01/01/2024 81comments  |  Jump to last

The issue of the stance taken by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in relation to the thorny question of sanctions on clubs and its relevance to Everton's appeal against the 10-point deduction imposed by the Premier League in November was recently addressed by barrister and Toffee, Matt Stanbury.

In a post on Twitter just before Christmas, he cited this potentially significant extract from the recent ruling on the European Super League case and both Fifa's and Uefa's closed shop for setting competitions. 

In its judgment, the ECJ said, with consideration to the various domestic rules governing the different football associations across Europe, not just Uefa's rules:

" .... in order for the sanctions introduced as an adjunct to rules on prior approval and participation, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, not to be discretionary, they must be governed by criteria that must not only be transparent, objective, precise and non-discriminatory, but must also guarantee that those sanctions are determined, in each specific case, in accordance with the principle of proportionality, in the light of, inter alia, the nature, duration and seriousness of the infringement found".

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Although the UK has left the EU, such that the judgment is not of direct effect, it is – at the very least – of persuasive effect. The Premier League itself says that it is bound by EU law, no doubt because of its membership of Uefa and the need for close regulatory alignment. 

Further, some of the case law used by the Commission, eg, the Sheffield Wednesday case, was itself derived from Uefa cases, again reinforcing the need for close if not exact alignment.

The lack of any "transparent, objective, precise and non-discriminatory" rules within the Premier League rules themselves (as distinct from the Premier League Board's contentious guidelines) means that they fall foul of the regulatory requirements that are deemed to be required by the ECJ across the various Uefa members.

Accordingly, until such a framework is adopted by the member clubs, the PSR (at least arguably) cannot be enforced.

Matt Stanbury further observed:

"This could be decisive for Everton. Yes, the UK has left the EU, but the Premier League is bound up in Uefa and so proceeds as if governed by European Law. Having punitive sanctions decided in a vacuum offends against fairness under the common law in any event."

To which, Andy Burnham replied:

"My reading of the ECJ ruling is it gives the Premier League a big headache over their treatment of Everton.   

"It says sanctions must be based on “transparent” criteria. The PL’s refusal to publish details of its “formula” is therefore a huge problem.

"So we fight on!"



Reader Comments (81)

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Alan McGuffog
1 Posted 31/12/2023 at 11:56:01
Surely to God any reduction of the deduction (sounds like a prog rock album of the early '70s) has to happen soon? If it got to the stage of us having a good point tally then later might not matter.

But if four of us are in the brown stuff come April and we are "gifted" back say 4 points, then there'd be blood on the moon. The lawyers must be rubbing their hands…

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:49:36
The manager and team are doing the best they can and, had it not been for the disproportionate points reduction (that should have actually been a financial penalty), we would be sat 10th.

It isn't the manager, players or most importantly, the supporters who should be punished. It is those responsible for the financial (not football) situation they placed the club into.

Stephen Vincent
4 Posted 31/12/2023 at 15:27:21

You are right. It isn't the manager, players or most importantly, the supporters who should be punished. It is those responsible for the financial (not football) situation they placed the club into.

And how exactly does that happen? The main culprit has passed and his two acolytes have taken their obscene payoffs and refused to appear at the first hearing.

If it was up to me, they should both be disbarred from holding directorships in the future for breaches of the 2006 Companies Act and Ingles should be reported to the Institute of Chartered Accountants and struck off.

As for imposing personal financial penalties – we have more chance of winning the Champions League next season.

Peter Quinn
5 Posted 31/12/2023 at 16:10:40
Something else to add into the mix. Company Accounts for 2022-23 have to be filed with the Premier League by midnight. The crux of it will be the Profitability and Sustainability Calculation (PSC) which will accompany the accounts. I am not sure what, if anything will be published at this stage.

Losses of £111 million (for the 2018-19 period) will be dropping out of the previous calculation. It was that calculation that led to the 10-point deduction.

This is all as I understand it but maybe one of our accountants can confirm the position. I look forward to an update from Paul the Esk. Let us hope we will not face the possibility of a further points deduction.

Brian Williams
6 Posted 01/01/2024 at 13:56:59
That's possibly very good news!

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:10:09
Keep fighting,, Everton. Defiance.

The Premier League is entwined in UEFA. They can't make shit up as they go along.

Chris Williams
8 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:16:00
I don't think the ECJ is anything to do with the EU. I believe it is governed by the Council Of Europe, which was introduced Post WW2, and of which we were founder members.

Happy to be corrected, but in any case, it strengthens the Everton case this piece is describing.

Joe Hurst
9 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:25:25
No word as yet - on ANY punishment for Man City or Chelsea?
Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 01/01/2024 at 14:33:28
Joe, if they insist on punishing us in the manner they have, then as the statement suggests, it has to be proportionate to others.

I can feel a few squeaky bums and loosening of ties to release sweat and stress at the Premier League HQ near Paddington.

