22/11/2023 34comments  |  Jump to last

Statement from Kevin Thelwell:

Given the events of the last week, I felt it was important I share with you the thoughts of myself, Sean and all the staff and players here at Finch Farm as we prepare for the return to Premier League action this weekend.

Colin's video message last Friday echoed my views and the sentiment of everybody here at Finch Farm. We are shocked by what we believe is a wholly disproportionate and unjust ruling by the Premier League's commission.

We cannot say anything further on the commission's findings until the conclusion of the appeal process – and the players and manager cannot be drawn on any specifics relating to the commission's ruling in the media duties they will be fulfilling in the days and weeks ahead.

Article continues below video content

But the clear and tangible impact on our league position because of that ruling is clear to see in the Premier League table. We return to action five places lower than the 14th position held following our hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The three points from that victory may no longer be accounted for in the table – nor seven other hard-earned points amassed during this season. But what does remain in place is the unity, focus and determination that helped earn those points on the field of play – now supplemented by the additional fuel of what we believe is a wholly disproportionate ruling.

We are rallying in the face of a sporting sanction in the only way we can – and that is our focus and hard work in supporting the team in delivering to their fullest on the pitch.

Everton is a special football club. It is a special football club because of its people – our players, staff and fans.

We go into this weekend having secured six wins from our last nine outings in all competitions. The team has displayed a level of effort, camaraderie and bravery that is synonymous with this club in earning those victories.

That spirit remains strong - unwavering. Sean and the players are fully focused on the work that lies ahead. And everybody at Finch Farm is united.

We know that every Evertonian is behind us. That is never taken for granted, but always hugely appreciated and valued. We feel the strength of support, and we will continue to use that backing to drive us on. 


Reader Comments (34)

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Lynn Maher
2 Posted 22/11/2023 at 21:11:52
Really pleased to hear a message from inside the club.
They will definitely have the unconditional support of each and every Evertonian.

We will be there on Sunday. I truly believe it will be a very special atmosphere.

Let's show everyone what being an Evertonian means.

Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 22/11/2023 at 23:59:14
I will support Everton no matter what league the bastards send us to.

Why don't each and every one of us send an e.mail, letter or text to those corrupt nonentities at the Premier League offices telling them that – politely of course. And send them coordinated: same time, same day – flood them.

Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two … always. Coyb.

Mark Taylor
4 Posted 23/11/2023 at 00:38:48
When you have a Director of Football – and with all due respect, not an especially proven one – being the person who ends up making official statements in such an extreme crisis, it shows the complete void in leadership at the club.

The culprits are obvious. They have run like rats deserting the ship with their millions intact (maybe apart from our owner).

Good luck to him, and Dyche. We need to rally around them.

Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 23/11/2023 at 05:44:36
Appeal or not, he could have said that if necessary we will fight this using every legal avenue available to us.

Send the message that this is and will be seen to be unfair and given the treatment, or lack thereof, of others is grossly prejudicial.

Kim Vivian
6 Posted 23/11/2023 at 07:31:17
Rather than thinking of it as having had 10 hard earned points expunged from the table, I prefer to think of it (more positively in my mind) in terms of all our hard-earned points (each one) being a step to overcoming what to all intents and purposes is now like having had to start the season on -10. So it remains at 14 points, not reduced to 4. In MY head anyway.

Appreciate all the points so far achieved rather than ruing the removal of those points.

Mal van Schaick
7 Posted 23/11/2023 at 07:52:10
Good to hear a resounding battle cry from Thelwell. I would have liked him to encourage other PL clubs to back our cause given that some clubs may be in a similar situation to us.

I am surprised that we are not on bail conditions, given this ‘kangaroo court’ want ultimate power over us. Perhaps tag the players, staff and board?

Return our 10 points immediately, as we have appealed and therefore, we are innocent until proven guilty.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 23/11/2023 at 07:52:55
I kind of agree with all of the above comments.

Lynn, it is good to hear from the club. And as DoF, it's part of his job, so credit for him. The role is the link between the leaders, the manager, team and supporters. Good on him. I have no doubt that Goodison and the streets around her will be a cauldron come Sunday afternoon.

Paul, totally, it's unconditional, no matter what is thrown at us.

Mark, to my previous. I don't disagree and have a dim view (that's diplomatic) of our (non) leadership. I, like others, have done for some time. Your last sentence says it all. It's all about the team, the manager and now, seemingly being lead by the DoF. And the most important component. The hurting supporters who will come out fighting - not literally or physically.

Alan - fight it. We have to fight it whatever the outcome.

But right now, all we can do is focus on the pitch.

