26/11/2023 69comments  |  Jump to last

Andy Burnham, former MP, now Mayor of Manchester and lifelong Evertonian, has written a very strong letter to Alison Brittain, Chair of The Premier League.

We are reproducing it here in full:

Dear Alison


Article continues below video content

I wish to register a formal complaint about the process which has led to the deduction of 10 points from Everton Football Club.

I write in my capacity as an Everton season ticket holder and not in an official capacity although I do believe that the handling of this issue raises concerns for anyone who cares about the integrity of English football and wishes to see the ongoing success of the Premier League.

There are many points I could make but I will confine myself to one: the failure of the Premier League to have a sanctions policy in place before commencing this process.

In paragraph 84 of the Independent Commission's findings, reference is made to the fact that, five years ago, the English Football League adopted sanctioning guidelines for breaches of its Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). Paragraph 85 states: "the Premier League has not incorporated any such guidelines into its Rules."

Following this, I was frankly astonished to read in paragraph 86 that, as recently as 10 August this year, the Premier League Board adopted a PSR sanctions policy which the Chief Executive then presented to the Commission.

Paragraph 90 records the Commission's refusal to adopt the sanctions formula proposed by the Premier League Chief Executive.

The fact that the Premier League sought to introduce a new sanctions policy in the middle of this process amounts, in my view, to an abuse of process. I would argue that it should have had one in place before it commenced these proceedings and established this Commission. Paragraph 89 clearly registers the Commission's concern that it was set up on one basis by the Premier League and that there was an attempt to change it in the middle of the case.

It could be argued that the Premier League handing a new penalty regime to the Commission in this way is akin to the Government handing new sentencing guidelines to a judge in the middle of a particular trial. Any right-minded person would see that as an inappropriate attempt to Influence due process. From my experience of regulation, introducing new rules in the late stages of a process would be regarded as regulatory malpractice.

Worryingly, as I understand it, the sanction handed down by the Commission closely follows the basis of what was in the Premier League's submission.

So, what we have ended up with is the harsh penalty the Premier League clearly wanted but with no formal policy basis for the calculation of that penalty nor any policy basis upon which it can now be challenged at appeal. It is, in effect, an arbitrary decision which seems to result from the pressure applied by the Premier League and any appeal against it would be a similarly arbitrary process. How on earth can Everton Football Club be assured of fair treatment in these circumstances?

I am told that at no point has the sanctions regime submitted by the Premier League to the Independent Commission been shared with the 20 Premier League clubs nor has it been endorsed by them. Indeed, I understand clubs were not even aware of this new sanctions regime until they read about in the findings. Can you confirm that this is the case and, if so, explain why it was not discussed with the clubs before? 

Is it the Premier League's intention to present this framework to the clubs and to seek its adoption in the Premier League Handbook? If so, how is it proportionate that a £20 million breach of the PSR regime attracts a 10-point penalty and a club going into administration only a 9-point penalty? If, on the other hand, the Premier League does not intend to present the sanctions framework to the clubs, will people not conclude that Everton have been put on trial according to one set of rules that will never be applied to anyone else?

As there are no precedents for any such penalty in the Premier League, many have looked to find them within the English Football League, particularly the Championship. For sporting integrity reasons, it is clearly important for the sanctions regime between the Premier League and the Championship to align. As I understand it, if Everton's case was to have been heard using the EFL guidelines, the sanction would have been much lower than the one imposed.

To be clear: I am not arguing that Everton do not have a case to answer nor that they do not deserve any punishment. The issue is whether the process was fair.

People are asking why Everton's case was handled in this way and the overriding consensus amongst people I have spoken to is that the Premier League pursued this presumptive action against Everton as part of a political strategy to fend off an independent statutory regulator. I am not in a position to know whether this is right or wrong. But it does prompt one final question: can you assure me that this is not the case and that there were no internal discussions – nor are there any internal documents – showing that Everton's case was discussed with cross reference to the Premier League's concerns about a statutory regulator?

The only fair course of action that I can see from this point is for the panel's ruling to be declared null and void. I cannot see how any appeal process would result in anything other than a similarly arbitrary judgement as that made by the Commission and, for that reason, I do not believe that an appeal will resolve this matter. Instead, I believe the Premier League should publish its proposed sanctions framework for the PSR regime without delay, seek its adoption by the 20 clubs and establish a new Commission to hear Everton's case against that framework.