Fight with all our might, Everton. Do not take this lying down. We are guilty of nothing other than being open and honest. Unlike others.

In my opinion, the Premier League needs to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Otherwise, there are countless clubs out there they need to go after.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 01/01/2024 at 15:07:21
This reinforces the need to maintain the rage.

The Premier League executive seem to be waiting until the noise dies down, let them know that nobody has forgotten and that all must be treated, and penalized, in the same manner.

David Hallwood
12 Posted 01/01/2024 at 15:09:48
I think it puts the Premier League in an difficult position, I'm delighted to say. If they ignore the findings, they will be accused of acting like an unaccountable organisation (which they are), and therefore ripe for the government to introduce an independent regulator.

However, if they reverse the decision (which should be the preferred action, for the reasons set out by the ECJ) and gives us back the points, the noise from the bottom 5/6 clubs will last all season and probably into the next one.

Even if I was a neutral, the prospect of a shit, unaccountable organization getting a kicking is a joy to behold.

Soren Moyer
13 Posted 01/01/2024 at 15:49:27
Chris, 8,

"The European Court of Justice (ECJ), formally just the Court of Justice (French: Cour de Justice), is the supreme court of the European Union in matters of European Union law."

Source: Wikipedia

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 01/01/2024 at 15:59:42
David #12, great post, agreed. Stansbury's post doesn't say exactly when the ECJ statement was issued, but I have predicted from the first day (with zero expertise to back it) that we'd get back the four points for the "aggravating factors" because that additional penalty was so poorly justified. Now I'm hoping it happens sooner rather than later.

Chris #8, here's a correction on that. The European Court of Justice (now formally known as simply the Court of Justice) is the Supreme Court of the European Union in matters of EU law. Their very specific job is to interpret EU law and make sure it is applied equally across all EU nations. It comprises one half of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Wikipedia has a decent article on it.

The Council of Europe is a separate organization and has no legal arm.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 01/01/2024 at 16:14:22
Whoops, Soren beat me to the Wiki page!
Anthony Hawkins
16 Posted 01/01/2024 at 17:10:56
I'd feel more comfortable with a 6-point deduction. It would be a more fair outcome, although a points deduction vs a fine still feels harsh.
Jerome Shields
17 Posted 01/01/2024 at 17:12:42
Transparency is really nowhere to be found. At a recent meeting with Everton's small shareholders, the Board revealed £100 million in funds available, which previously was not present in any account reporting.

From the start of this process, Everton and the Premier League, 2 years prior to the Commission, had appeared to have been in cahoots. Well, at least Everton appeared to believe so, until they were referred to the Commission and realised after sanctions that rule changes took place as the Commission deliberated. It was all very ad-hoc and I doubt seeing the minutes of meetings would change that opinion.

The only reasonable reference for the sanctions is the English Football League Profitability and Sustainability Rules, which they appear to mirror. It is no surprise that, under scrutiny, they appear not appropriate and unlikely to be consistent in application to other clubs who find themselves in similar circumstances to Everton.

Christine Foster
18 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:15:21
If Matt's perspective is correct in its analysis, the whole basis of the Premier Leagues sanctions policy is defunct and and current penalties imposed or currently being processed, is either void or at the very least, unethical.
The Premier league may argue its case to counter the ECJ perspective, but the fact is that it's sanctions policy did not, does not, exist in specific detail, and as a result, could not have been agreed or adopted by all clubs.
If there is no transparency or ageement on the type or level of sanction for specific breaches, there cannot be a penalty. Such imposition would not stand up in court. Furthermore the very fact any decision as such cannot be taken to arbitration by clubs, only compounds injustice. It is a house built on sand.
As a result, I can see all cases, Everton, Man City and any other club under investigation, having the slate wiped until such sanctions are agreed in conjunction with the incoming football regulator, Uefa and Fifa and all clubs. It may be an embarrassing decision for the EPL, but the sanctions imposed by them hfor a single breach leaves them with an impossible decision should they deem City or Chelsea at fault.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the EPL wanted to be seen as proactive and strong, instead they have shown themselves to be arrogant in its abuse of power. The sanctions are unfair in its determination of what is acceptable or not, it is subjective in application of analysis and furthermore any level of possible sanction has to have been agreed to specifically by all clubs prior to determining any breaches.
My apologies if that all sounded a bit long winded but I think this may be a get out of jail clause for the Premier league as any lack of proportional sanctions on City would only serve to damage significantly its standing in football.
Wiping the slate solves not just Evertons problem but the league as well, how could they hope to be seen as fair or even transparent in anyway should the possible sanctions on City, not bear any reasonable proportionality with those imposed on our club. Wipe the slate for all, sack Masters, let the new football regulator do their job in the interests of fans, football and owners.
David West
19 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:57:33
Stinks !!! We thought they were using us to show what punishment the likes of city & Chelsea could expect, but reading this, have they punished us so we can be the ones to blow the "independent " commissions legality out the water ?

