possible. I agree with your suggested outcome.

Stephen Davies
90 Posted 26/01/2024 at 00:36:29
'Buster' Wyness views on the matter
https://youtube.com/watch?v=fnIJtg3OET4&si=L4V8rWMXGzGTe6dB
Steve Cotton
91 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:32:27
Can't the Blues make a formal complaint to the Premier League at these current charges and pending charges are making players unsure about their futures and start to look to get out? Disruptive potential points deductions and or transfer bans are having a detrimental effect on the entire club.

Go outside the UK to European courts as we are being forced into possible administration... Sue the bastards... Do it now!


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