I would be grateful for your detailed response to the questions I have raised. Given the fact that Parliament now clearly has an interest in these matters following the recent King's Speech, I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Shadow Secretary of State. If an acceptable resolution to this matter cannot be found at this stage, I will refer this matter to the Government given its policy implications for the Bill soon to be presented to Parliament. One of the main purposes of the Bill is to "safeguard the future of football clubs". It Is hard to see how the Premier League's actions have achieved anything other than the complete opposite In this case.

Everton is one of England's oldest football clubs, a founder member of the Football League and of the Premier League. We do not ask for special treatment. But we do request that our club is treated with the respect it deserves.

Yours sincerely


cc       Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
           Thangam Debbonaire MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport


Reader Comments (69)

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Dave Horne
1 Posted 26/11/2023 at 19:54:53
A superb letter - from a man who would have now been PM if the Labour Party hadn't gone for Mr Corbyn?
Jim Wilson
2 Posted 26/11/2023 at 19:58:11
I think we all now must know that a points reduction is not enough.

We need all the 10 points to be removed. Nothing else. It is the only just outcome so it must be done and we should not rest until it is.

The Premier League have torpedoed our season. The Everton players after the Palace game thought they could now play with more freedom. All the nerves that can stifle a performance will be back next week.

All part of the Premier League plan.

The Premier League should be in massive trouble for what they have done to Everton and football. And all the people and clubs behind such a disgusting act should now pay a massive price.

Let us hope that the Andy Burnham letter is only the start.

Jack Convery
3 Posted 26/11/2023 at 19:58:55
Thank You, Mr Burnham.

The whole thing would be laughable if it were not so serious in terms of Everton's actual existence, given, the fact, that clubs want to sue us for more money than we actually possess.

Peter Mills
4 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:01:02
Thank you, Andy Burnham.
Tony Everan
5 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:01:20
Big thank you to Andy for taking the time and effort in writing this letter. It exposes the perceived regulatory malpractice and interference with due process.

It will carry some weight, get read by those at the top in government and help our cause.

Brian Williams
6 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:02:31
Nice one Andy! 👍💙
Jim Wilson
7 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:05:41
With each game played, the position of the Premier League and everyone who is behind this unjust points deduction gets graver.

It needs to be reversed immediately.

Frank Fearns
8 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:11:42
Excellent piece. You have done the lawyers work that Everton FC should employ. Thank you for putting it into perspective.
Andy Crooks
9 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:11:44
At last, a serious figure making a serious argument
Well done.
Jonathan Haddock
10 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:13:16
Thank you, Andy. We desperately need a regulator to save our game from the abyss that the Premier League has created.

Whatever happens, I do believe that it will be too late for Everton this season and we will have to achieve safety on our own merit.

Today was another major undeserved setback, but I hope that the team dig in and get the breaks we deserve. COYB

Dave Cashen
11 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:21:24
Excellent letter.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:30:35
Thank you, Andy Burnham. You have factually highlighted what we all suspected.

The Premier League decision was in fact a preconceived agenda, which was unjust and unfair to Everton. It goes without saying that Everton defended themselves poorly and Man City have had added fuel to their case against those that represent the Premier League and their authority to act.

On the evidence of today's result, Everton are going to need all the help that they can get. The Premier League is not going to be able to hide behind facelessness, as they hoped.

Ged Simpson
13 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:43:33
The irony is we pushed for establishing the Premier League.

Hindsight is hard.

Well argued, Andy.

Pete Neilson
14 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:45:36
Excellent letter and gets to the specific point as to why the process wasn't fit for purpose.

Hopefully he can help apply real pressure and media focus on this.

Ray Hughes
15 Posted 26/11/2023 at 20:51:23
Thank you Andy, excellent letter.
Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 26/11/2023 at 21:42:15
Andy Burnham definitely seems to be one of the very few decent and humble politicians left, who doesn’t appear to be in it for himself, and although he’s a died in the wool Evertonian, writing a letter like this, will surely help our cause in fighting against such a disproportionate punishment.
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 26/11/2023 at 21:55:44
Good lad, Andy. I hope when you’re PM you abolish the bloody premier league and return football to its true essence.
Peter Moore
18 Posted 26/11/2023 at 22:09:34
Just seen this. On such a dissappointing day, result wise, this has cheered me up a touch.
Well said Andy.
Bobby Mallon
19 Posted 26/11/2023 at 22:36:07
Well said Andy burnham we have been stitched up and now we need proper justice
Andy Finigan
20 Posted 26/11/2023 at 22:51:48
Here here here, Andy no one could of put that better, with that could the bourd not have you as our leading counsil? IF YOU WHERE POURTYRAYING OUR CONSERNS SO WE'LL I A SURE WE WOULD COME OUT OF OUR APEAL IN A STRONG LIGHT. what a letter, what an Evertonian, what a fanbase marching together as one today. Love you all, a very proud lad.