Wouldn't it look better for the league if we were the ones to bring their whole regulatory process down instead of one of the leagues favourites like City?
It would save them alot of face if we were the ones to beat the system and then they go "oh we can't punish city or Chelsea either !!

Stinks the lot of it !!

Andrew Merrick
20 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:06:46
Curiouser and curiouser
What a tangled Web this is, and how to untangle it in quick time, rapid reinstatement of points has to happen surely?
Andrew Heffernan
21 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:30:06
It was absurd to apply the penalty before Everton had submitted its appeal, and on application to appeal, the penalty should have been suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.

Neither the PL or the Commission have covered themselves in glory in even the administration of this matter.

Nearly as embarrassing as how Everton have been run for 10-20 years.

Peter Hodgson
22 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:32:58
A sensible (and pragmatic) solution Christine but when have the PL been either of those things, unless of course it has been forced upon them. It would also destroy whatever credibility they had left!

In this case they will probably decide to press on with their charade as the cost of doing what you suggest (they would think) would be too great for them to stomach.

They would probably think that a better solution would be to do nothing except press on regardless and fight each little battle as comes along.

This of course is going to throw up problems for us as the saga will continue to the end of the season which may result in who knows what, maybe even relegation. Is that something to keep them awake at night though. I doubt it would even cross their minds.

Jim Lloyd
23 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:50:50
Stephen (4) Well said. I wonder if the former CEO has anything to do with Everton in the Community? I certainly hope not! ansd Sharp has shot off Sharpish. Hope we don't see him back at Goodison and certainly not the Bramley Moore!

David (19) Tangled webs eh! Y'know what it looks like to me? After reading two True Blues posts Matt Stansbury and Andy Burnham, it looks like either the Premier League are supremely arrogant(almost certainly are!) but rather crafty as well.

After Matt and Andy's involvement, it looks like the PL have set up the Independent Commission so that

a) If they can get away with this laughingly called "Judgement" of the Independent Commission, their view appears to have been "We can set this penalty... cos we want to!"

b) If they don't get away with it. The "Judgement and Penalty" can be laid at the feet of the Independent Commission who the PL can blame it on.

Either way, the PL can come out smelling, if not like roses, (at least not the brown stuff. )

That might well get them off the hook on the Man City, Chelsea cases to come.

It might also give them some room to breathe, when Parliament gets involved.

I wonder if there is any higher court our club could go to if the crooked crew maintain their stance and take points of us...either the ten, or less.

John Keating
24 Posted 01/01/2024 at 23:09:56
It would be very interesting to know if Everton's legal team, who are no doubt being paid a fortune, are equally up to date as Matt appears to be.

I have no doubt these barristers all know each other and a quiet word here and there, or a wee handshake at the next Lodge meeting, may be beneficial

Regardless of the final outcome, Masters and his cohorts have to go.

Brendan McLaughlin
25 Posted 01/01/2024 at 23:19:16
Stephen #4

Why should Ingles be struck off?

There are many on here who argue Everton did nothing wrong at all or that at most the P&S breach was some minor accounting technical issue.

Seems a harsh call for the man to be struck off if either of those views are in any way accurate.

Don Alexander
26 Posted 01/01/2024 at 00:18:52
Our billionaire, self-serving, utterly incompetent, Kenwright-acclaimed accounts-supremo owner assured everyone for ages that he/we had no case to answer.

The self-serving ass-kissing leeches he put in the boardroom kept schtum on the reality - period, in total dereliction of their lawful duty as directors etc etc, choosing instead to repeatedly echo Moshiri's bullshit.

Then when it came to the crunch Moshiri alone decided to represent himself/us and at last admitted his guilt!

We then got majorly fucked by a panel made up of like-minded morons such as Moshiri - all unaccountable to a "T".

So, apart from the possible restoration of a point or two this season, what else do we have to look forward to this year?

A ground we'll never own - or fill if we're relegated, the unwelcome sale in January/Summer of a few highly rated (by people outside of Finch Farm) players perhaps, or our acquisition by un/incredible shysters from foreign climes?

Happy New Year?

George Stuart
27 Posted 02/01/2024 at 04:18:09
Given the detrimental effect of this deduction on the team, I am of a mind that the club should be compensated for that by reinstating not 10 but 12 points. The fact we won four matches on the bounce after the penalty has nothing to with it.

Notwithstanding all of that, there is a definite stink about all of this. Management by nuance, nods and winks at the executive level of the FA. Cocktail-bar governance and what it is really, that Fox Sports require?

Darryl Ritchie
28 Posted 02/01/2024 at 04:37:27
So many questions. So few answers.


I hope so, because the status quo sucks!

Jerome Shields
29 Posted 02/01/2024 at 04:41:44
There appear to be parallels with the Sub-Postmaster Scandal. In the UK, Sub-Postmasters were accused of fraud and theft. The computer system was perfect, even thought it was full of bugs.