Ajay Gopal
9 Posted 23/11/2023 at 08:23:56
Sensible and mature statement from our Director of Football. While this is an emotional moment for the fans of Everton Football Club, it is important for the Manager, staff and players to stay focused on the task at hand. There are no easy matches in the PL, and it important that the club and the fans don't get carried away and put undue pressure on the players who actually have to perform on the pitch. Important to stay calm and supportive to our manager and players and see them through, what is inevitably going to be another roller coaster of a season. There will be bad performances, some players will stink the place out, there will be injuries, there will be red cards and suspensions, but let us get behind the team through all this. We will emerge stronger at the end.
Peter Quinn
10 Posted 23/11/2023 at 09:01:41
Some thoughts from a retired lawyer whose first season ticket was August 1966 when the greatest player I ever saw in a Blue Shirt, Alan Ball, joined us from Blackpool.

So why did the panel order Everton to suffer an immediate deduction of 10 points? There is nothing in paragraph 139 of the decision explaining how they got to that figure.

Was it 6 for the threshold breach, then 1 point per £5M (or part thereof) over the £105M threshold. The threshold is described as being generous. The problem to me is that – if you are a pound under the threshold, no penalty – a pound more: 6 points?

Maybe this is why they did not explain their thinking but I guess they would say "Tough! Those are the rules". The commission say stadium costs are not attributable to the PSR difficulties. Maybe so from a pure accounting point of view but surely they should have accepted the point that, if Moshiri had not gone ahead with the stadium, he would not have borrowed £176M for working capital and crucially incurred the interest charges. This is, as they have said, a very wealthy man.

The commission say the cause was overspending on players and inability to sell others. However, earlier they said (para 104) Everton may have taken unwise risks but it did so in the mistaken belief that it would achieve PSR compliance.

Having found that, and having then crucially said: it is not a case of a deliberate breach — and having earlier said Everton did not act dishonestly, why did the panel award a 10-point deduction?

The commission in its summary it seems in Para 139 to have forgotten those findings. It describes the position as being of Everton's own making. It says the culpability is great. It says it was the result of Everton irresponsibly taking a chance. It talks of Everton being less than frank over the stadium interest issue.

It seems to me these findings contradict the crucial finding of fact that Everton did not deliberately breach the rules. Indeed, in awarding the points deduction, it seems to me that the panel suggest an element of dishonesty in the "less-than-frank" comment and treated Everton as if they did deliberately set out to break the rules.

The commission state quite clearly at the end of para 138 Everton failed to manage its finances and its mismanagement led to the threshold being breached. Other than taking into account Everton's PSR trend between 2018 and 2022 was positive, no other mitigation was allowed to Everton.

To me, these are the crucial points of any appeal. This panel has given Everton the penalty the Premier League were in reality after and said what the Premier League wanted — that it was a serious breach that required a significant penalty.

So was it really more serious than going into administration? Was it really worse than West Ham did when they signed Tevez, broke the rules, and admitted they acted dishonestly?

These rules were introduced in 2013 and came into effect in 2015. Had the level of the threshold gone up by the rate of inflation to the end of 2022 from 2013 then Everton would not have been in breach.

How can this really be said to be a serious breach requiring such a significant penalty? It means our fantastic away fans who travelled to Brentford, West Ham and Crystal Palace and saw us win there and take a point at Sheffield United have to accept that we must lose the 10points we won.

How can that be said to be a penalty that fits a 'crime' where we did not act dishonesty and where we did not set out deliberately to break the rules??? I hope to goodness our lawyers are playing at the level required at the appeal and the new panel hearing that appeal act fairly and take some account of the people this penalty is really hitting, namely our fans.

My first post on ToffeeWeb — but maybe not my last!

Mike Doyle
11 Posted 23/11/2023 at 09:30:33
Peter 11,

Time for you to come out of retirement and add your experienced legal voice to the business comments of Paul ‘the Esk' Quinn (no relation, I assume ?).

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
12 Posted 23/11/2023 at 09:32:08
Superb post, Peter @11 — and a very warm welcome to ToffeeWeb.

Thank you for an excellent analysis of the 10-point sanction that was so egregiously absent from the commission's report.

Brian Harrison
13 Posted 23/11/2023 at 09:42:49
Peter 11

As a retired lawyer can you explain to a layman like myself why our KC didnt articulate the points you have raised. Many posters have raised many points that seem to have been glossed over by the commission, and for me losing your main sponsor would have an effect on any club.

I just hope that our legal team are better prepared than the team who defended us in the initial hearing.

Brian Denton
14 Posted 23/11/2023 at 10:03:22
I think in the initial case we have been represented by Troy McClure KC. Hopefully by the time of the appeal we can find someone a bit better.
Rob Halligan
15 Posted 23/11/2023 at 10:07:53
So many good posts in mitigation on this thread, and all the others. Is there any way these posts could be collaborated and sent to the club to use in the appeal, particularly Peters post @ # 11, or do we think they will have thought about them anyway?
Brian Harrison
16 Posted 23/11/2023 at 10:18:21

I would imagine that our legal team would have had notification of the charges weeks if not months before this commission sat to consider the charges. So I cant really believe a KC would not have explored all the relevant mitigating circumstances, which doesnt fill me with much confidence if he is leading the appeal.