Kevin Molloy
21 Posted 26/11/2023 at 23:02:10
I think someone our side has finally had some legal advice. That this point was not made during our case to the commission is just typical of everything Farhad does. King Midas in reverse. the sooner that guy is out the door the better for everyone.
Phil Wood
22 Posted 27/11/2023 at 00:53:01
Thanks Andy. Great letter. Pity you weren't our Chairman. We would never have been in this mess.
I hope our lawyers, if we have any, have the insight you have.
Thanks again.
Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 27/11/2023 at 00:56:48
By chance I bumped into Andy at Euston Square station on my way home from the match last night.

We had a quick chat about the match and the injustice of the points deductions.

He can clearly articulate it better than I.

Labour missed a trick.

Christine Foster
24 Posted 27/11/2023 at 01:40:14
Absolutely brilliant letter, clear, concise and hard to argue against. It appears to be a subjective and arbitrary decision with undue influence from Masters.
As it has no reference point from which to work from, deciding on a sanctions structure mid trial without referencing it to other member clubs first, nor to any structure in place, is scandalous at best, corrupt at worst. Either way it should not stand.

I will say this though, watching just about every darn supporter in the ground raising their cards in protest, we have unity of support for the first time in a generation. It will make us stronger, better, no matter where we play our football.

John Keating
25 Posted 27/11/2023 at 07:20:02
Extremely well articulated and valid.

However, the egos of those in charge at the Premier League won't allow any discussion. In my opinion, only an immediate call for an EGM by Premier League members to discuss Andy's points would have any chance of reversing this corrupt decision.

John Keating
26 Posted 27/11/2023 at 07:46:11
Just another point regarding pressure on the Premier League.

I have read various comments from a number of MPs regarding the disproportionate decision from the so-called independent commission.

As far as I remember, we have 15 MPs in Merseyside who are supposed to represent their constituents, who, without doubt represent a great number of Blues. Would it not be possible to get them to approach the Premier League and Government as a group, not individually?

I also believe there are a number of MPs outside the area who also believe this decision is wrong. Strength in numbers!! Contact your local MP asap, get them working for us!

Lynn Maher
27 Posted 27/11/2023 at 08:05:21
Thank you, Andy. What an excellent letter. You know exactly how we feel.

I bet they don't send him the stock answer of where to find the report online!

John Burns
28 Posted 27/11/2023 at 08:19:25
Great letter and telling inside knowledge to the matter.

‘Can you assure me that this is not the case and that there were no internal discussions – nor are there any internal documents – showing that Everton's case was discussed with cross reference to the Premier League's concerns about a statutory regulator?'

This means there most definitely was. Nice one Andy.

Iain Latchford
29 Posted 27/11/2023 at 09:33:31
Does anyone know the timescale for the appeal please? I know I'm stating the obvious but it needs dealing with a soon as possible.

If it's not going to go our way, we need to know, so we can fully focus on the task in hand. We don't want a situation where we're in a relegation scrap during the last 8-10 games and still wondering what decision is going to be made.

John Gall
30 Posted 27/11/2023 at 09:50:25
Nice letter, strongly worded, but it will be brushed aside.

Everton lacks support and influence at the highest level. We've been sidelined and diminished for decades, which is precisely why this has all happened.

Note the lack of coverage of the protests at Goodison this weekend. We've become old news in the horrible world of the Premier League, lacking the glamour and hype associated with Liverpool and the other phoney clubs.

Ah well, we go down with our dignity intact, I guess. Good effort, Andy.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 27/11/2023 at 09:58:46
Another thank you to Andy Burnham, the man who was booed at Anfield when giving a speech there during a Hillsborough Remembrance Day. He promised to get The Hillsborough Tragedy finally looked at again, kept his word and Liverpool fans got the justice they had craved for.

I hope you get this commission affair sorted out for us, Andy. Thanks for your endeavour and best of luck with the result.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 27/11/2023 at 11:01:09
You will see reference on my report – I met Andy on the platform at Euston Square for about 5 minutes last night on the way home. We had a quick chat about the match and Everton's harsh penalty.

His letter articulates it well.

Labour missed a trick not appointing him instead of Corbyn. The City of Liverpool missed a trick in letting him become Mayor of Manchester.