The problem was that the Post Office, under 300-year-old legislation specific to it, could prosecute directly to the highest court, without due legal process. Furthermore, the Post Office staff responsible were not subject to the normal legal accountability of other legal representation.

The process was self-regulatory and of course a lot was covered up. This is still the case, since a change in the Law would leave the government open to compensation claims. No-one has been held accountable directly for the flaws that resulted in the largest miscarriage of justice in the UK.

The Premier League can decide the process, rules and sanctions. It evidently can change the rules when the process is ongoing and the sanctions can be decided without any reference.

The first club that collaborated with the process finds itself sanctioned without rhyme or reason and is still involved in a process it does not know the outcome of. What's more, everything the Premier League has put forward as a process is now stalemated by legal contentions. It is just another example of self-regulatory cover-up.

It will take years to sort out. It has been assumed that the Premier League and the Government know best and there is proper process; this is all far from the case.

Alan J Thompson
30 Posted 02/01/2024 at 04:55:38
The Premier League Executive will probably rely upon Everton putting up an appeal similar to our original defence to the "Independent" Commission and the action we took on the European ban after Heysel.

Sorry to have to say but our club administration's history doesn't indicate having either the ability or the backbone for a fight or getting things done properly.

Jim Wilson
31 Posted 02/01/2024 at 11:56:04
Why people keep saying they would settle for a reduction in the points deduction is beyond me.

A points deduction is clearly wrong and unjust for all the reasons previously mentioned and the 10-point deduction should be removed immediately.

Phil Wood
32 Posted 02/01/2024 at 14:43:12
Agreed! Jim 31
Les Callan
33 Posted 02/01/2024 at 14:51:26
We need the 10 points back. No half measures. We must not be a soft touch.
Anthony Hawkins
34 Posted 02/01/2024 at 15:56:18
The issue with removal of all the points deduction is that the club has admitted its failure to meet the P&S rules. Had the club fought harder and denied the allegations, it might have been different.

Whether the club pleads on the basis of feeling coerced into the admission based on the change in application of guidance, is yet to be seen.

I've always said there seems to be something very fishy about the whole process – from both sides of the fence. The charges themselves are trumped up. Everton's defence seems very weak. The Premier League are making an example for sure, but are the Everton board trying to shield themselves from a deeper investigation?

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 02/01/2024 at 16:14:27
So guilty of openness, transparency and honesty, Anthony?

If only the Premier League and their officials could do the same.

If they are setting this precedent, they apply it to all clubs.

Don't back down Everton.

Peter Quinn
36 Posted 02/01/2024 at 17:46:26
I suspect this is causing a nightmare to the Premier League, especially with the Manchester City case looming, which they never expected. Andy Burnham is clearly determined not to let this go.

The decision was, I think, unexpected, given the Court did not follow the advice of the Advocate General. Proportionality is going to be the key as I read the various comments on the case. It will be for the Appeals Commission to rule on this and they will have to pay regard to this decision.

Our lawyers, I am sure, will be fully au fait with the judgment. I would expect the appeal by Everton to be amended to deal with this decision. Then, the Premier League will have to amend its case.

From our perspective, we need this process to move forward as rapidly as possible. It must not be allowed to be delayed until April or May – that would be grossly unfair to all parties. So maybe, just maybe, the sacrificial lamb is fighting back!

Brendan McLaughlin
37 Posted 02/01/2024 at 18:27:18
Danny #35

"So guilty of openness, transparency and honesty"

Three words I always associate with the Everton owner and Board.

Sean O’Hanlon
38 Posted 02/01/2024 at 19:53:56
Man City are reaping the benefits of the current situation by denying the allegations, which means it goes to litigation, and the outcome will take years. But during these years, they continue to win trophies home and in Europe, amassing a fortune in the process.

When it goes to court, and they are found guilty, will they be punished retrospectively and have all the trophies confiscated?

Not a chance! We're the fall guys, and we'll never get those points back, despite our honesty and transparency!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
39 Posted 02/01/2024 at 20:03:37
Peter, yes could you imagine the screams of anguish on 24th April.
Four Games to Go.
Current Bottom 7 are still there. Everton lying 19th and 3 points adrift of safety. Brentford, Luton and Sheffield to come before a final game at The Emirates, who if Arsenal win all 4, they will be champions.

And all of a sudden, we are now 7 points clear, needing just a point or 2 to mathematically survive and nothing resting on the last game as Bongo sees his title challenge fade into the distance knowing that on the last game the opponents have nothing to play for except stick it up their loveable neighbours and go down 7-0.

What is not to like??

However, I think by 24th April we will be well clear.