The thing I find most puzzling is Everton have quite rightly appealed and a new panel will hear the appeal. Now if there are any significant changes to the original decisions, then why would the original panel be allowed to decide if any clubs can make a compensation claim. Surely those on the appeal panel should be the sole arbiters of such a decision because there decision is final.

Bernard Dooley
17 Posted 23/11/2023 at 10:47:12
Excellent thoughts shared by Peter Quinn, topped up with his comment that in 1966 he first saw the greatest player ever to wear a blue shirt. Alan Ball. My thoughts exactly.

Eat your heart out, Kevin Sheedy!

Stephen Vincent
18 Posted 23/11/2023 at 11:16:36
I think that the point that Peter's excellent post highlights is who is football for? It seems that the Premier League have forgotten that it is for fans and, without fans, their hugely self-important cabal would not exist.

The report claims to have involved all stakeholders. I would appreciate an explanation from the commission why no supporters groups where invited to give evidence — after all, we are the ultimate stakeholders.

It is time we took back control and started making football fun again.

James Hughes
19 Posted 23/11/2023 at 11:33:54
Rob H. I don't think they have thought of anything or we wouldn't be in this mess. Our SMT are busy lokking for their assholes whilst using a map and a mirror on a stick
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 23/11/2023 at 11:40:02
Stephen (22),

Gary Neville is basically saying the same thing as Peter is saying in his brilliant post @ (11).

The more people who criticise and condemn The Commissions verdict the better it should be for us at the appeal as long as our representatives are a lot more competent than they were facing The Commission.

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 23/11/2023 at 11:40:39
Excellent post, Peter. Keep posting otherwise the community has to listen to idiots like me.

Wise comments Stephen. It's about the supporters.

On that note, are we convening before Sunday?

Mark Taylor
22 Posted 23/11/2023 at 12:33:31
I think Peter's post re-iterates the weakest part on the commission's finding. Until point 138, everything flowed with a certain amount of logic, even if we don't like parts of it.

The point where they state the level of punishment, point 139, is notable in its brevity and amounts to very little more than a number plucked out of thin air, a matter of opinion rather than a level backed by rules or precedent. That is where an appeal has some potential for success. Personally, I wouldn't re-argue the mitigation or extent of the breach. I think we are on dodgier ground there.

How we go about doing that is moot. In a sense, we will have to somehow demonstrate that a different level of punishment (points deduction) is more reasonable and, other than our own opinions, we have not a lot of basis to do that.

Maybe the best route would be to use the 9-point deduction for administration as a baseline and argue that a non-intentional (albeit stupid) breach cannot be punished worse than that.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 23/11/2023 at 12:49:30
Mark #23

"Maybe the best route would be to use the 9 points deduction for administration as a baseline and argue that a non-intentional (albeit stupid) breach cannot be punished worse than that."

Excellent yardstick and rationale, Mark.

Bill Fairfield
24 Posted 23/11/2023 at 12:58:45
The Premier League attempting to send a message that their house is in order with their ludicrous points penalty on Everton, has opened a huge can of worms for themselves.

The call for government independent regulation is now being shouted from the mountain tops.

Dale Self
25 Posted 23/11/2023 at 13:26:12
A well timed statement given in the proper tone. Thelwell runs a decent desk. This is how to play it, head down get the job done and deal with it.

As we fight against this and make our way clear it will become obvious the Premier League regulatory framework is anything but clear. That discussion will be a problem for them.

The more they are forced to endure criticism, the more likely a Premier League representative makes the mistake of trying to explain this decision. Then it gets a bit more fun.

Si Cooper
26 Posted 23/11/2023 at 13:52:48
Brian (14) - Lionel Hutz KC might be more appropriate?

Mark (23) - so does that mean you'd be happy with a 9-point deduction?

I think Peter's point about the points deduction coming in at a nonsensical starting point of 6 has the most weight.

Administration won't, in reality, hinge potentially on a matter of a couple of pounds (or pennies???) either way so the 9 points starting point can't easily be argued with, but going from 0 to 6 points deduction at the threshold is not supported by any reasonable logic is it?

1 for the actual breach and then 1 for each 5 million above and beyond makes much more sense, so maximum of 5 is what I'd argue for.

Ken Kneale
27 Posted 23/11/2023 at 15:08:08

Superb post. What a pity you cannot be seconded onto the Everton legal team for the appeal.

I hope you continue to post and find some mechanism to get your thoughts to those that count here - the future of Everton FC in the short and medium term depends on all of us, supporters, club officers, or hired professionals in my view.