It won't be brushed aside. The Premier League are now under pressure from credible politicians. They have, for far too long self-regulated. Marked their own homework.

Now they are being challenged. Not only from the streets around Goodison Park, but from supporters all over the land. From the very pundits they have sat in their studio. And now from politicians who can influence the Government.

This isn't going away and I suspect the are a few beads of sweat and ties being loosened near to Paddington.

Rob Williamson
33 Posted 27/11/2023 at 11:44:32
Like many here I am impressed with Andy Burnham's letter as it makes some salient points far more eloquently and powerfully than I ever could.

I have copied the letter and sent it to my MP (Louise Haigh) to ask for her support particularly if the matter ever comes before the House. Although she is a Sheffield MP, she sits on numerous cross-party committees including one with oversight of corporate governance, an area where the points which Andy Burnham's makes re the running of the Premier League sits fairly and squarely.

Will it do any good? Who knows. But if all of us were to do the same, it might have the effect of raising the profile of our case much higher.

Stephen Vincent
34 Posted 27/11/2023 at 12:34:43
I contacted my own MP and below is the response I received.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the ten point deduction handed out to Everton Football Club by the Premier League.

I have not signed Ian's EDM, with which I have some sympathy, because EDMs are primarily a device for Backbenchers to indicate their views. I have rejoined the Labour Frontbench as Shadow Minister for Defence Procurement.

I have written urgently to the Premier League for an explanation as to why they have imposed this penalty on Everton Football Club and to urge them to reconsider their decision.

I have since been contacted by many constituents who share the view that this decision is unjust as the Premier League has previously applied financial and not sporting sanctions for far more serious breaches.

The deduction unfairly affects supporters and risks financial impact to Everton's investment in Liverpool going forward, especially as Bramley Moore Dock has been chosen as Liverpool's Euro 28 host stadium.

As one of the longest standing clubs in the top-flight Everton have a proud history and a highly commendable commitment to Liverpool's most vulnerable people.

That's why I have asked the Premier League to review their decision and to consider other non-sporting sanctions. I will continue to push for this and will issue an update on their reply.

The Rt Hon Maria Eagle MP

Member of Parliament for Garston and Halewood

Brent Stephens
35 Posted 27/11/2023 at 12:41:57
If only our club and its representatives could have argued the case so clearly and convincingly, in advance of, and at, the Commission hearing.

Watch these arguments now gaining traction in Everton's appeal.

Paul Turner
36 Posted 27/11/2023 at 12:49:25
Chatted to a lad at the gym this morning - he and all his family are LFC supporters (have been for generations) and are unanimous in their condemnation of the severity of the deduction.

A Man Utd fan, overhearing our conversation, also chimed in with his support, as did a couple of dyed-in-the-wool Gloucester RFC supporters, who normally take zero interest in football but feel EFC has been very hard done by.

There seems to be a groundswell of support growing. Let's hope this continues - meanwhile, full support for the playing and managerial staff to get us back up the table and out of danger. COYB!

Dale Self
37 Posted 27/11/2023 at 12:56:43
The last thing the Premier League wanted was a singular policy with limited discretion. Mayor Burnham has eloquently made that a very difficult task given how the Premier League framed this matter.

We made it to stage two without getting kicked to the curb, yay. The citation of direct irresponsibility in the adoption and communication of a rather fluid sanctions policy will be impossible to defend honorably. The Premier League has a massive decision to make on how to respond.

Rob Hooton
38 Posted 27/11/2023 at 13:02:32
I’ve always liked Andy Burnham but never knew he was a Blue - bloody love him now! Very well said, Burnham for PM.
John Gall
39 Posted 27/11/2023 at 13:24:18
Wish he was Mayor of Liverpool.
Vote Labour.
David Bromwell
40 Posted 27/11/2023 at 13:41:07
I too would like to add my thanks to Mr Burnham, and I would encourage all readers to seek the support of their MP.

There has been some discussion and coverage in the press which has highlighted the strategic importance of our new Stadium. This will once complete provide a focal point for the regeneration of this whole area.

To the best of my knowledge, this is a wholly privately funded project and deserves the support of both Local and National Governments. Time for us all to seek the support of those in power.

Nicholas Ryan
41 Posted 27/11/2023 at 13:57:16
One ray of hope: Andy Burnham makes the point that the Premier League commission leans heavily on previous decisions from the EFL (Championship). In particular, EFL -v- Sheffield Wednesday, which has similarities to ours.