Brendan McLaughlin
40 Posted 02/01/2024 at 20:42:12
Paul the Esk tweeting that he understands we are P&S compliant in terms of the latest accounts recently submitted to the Premier League.
Peter Quinn
41 Posted 02/01/2024 at 20:53:59

That would be great if it is correct and I very much doubt that Paul would be putting that out unless his sources were correct.

I was troubled by the article in the Echo tonight which said that the Club's position was we were operating responsibly and with transparency.

Maybe, however, that was a dig at the Premier League given the comments in the ECJ decision regarding lack of transparency on sanctions. We can but see how this unfolds over the next few weeks.

Laurie Hartley
42 Posted 02/01/2024 at 21:33:01
One person who hasn't copped much flack over this is our former CFO Sasha Ryazantsev who left the club in 2021. That surprised me at the time. Was it because he had let us spend too much or because he had warned “someone” that we were spending too much?

I see he has turned up at Burnley in a CFO advisory capacity.

I will be surprised if we get any points back – if we are to retain our Premier League status we will have to do it ourselves – the hard way.

Jerome Shields
43 Posted 02/01/2024 at 21:34:12
It was from Paul the Esk I got the information that £100 million was revealed at a meeting with the Shareholders Association, which had previously not been shown anywhere. It's source was not revealed.
Tom Bowers
44 Posted 02/01/2024 at 22:29:43
So right, forget about the points deduction.

The arseholes at the FA are screwing so many things up – why should Everton expect any changes that benefit them.

They have to go it alone and get enough of the remaining points to keep clear of the dross below them.

Having said that, we need a lift but, without the influx of big Middle East money or American dollars, it will be doubly hard to attract any decent players to help improve the squad.

With Calvert-Lewin struggling and neither Beto or Chermiti up to snuff, we are going to need stern defensive performances to eke out the points we need.

Losing Doucoure has cost us a goal or two at a vital time.

John Raftery
45 Posted 02/01/2024 at 23:09:18
Laurie (42) Good point.

My reading of the situation was that Sasha Ryazantsev ran the finances on behalf of Moshiri and cleared off in July 2021 when it was obvious we were heading for trouble. From that point onwards, it was left to Ingles to fathom a way out of the mess which plainly he failed to do.

Jerome Shields
46 Posted 02/01/2024 at 23:44:57
Ryazantsev and Ingles were Directors with financial expertise. It was Barrett-Baxendale who was Chief Executive Officer.

It was obvious that the Chairman was in control and that the major shareholder was not on the Board and seemed to be at arm's length, only attending one or two AGMs.

Everton do not have AGMs now and, though a Director now, we never hear from Moshiri. Who is Chairman of the Board now?

Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 02/01/2024 at 00:13:29
Jerome # 46 - “financial expertise”. Not quite sure what to make of that.

As for who is chairman of the board, I would ask: Have we even got a board? If we have, I don't know who is on it. I know Kevin Thelwell is the Director of Football but what does that even mean in the current set up?

It looks to me like Colin Chong is running the show and reporting to Farhad Moshiri who probably put him in charge because he is the only senior executive who has performed well over the past few years.

It is a dog's breakfast at the moment but one thing I am absolutely sure of is that we have to get right behind the team and the manager because they are the ones who have the potential to get us to a place of safety.

As I see things, the battle we are in will be won or lost at Goodison and various football pitches up and down the country over the next 18 games.

Fighters is what we need just now. Unfortunately we have been without two of our best in the last few games, Doucoure and Gueye. Hopefully they will be back for Villa.

George Freeman
48 Posted 03/01/2024 at 00:34:47
Everton's current board of directors are Colin Chong, John Spellman and Farhad Moshiri. They do not have to appoint a chairman.
Stephen Vincent
49 Posted 03/01/2024 at 02:48:30
I might be wrong but I seem to remember that Ryazantsev was asked to step down when it became apparent that he was going to be arrested for assaulting a Russian in a flat in Knightsbridge, I don't think he was ever charged.

He is CFO at Burnley now – talk about a conflict of interest.

Peter Moore
50 Posted 03/01/2024 at 07:34:28
Surely there is no way the ridiculous, incongruent, 10-point penalty for a minor (in Premier League finance terms) financial breach, can be allowed to stand.

It was clearly amateur hour when this verdict was handed down. The whole thing was a shambles.

Reinstate the points, Premier League – the sooner the better.

Pete Neilson
51 Posted 03/01/2024 at 08:21:34
Richard Masters and his Premier League mates have made such a hash of punishing us and all in their own self-interest, attempting to stop a government-approved regulator. What a precedent they've set.

It wouldn't surprise me if they now welcome the regulator as it'll allow them to wash their hands of dealing with Man City and Chelsea.

All the more reason, with this change of governance coming in, that we don't become the forgotten victim of Premier League corruption.

Jerome Shields
52 Posted 03/01/2024 at 08:43:23
Laurie #47,

Their backgrounds were in finance and they were directors. They weren't Chief Executive Officers. In reality, Everton did not have a Chief Executive Officer and a small board was just a rubber stamp for a controlling Chairman.