James Marshall
28 Posted 23/11/2023 at 16:11:41
The club screwed up and we are in breach, that's not up for debate, IMO. The only debate is around the severity of the points deduction, and whether the penalty fits the crime.

It's pretty simple really – Portsmouth went into administration and got deducted 9 points, so how can we be given a 10 point deduction for a lesser crime?

Surely it has to be less than 9 points, and I would suggest if our 10 points is reduced reduced by half to 5 points, that we'd do well to accept that.

Again it's all rather arbitrary in my view, so perhaps 6 points would also be acceptable. That equates to 2 wins, which seems more sensible to me.

Mark Taylor
29 Posted 23/11/2023 at 18:29:33
Si 26

I'd be 10% happier than it being 10.

Joking aside, what was lacking from P.139 of the findings was a serious rationale, largely through lack of precedent. The published tariff for administration is just about the only viable one available and, as James says above, one we might be able to use to our advantage. I hope so.

Kevin Palmer
30 Posted 23/11/2023 at 18:36:07
The suggestion that Everton gained a sporting advantage by having keep *checks notes* Michael Keane and the recently arrested Gylfi Sigurdsson is nothing if not absurd...
Stephen Vincent
31 Posted 23/11/2023 at 18:52:35
If your MP hasn't signed Ian Byrne's Early Day Motion condemning the actions of the Premier League you should email them and ask that they add their support. If they are unable to do this ask that they follow Steve Rotherham's example and write direct to the Premier League.

https://edm.parliament.uk for those 22 MPs who have supported to date. EDM No 79.

I have also emailed the marketing departments of all the listed Premier League sponsors expressing my horror that they are supporting such a corrupt organisation.

Paul Birmingham
32 Posted 23/11/2023 at 23:25:27
Excellent thread, and Peter@10, thanks for your summary, of some of the clauses, charged against Everton.

In the light of day, surely these trumped charges can be challenged, but who will be chairing the Appeal Case, when it’s scheduled?

That’s a concern.


Brendan McLaughlin
33 Posted 23/11/2023 at 23:30:42
Kevin #30

The sporting advantage was predicated upon Everton spending 19.5 million over and above what was allowed.

The fact that we blew that advantage is irrelevant.

Ernie Baywood
34 Posted 23/11/2023 at 23:49:53
Peter, I don't think the seeming contradiction between The Commission stating we didn't deliberately breach, didn't act 'dishonestly' but were 'less than frank' is that big a contradiction.

We were incompetent in managing our finances, but we honestly thought we could still comply with the 105M limit. But the costs that we had factored in/out were incorrect, due to our incompetence in assessing appropriate exclusions.

We were even open enough to approach the league when we thought there was a risk that we couldn't comply because of the treatment of the stadium pre-planning costs and were able to get a ruling that we could exclude those costs. Unfortunately our incompetence again meant that those figures were incorrect. They included a very generous interpretation of the treatment of interest on loans that weren't for the stadium. That interpretation really should have been disclosed to the league at the point of the ruling. It looks very much like we tried to gloss over that particular element. Less than frank indeed.

I think when they say "not dishonest" they actually mean "incompetent". When they say "less than frank", well that means what they say!

As for the points deduction, it seems to be just a case of "now, how many points will effectively punish and deter?". And they decided 10 would do that.

Yes, it's completely arbitrary. 10 points seems a lot. It raises the question to me that if that is the maximum (and it's got to be pretty close), then what benefit is there to a club in trying to do the right thing if they're going to breach anyway? For example, if we hadn't sold Richarlison on the cheap in a desperate attempt to comply or reduce the size of the breach, would we have been hit for more than 10 points? I doubt it - and the argument therefore extends that we might have been better off keeping Richarlison and just accepting the 10 points.

The punishment therefore doesn't deter. Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

Alternatively, if the punishment is really going to be proportional to the breach... Then they're going to paint themselves into a massive corner with some of the clubs they've got multiple charges against.

Peter Quinn
35 Posted 24/11/2023 at 06:57:36
Many thanks for your warm welcome to ToffeeWeb. Can I say I have no intention of coming out of a retirement I am very much enjoying! There are some really good comments made here. It has prompted me to think about putting together my overall thoughts on what has transpired here so far into an article that I will submit to the powers that be next week after the United game has been discussed and debated. I also look forward to reading the next article from Paul ‘the Esk’ Quinn, not a relative but like us all an avid fan. One point I did not know that was set out in the decision from David Phillips KC was that Everton terminated in August 21 the contract of player X, which ran to June 22, a month after his arrest. There are no other details but given in July 23 Greater Manchester Police announced no further action was to be taken maybe this is why there is talk of him taking legal action against EFC. Much more importantly let’s hope we can really put on a show both on and off the pitch on Sunday for the watching world…….three points would be a fantastic response.

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