The ray of hope is, the Appeal Tribunal in the Wednesday case lowered the punishment from 12-point deduction to 6; largely on the basis that after the event, Wednesday had done their best to put things right.

The EFL argued that behaviour 'after the event' was irrelevant, but the Chair [Lord Dyson of the Supreme Court] said that, although such behaviour was not relevant to guilt, it was most certainly relevant to punishment.

Brian Harrison
42 Posted 27/11/2023 at 14:22:44
The key piece in Andy Burnham's letter was that the failure of the Premier League to have sanctions in place before commencing this process.

Also, as I understand it, they would have had to have a majority vote in favour by all 20 Premier League clubs for this to become a rule. The Premier League cited the decision by the English Football League to adopt P&S sanctions but again the Premier League failed to incorporate such guidelines into its rules.

So for the Premier League to take clubs before a commission with no rules in place for anybody breaking the rules, then this case must be ruled null and void. It just shows the complete ineptitude of those running the Premier League.

I guess the real question is why our KC didn't make that the main point of his argument? We have to rely on the likes of Andy Burnham to explain why this decision should be overturned.

Jack Convery
43 Posted 27/11/2023 at 14:40:05
The thing is, the Premier League will have to reply to him.

If not, he needs to flag it up and if they do I hope he allows TW to publish it. It would make interesting reading, to say the least.

Mal van Schaick
44 Posted 27/11/2023 at 14:44:36
Thanks, Andy.

This is what I have been trying to say all along with my gibberish.

We will win our appeal, the rules will be changed because there will now have to be a meeting of all the Premier League clubs to approve the process and sanctions, and we will therefore not have to put up with a Premier League kangaroo court.

John Keating
45 Posted 27/11/2023 at 14:57:23
As mentioned in my post @26, regardless of where you're living, please contact your local MP on this shit. The more media and political attention we get, the better. The more pressure on these corrupt chancers, the better.

We need a Henry Winter or one of his standing to take it nationally, especially the "independence" of the committee

I'm disappointed with the journos at our very own Echo. They don't seem to be delving into the meaty bits of this shower.

No problems with the outer layer of the situation in which we are all aware of, however, with their connections, you would have thought they'd be taking a lead on this. Why am I not surprised?

As mentioned earlier, strength in depth. Contact your MP or anyone in the media who may report on this shit.

Mark Taylor
46 Posted 27/11/2023 at 15:12:51
Without wishing to rain on the parade, did the Premier League clubs not approve the handbook that included the rules on P&S?

If so, did not those rules say that the commission alone decides the punishment?

I think the appeal is worth it to get another threesome to make their own assessment on punishment. We might get a reduction if we argue the case effectively and there are ways of doing that.

In turn, given there are indeed no guidelines, which is certainly unsatisfactory, then it would surely be unlikely a new set of people would come up with the same punishment, given it is little more than a figure plucked out of thin air.

I think we have a better chance of achieving that if we drop all this corruption stuff. That will only get backs up and is not in our interests.

Jay Harris
47 Posted 27/11/2023 at 16:38:51
Well said, Andy Burnham, well-chosen words and very appropriate in this case.

I would also like to mention the 3 man committee headed by a KC who had a long association with Leeds and an ex-West Ham finance director.

I would also like to ask the question as to how this committee is claimed to be independent.

Alasdair Jones
48 Posted 27/11/2023 at 18:02:42
Andy Burnham's letter is a thoughtful and welcome intervention in the debate regarding the "punishment" heaped on Everton for their alleged transgressions. However, and as he rightly points out, the club do have a case to answer.

That being so, he properly focuses on the absence of any clear set of guidelines that the member clubs have been made aware of as to the sort of punishment that could be imposed should they be found to have breached the rules about profitability and sustainability.

The points that he rightly raises on this matter should have been a part of Everton's case as presented to the commission.

Furthermore, this freedom to judge as they see fit without any sentencing guidelines, as it were, has opened the door in my view to set loose a period of legal warfare, club vs club, somewhat encouraged by the observations of the commission recorded in Lyndon's article. Again why was this sort of insight not presented to the commission by those representing the club?

Having read the press today, there is no doubt that, notwithstanding Everton's shortcomings as noted above, there is a groundswell of "questioning" as to the commission and how it came to the "10-point" conclusion. Let's hope it builds.

Hans Fyhrqvist
49 Posted 27/11/2023 at 18:39:43
Superbly formulated letter by Andy Burnham to the head of the Premier League.