Moshiri wanted that and was always supportive of it. Why? Because he or those financing him wanted to do what they like, without governance or accountability. They did not want to be questioned at an AGM, and ended that. They even did not attend matches under a trumped up excuse, though Moshiri was absent prior to that.

The result was that the Club was run not as an enterprise to achieve profitability, but as an organisation trying to get away with whatever it could and maintain positions for those getting a salary. High wages and Directors' remuneration were the order of the day, no matter what the performance.

Actually, the only accountability was when the Premier League came in under potential breaches of the Profitability and Sustainability Rules and demanded under those rules that Everton go through a monitoring period, and that the major shareholder provide a letter guaranteeing future funding.

It should be no surprise that the Premier League via the Commission were able to do what they liked and felt entitled they could.

Yes, Laurie, it is questionable whether a Board actually exists. The Premier League is finding itself under scrutiny, but not by Everton.

Joe McMahon
53 Posted 03/01/2024 at 09:26:49
Forest, getting a legal team over their spending.

I still don't know how Chelsea and Man City will escape any points deduction. Oh, hang on… yeah I do. Media darlings and Champions League clubs.

Mal van Schaick
54 Posted 03/01/2024 at 09:30:14
The Premier League are setting precedents with rulings regarding their P&S rules.

Everton, being a more recent case to endure what is deemed to be a harsh and over-zealous punishment, for what appears to be a minor transgression with mitigating circumstances, given Covid restrictions.

The Premier League will open a can of worms in future P&S decisions, without consistency with regard to other transgressions, and Everton should be looking on, and drawing parallels on those decisions.

Rob Dolby
55 Posted 03/01/2024 at 10:11:41
What happens to City, Chelsea, Forest and the other clubs that fall foul of the P&S rules if we get the points deduction removed?

Will that give the Premier League an easy way out by not punishing clubs in the future? Will it be a show of weakness by the Premier League?

If our appeal fails, will other clubs will be exposed to the same punishments?

We have a chance to get out of this footballing-wise as there are 3 worse teams up to now in the Premier League. We need to get back on track and start picking up points.

I don't agree with us being made scapegoats as other clubs have abused the rules for years and got away with it. I am more than interested to see how this all plays out as it will either reinforce the preferential treatment of the rich clubs or could lead to something more constructive.

Whichever way this plays out, it is glaringly obvious the Premier League needs to revamp spending rules and transfer dealings.

Ray Robinson
56 Posted 03/01/2024 at 10:34:47
I suspect that Profitability and Sustainability will play out like VAR in reverse – the smaller clubs get more penalties than the Big Six.

It appears that Forest, who have signed over 40 players since getting promoted, will not be entitled to the full £105M allowable losses over a 3-year period as they were in the Championship for 2 of them, when, according to some reports, only £13m worth of losses per season are permitted.

Given that they reported losses of £61M over the accounting period 2021-23, it is difficult to see how they can stay within the rules when they signed over 30 players in the two transfer windows last season – even with the sale of Brennan Johnson.

If they also face a points deduction, it will be interesting to see whether any sliding scale is applied. Could they be deducted even more than 10 points?

Everton's legal team should be watching this development like a hawk.

Don't even get me started on Chelsea.

Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 03/01/2024 at 10:36:40
I see 3 options Rob.

They wipe the slate clean. Issue a clearly defined process and a truly independent regulator for future investigations. Not some 1890s Gentlemen's pipe-smoking club in central London.

They reduce our point reduction by at least half. But then they still have to go after others.

They dig their heels in. But then they definitely have to go after others as they have set a precedent. And it has to be proportional to our 10 points for £19.5M.

Brian Harrison
58 Posted 03/01/2024 at 10:37:54
All Premier League clubs had to submit their accounts by the last day of 2023, and any club found to have transgressed the 3-year P&S rules will be notified by the Premier League by 15 January.

It was being reported by some sections of the press that we may have transgressed again, but Paul the Esk has said he understands that Everton have complied with the rules.

Very interesting to read Nottingham Forest have already employed a sports lawyer to prepare their case so I can only assume they must have broken the P&S rules.

I am sure this is a worrying time for the Premier League as they thought that, apart from Everton, they had kicked the City enquiry into the long grass by saying the enquiry into them wouldn't begin until the end of next year.

Also, Chelsea have admitted that under Abramovich he made payments that didn't go through the books; seeing they have admitted breaking the rules, why has no date been set for them to appear before the commission?

I just hope we are better prepared for the appeal hearing more than we seemed to be for the original hearing, Andy Burnham has raised some significant issues that were not raised at the original hearing.

Also, I don't understand all the secretive approach on when the appeal hearing will take place and when will the appeal hearing make its judgement known. After all, depending on the outcome, this will affect other clubs, and they deserve to know the results at the earliest possible time.

Ray Robinson
59 Posted 03/01/2024 at 11:00:08

I thought it had been announced that the appeal would be heard in January with the outcome announced by the end of the month?

Matt Traynor
60 Posted 03/01/2024 at 11:01:34
Part of the problem is Everton has a culture of not complaining.

A few years ago, 1999 to be precise, Derby County signed an Argentinian player – Esteban Fuertes. He was gash – scored 2 goals. One of them the winner against guess who?

He was also refused entry back into the UK when it was discovered the Italian passport he had was a bit fake.

What would the rules be for this situation? Replay the games? Award 3-0 victories to other teams? We'll never know, because Everton, as ever, didn't raise a peep.

Could you imagine the drama from other clubs?

Danny Baily
61 Posted 03/01/2024 at 11:07:43
The release of these accounts will give the Premier League a headache, one which they thoroughly deserve.

This is where their lack of transparency will be in their favour; there's no published formula for points deductions, so they will be able to tailor any punishments on a case-by-case basis. Not great news for Forest but good for the likes of Chelsea.

I still think we'll get most if not all of our points back, but this needs to happen sooner rather than later. If the reinstated points lift us away from the drop zone in April there will be uproar.

Brian Harrison
62 Posted 03/01/2024 at 11:56:50
Ray @59,

I think some have said they have heard that the appeal will be heard in January, but nothing from the Premier League to confirm or when the appeal hearing result will be known.

Surely it's not hard to say when the appeal will sit and what date they expect the results of the appeal to be published?

Paul Birmingham
63 Posted 03/01/2024 at 12:36:17
I hope a descision is made soon, so we all know where we stand.

I expect the Premier League and their cronies and phoney review board to concede nothing.

It's a double-edged sword and will set the wheels in motion for industrial scale and civil-style investigations and court cases related to the Premier League.

There is no governance and integrity, and a watershed could be set in terms of their final decision on Everton.

Nottm Forest, Bournemouth, Newcastle Utd, Chelsea and Man City... They will be next and on scale and punishment, should be proportionate to their financial crimes.

Hopefully this year can become a turning point in Everton's fortunes, on and off the park.


Craig Harrison
64 Posted 03/01/2024 at 13:30:01
What happens if it is determined that the rules are not fir for purpose and the slate is wiped clean.

Would the teams that got relegated, having stayed within the rules at the time, have a case against the Premier League?

Martin Farrington
65 Posted 03/01/2024 at 13:59:06

All your comments are spot on.

Sadly most fans seem to have hidden from the fact that our beloved club was run by a crook who sold out (with caveats) to a Russian crook and his puppet.

They are now trying to offload to a host of miscellaneous crooks umbrellaed under the name 777 Partners. (More caveats ??? Who knows).

As for the Premier League… What a joke. Even bigger bunch of incompetents and gold diggers. They have failed (frequently) at every level on just about everything needed to run the Premier League. Have done for years… They set unenforceable rules which confuse and misrepresent.

With FFP, they half concocted a set of something pretending it to be a regulation. Which is full of contradictions, ifs, buts and maybes.

To cap that, they failed to list any punitive sentences agreed to by known signatories governing the clubs and agreed by the Premier League authorities for breaches. So they make it up. It's done on a wing and a prayer.

The independent panel wasn't. The punishment was issued without explanation, which opposes everything a judicial system is based upon.

If Everton were run straight, and by a half-honest enterprise, they would have taken this to a law court and had the Premier League fat cats coughing up resignation notices.

Paul Birmingham
66 Posted 03/01/2024 at 14:02:04
Martin, good perspective, and there's more?

Who knows.

Let's hope there's no more financial penalties for Everton.

Barry Hesketh
67 Posted 03/01/2024 at 15:38:28
Matt Stanbury has put out a schedule for possible PSR charges for Premier League clubs, although he cites that Manchester City are one of the examples that this timeline won't relate to.

A timeline of the Premier League's standard directions for PSR complaints shows that the rules are unrealistic, create real and avoidable uncertainty, and should be re-written 🧵1/8 Source: Matt Stanbury

Unfortunately I can't access the other seven pages of his 'Tweets'.

Date Event
31 Dec Clubs submit Accounts
14 Jan PL file any PSR Breach complaints
28 Jan Clubs respond to any charges
04 Apr Directions hearing before commission
07 Apr Final Hearing before commission to conclude
21 Apr Appeal to be filed by club
28 Apr PL Respond to the appeal in writing
19 May End of Premier League season
24 May Appeal hearing to be heard on or before this date.

P&S Schedule 2023/24

Jerome Shields
68 Posted 03/01/2024 at 17:12:15
Matt Farrington #65,

I can't argue with you regarding 777 Partners. With nominee and offshore companies holding shares, it will never be known who actually is behind them. Moshiri is in the driving seat and I can't see him not being told who to deal with.