These considerations and facts must surely affect positively in Everton´s point of view to the handling of our appeal and reduce significantly, if not altogether our sanction, at least when considering our immensely unjust and harsh points deduction penalty.

Hopefully Everton´s representatives who make and present our appeal are aware of this letter. Burnham should also be in contact with Everton Football Club, if he already hasn´t been. Good the read what Mary Eagle has done, too. Supports everything what has lately already been done in Parliament by various MP´s.

And many Evertonians, who write here in ToffeeWeb, have also acted admirably in these couple of weeks by contacting with emails the Premier League and various MP´s, etc.

We must hope and believe, as Colin Chong assured us, that Everton´s appeal defends our case vehemently, including all these details and facts which have been lately presented.

I haven´t been inclined to think that the Premier League is purposefully corrupt, though its a good campaign word in our case and it was great to see the word paraded at Goodison on Sunday. But if our appeal doesn´t considerably mitigate, or even wipe out, our points sanction, then the Premier League, you could say in its insanity, shows total disrespect and dishonesty towards Everton, and I also must start to think that the Premier League after all and indeed is corrupt.

Brian Harrison
50 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:08:30
I wonder why Richard Masters hasn't said why after issuing 115 charges against City, that they haven't been brought before an independent commission. Also Chelsea have admitted that Abramovich illegally used his own money that wasn't declared to help Chelsea, so seeing they have admitted a breach like Everton did then again why has no date been set for them to appear in front of the commission. Why the reluctance to deal with other clubs as Everton have been dealt with.
Neil Copeland
51 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:22:27
Andy Burnham, thank you for such a well articulated letter.

Our case is gathering pace and widespread support, I am starting to believe we may come out of the other side in a better place

Rob Halligan
52 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:50:56
Some encouraging news, this, although ultimately we all know who the final decision rests with.

During the half time interval yesterday, I was down on the concourse and was fuming, not with the performance of our efforts, although with better finishing we could, and probably should have been ahead, but with the performance of the on field officials. Two major incidents which I can remember, was the booking of Doucoure, who I think was booked for “Complaining” about the ball being kicked away by an opponent after the whistle had blown for a free kick. Is this not a booking offence anymore, or perhaps only when committed by us? The other was the scything challenge by Fernandes on Jack Harrison on the right hand touchline. The referee appeared to wave play on, due to us having an advantage, but which very quickly diminished, because there was no advantage, so why didn’t the ref go back and award us the free kick and book Fernandes? So as I say, I was fuming, and saying that the whole world is against us, and I even said that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if we did go down, because at least we’d have none of this VAR shite to contend with, and bloody useless referees.

Which leads me to my final point…………..would we all take the ten points deduction remaining, but no club having any case for compensation from us, or the ten point deduction vastly reduced, maybe even suspended, but other clubs can claim compensation?

We can, and will, get out and stay out of the bottom three, but any claims for excessive compensation would probably see us go into administration.

P.S….was only joking about the going down bit.

At the moment football stinks!!

Mike Benjamin
53 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:53:28
Mark, 46. A key point with the punishment is that a guide was published by the PL (not the commission) in August 6 months after the charge was announced. It can be strongly argued that this affected the commission’s judgement especially as the 10 equates to that included in the guide. It was therefore not left to the commission to decide. It stinks of an agenda!
Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 27/11/2023 at 20:11:18
I watched Wrexham dismantle Morecombe on Saturday afternoon, and it was very refreshing watching a game without VA fucking R.

A season in the championship might not be as bad as it sounds, away from a league that has become full of shite, imo.

It’s all about controversy in the big league, ask Dermot Gallagher, a man who gives an opinion each week, that simply doesn’t count.

Eric Haworth
55 Posted 27/11/2023 at 20:11:40
You’ve got to take your hat off to Andy, although it’s only to be expected from a senior political figure, because his letter is politically smart.

He’s avoided getting embroiled in the emotional, disproportionate, unfair, he did/we did aspects of the case, and deals purely with their total lack of a protocol & sanctions policy agreed and voted-in with their 20 member clubs before embarking on their pursuit of our club, in their normal make it up as you go fashion.

Furthermore, he’s now brought the monarchy and government into the equation, by referencing the Kings Speech, and copying in the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, plus the Shadow Secretary of State. Meaning the Tories can’t ignore it, because if they do Labour will take up the mantle with a vengeance.