I have always thought that our Chairman with the Chief Executive Officer on various Premier League committees, even holding the Premier League's hand during the European Super League coup attempt, believed he had the inside track regarding dealing with the Premier League and had Moshiri convinced of this. This was the basis of cooperative Everton.

It was a shock when the Premier League shafted them both… and an even a bigger shock when the club's weak defence fostered by a continuing belief, resulted in a large points deduction and possible compensation claims.

George #48,

Thanks for the information. No Chairman required… That really suits Moshiri. It also suits his total control and arm's length approach. Which one of the directors is going to put their wages on the line and vote against him?

Brendan McLaughlin
69 Posted 03/01/2024 at 18:41:46
Barry #67

Given those dates, I'd expect our appeal to be heard within the next 10 days.

Peter Quinn
70 Posted 03/01/2024 at 19:40:01

The case we are dealing with is under the 2022-23 rules – not the 2023-24 rules.

Matt Stanbury seems to think we will get the outcome of the appeal in March. It is all speculation. I simply fail to see why we cannot be told the timeline for this.

Brendan McLaughlin
71 Posted 03/01/2024 at 21:47:47
Peter #70,

I know there's been a change with the whole process kicking off that bit earlier with submission of accounts to the Premier League now 31 December.

I just feel that the timing of the stages that follow won't necessarily have changed. For example, the Premier League are still committed to file any PSR breaches within 14 days which represents no change from 22/23.

Pure idle speculation (largely brought about by Dry January) on my part though.

George Freeman
73 Posted 03/01/2024 at 22:42:22
Jerome #68,

This is a link to the UK government website for your reference in case of any future changes: Companies House: Everton Officers

You will see that Everton have added a Company Secretary last November. This is a very important position and could be an indication that future events that require a Company Secretary are expected to happen. Everton have not had a Company Secretary since October 2017 according to the list of officers.

Jerome Shields
74 Posted 04/01/2024 at 09:40:39
George #73,

I agree that the Company Secretary is a very important position. Thank you for pointing out that Everton have surprisingly have only recently appointed one.

Brendan #69,

I was of the same opinion as you regarding dates.

Anthony Hawkins
75 Posted 04/01/2024 at 12:42:48
Whilst Company Secretary is an important role within any organisation, it can be assumed and acted by another role, which I can only assume is what's happened until now.
Dave Waugh
76 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:45:37
This is really interesting but, given that the appeal has already been submitted – how does it help us?

Is the appeals committee only compelled to consider the matters contained in the appeal submission (which would not have referenced this ruling)?

I don't believe we have the opportunity to introduce fresh matters to the appeal or even have recourse through the courts if we're unhappy with the outcome of the appeal.

Laurie Hartley
77 Posted 05/01/2024 at 10:44:02
I think there is a definite agenda against the club and I suspect that agenda is being set by the UK government.
Barry Hesketh
78 Posted 05/01/2024 at 11:30:23
Roger @148,

But the UK government also doesn't see a problem with Chelsea's new sleeve sponsors BingX who it is said have close ties to Russia, according to the Telegraph report I saw the headline for earlier this morning.

I wouldn't imagine that the government would be quite so relaxed about Everton being sponsored with any company that has any ties to Russia, but I could be wrong.

Danny O’Neill
79 Posted 05/01/2024 at 12:53:07
I read that the Government won't intervene in Chelsea's sponsorship deal with Bing-X despite the Crypto companies links with Russia.

So we can bring back Usmanov?

Jerome Shields
80 Posted 05/01/2024 at 21:05:34
Anthony #75,

That probably explains it.

Brendan McLaughlin
81 Posted 05/01/2024 at 21:48:41
Yes, Jerome #80,

It explains why we haven't had a Company Secretary for a few years but not why Everton have felt the need to appoint one now who is a solicitor to boot.

Some complicated stuff coming up, needing a safe pair of hands, perhaps?

Jerome Shields
82 Posted 06/01/2024 at 00:48:40
Brendan #81,

Yes, that is probably the case. FCA milling around and a complicated takeover with requirements.

Brian Harrison
83 Posted 07/01/2024 at 11:12:09
January may well be a defining month for the club. In just over a week's time we will know whether the accounts released at the end of December will show if we transgressed the P&S rules again.

Also, 777 Partners have indicated that they are only willing to continue providing money for the day-to-day running of the club till the end of January, so if the Premier League haven't decided by then if they pass the fit and proper test, how would we survive going into administration?

If reports are correct, 777 Partners will have pumped in between £80M and £100M by the end of January, which just highlights what a mess we are in financially. We have a £200M loan from Rights & Media Funding, £100M from MSP Capital, plus the money 777 Partners have put in.

I know Paul the Esk has said that the interest repayments on the Rights & Media loan and the MSP loan are costing £32M a year. Should 777 Partners not be cleared to take over, they will also require their debt to be paid back.

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