Add to this the likes of Mary Eagles being onboard and Martin Samuels & his media colleagues also being on the case, means the EPL are now well and truly under the microscope. Meaning they now have to treat us with respect, and there’s no more “make it up as you go”. Just using us as their chosen sacrificial lamb, as part of their political games, to be seen by the Government to be making an example of someone.

Good Man Andy👍

Paul Birmingham
56 Posted 27/11/2023 at 20:24:21
Thanks To Andy Burnham, for pitching in and fighting the Everton corner, and highlighting the flaws and naivety of the EPLs, so called guide.

It’s stinks, and each day it seems the football world is acknowledging that it stinks.

Let’s hope Everton, can turn the cards on this trumped up book of charges and penalties.

It’s going to be interesting to to see which side of their double edged sword the EPL, and their cronies, fall on, but the EPLs govern cannot be allowed to be maintained, in it current format and representation, until it’s governed annually by a Parliament approved body.


Barry Hesketh
57 Posted 27/11/2023 at 20:34:23
Stefan Borson, a lawyer who tweeted on 17 November 2023:

Without seeing the judgment/award -10 points for Everton feels harsh for a straightforward FFP breach to me. But reinforces that sanctions against City (if proven) and now Chelsea (if charged and admitted on the off-books payments) will be potentially relegation inducing.

In his assessment of Andy Burnham's letter to the Premier League he writes in a tweet:

What a load of nonsense, written by a fan masquerading as someone in *relevant* authority. He should save his letter for other clubs within Greater Manchester 👀.

It was within Everton's gift to argue these technical legal arguments at the Commission itself. There is no abuse of process in circumstances where the Commission specifically refused to follow whatever the PL's suggestions were and where the PL clarified an apparent “misunderstanding” (para 89) such that the PL's tariff was considered nothing more than a submission.

What on earth the PL was playing at introducing sanctions to its Board on 10 August 2023 but neither mentioning them to the clubs nor incorporating them in the rule book is a good question but an irrelevant one for the Independent Commission especially in circumstances where it specifically said it ignored them.

Given the stance of the IC there is clearly no prejudice whatsoever. The idea that once they had heard the PLs suggestions they could not ignore them is a hopeless argument – hence Everton never ran it.

Asking for an effective retrial rather than an appeal is also a totally hopeless argument.

So what's the point in the letter outside of guest piece in a fanzine?

Derek Wadeson
58 Posted 27/11/2023 at 20:59:38
Nice to see Andy Burnham on the Sophie Ridge Politics show on Sky TV tonight, talking Everton and the unfairness of the sanctions.
Tony Everan
59 Posted 27/11/2023 at 21:10:33
Andy Burnham would be a decent chairman for EFC: strong character, got the club's best interests at heart, would make sure the club was run properly.
Tim Welsh
60 Posted 27/11/2023 at 21:53:11
Andy Burnham's letter is superb.

As someone mentioned earlier, he carefully draws in disparate parties that the Premier League will not want breathing down their necks.

Let's face it, the Premier League are a load of amateurs in everything they do except preserving interests of the 'boy band' teams of the Big 6. I think that the antipathy that the Premier League have demonstrated to us will only be a foretaste of what is to come for others, unless we overcome now.

I think they have always shown greater fealty to those increasingly privileged clubs, but now their actions are becoming more transparent – it is as if they are becoming complacent, and this will ultimately be their undoing. Or, to put it another way, they think they are more 'fly' than they actually are.

I have read (or tried to read) Mike Gow's document and I get the impression that this would demolish those idiots on the IC panel, who seem to have treated our whole affair like a diverting formality, probably to get a nice little payout and some decent lunches to reach a pre-determined conclusion and impose a recommended sanction.

So, it is clear to me that the Premier League have no ability to self-regulate fairly, and our case should be heard in the appropriate court. Everton's future is too big a concern for the people of Merseyside, the supporters across the planet and their role in the business of the country to be determined by these self-serving amateurs.

Furthermore, this whole affair could see us out of business. How can the Premier League explain that their PSR rules are protecting clubs if that is a worst-case scenario? And have they had a quiet word with Nottm Forest yet?

I am an instinctive person, and I have felt since the very outset of this that there are agencies above and within the Premier League for whom Everton are an inconvenience, and an opportunity has been seen and taken. They had probably not banked on the response that they are going to get, and Andy's letter could play a pivotal role in that.

Please, Andy, you mustn't just stop with this letter. Get them on the ropes.

Mark Taylor
61 Posted 27/11/2023 at 21:57:39
Mike @53

That might be so but, in terms of the letter, I tend to Barry 57's opinion, or that of the lawyer he references, on the quality and relevance of the content. If I were unfair, I'd describe it as windbagging.

If you want to look at how a more carefully crafted legal argument might look, read the Mike Gow thread and full original article.

Michael Kenrick
62 Posted 27/11/2023 at 22:04:33
Barry @57,

Must admit I was tempted to post previously to point out that the Premier League gave the independent commission complete freedom to levy whatever penalty they see fit. That's what it says in the rules in the Handbook.

Yes, it seems really dumb for the Premier League to have 'interferred' with the independent process by including these new sanction guidelines in their submission as a new 'policy' — without it being ratified by 14 or more clubs. But is that enough to get us some leniency?

Only time will tell!!!

Also, the commission did specifically claim they had ignored any 'guidance' provided by the Premier League and indeed done what they saw fit. So that kinda deflates Andy Burnham's points, methinks.

The glaring weakness seems to be the commission's complete failure to explain any rational basis for the 10-point deduction. I'm impressed by Mike Gow's declared war on this point.

Jim Wilson
63 Posted 27/11/2023 at 22:49:03
I am hoping that Andy Burnham, maybe will the help of others, has a well-thought-out strategy.

He is going to point out one by one each discrepancy in the judgement of the Independent Commission.

Already he has got the Premier League caught in a lie.

Hopefully he will move on to whether the Commission was actually independent.

The point I can't get my head around is being able to deduct points from a club mid-season. We are punished with 10 points but it will also now inevitably affect us in every game we play. Against Utd I thought it was clear the players were told not to be too aggressive at the start to avoid early trouble with the ref. The players are in a terrible position now. And then how can you suddenly change the picture again with a different points deduction on appeal. It is unfair on all the teams involved.

But deducting 10 points mid-season seemingly after a changed rule is absolutely unbelievable and surely someone at the Premier League will have the common sense to rectify this outrageous mistake. What other sport would do this?

There are so many discrepancies with the judgement a clever lawyer should make mincemeat of it.

Alex Parr
64 Posted 28/11/2023 at 00:56:17
Good effort, Mr Burnham.

Very well argued.

Thank you.

Eric Myles
65 Posted 28/11/2023 at 04:23:55
To those questioning why our own KC didn't bring up the points in Andy Burnham's letter, it could have been a deliberate strategy. If it was included in the first commission and they gave reasons to dismiss it then it could not be agued in the appeal.

It may still not be referenced in the appeal but kept as an argument for a lawsuit against the Premier League in a real court.

As Mark Taylor says, the Premier League PRS rules state the commission has unlimited powers to punish, so they must justify their calculation and why it is so harsh compared to say, administration, which this penalty will actually push us closer to.

Joshua Steadman
66 Posted 28/11/2023 at 08:48:43
Yes, Barry, I was going to raise what that lawyer pointed out in response to Burnham's letter to the Premier League. All a waste of time.

Short of getting most of the points back, I think we are down. Being even more pessimistic, we could easily fold within 5 years if we incur more points deductions and we are unable to cover the hundreds of millions that we have in debts.

No idea what we have done to anger the Premier League so much. Never caused trouble to have all clubs banned from Europe, never threatened to form a breakaway Super League. Always respectful during minutes silences etc.

We don't attack away teams' coaches. Always have been an excellent advert for the Premier Leaguewith a passionate fantastic fanbase. Yet they seem determined to destroy the club.

David Bromwell
67 Posted 28/11/2023 at 08:57:06
Re Stephen no 34, I have today written to my MP Margaret Greenwood, I live in Wirral.

This is a really big issue, affecting many more issues beyond the world of football, and all our Political Leaders can help. So come on everybody, get them all involved.

If I can figure how to do it, I will post any reply I get from Margaret.

David Bromwell
68 Posted 28/11/2023 at 12:12:35
Tony @59.

I think this is the first time I have read your proposal, Andy Burnham for Chairman. What a great idea, precisely what we have lacked, sensible strong leadership.

Sadly the idea is unlikely as he still must have lofty political ambitions, but when all this current mess is over, we must do our best to ensure whoever is to be the new custodians have some credibility and relevant experience.

After all, this is our club, and we cannot allow those in charge to have a free passage without proper scrutiny.

Brian Williams
69 Posted 28/11/2023 at 12:17:16
Andy Burnham just been on Talksport and was very good indeed.

The downside is that that prick Simon Jordan is now trying to be controversial and put him down.

Cheap shots to simply cause interest in their show.

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