16/01/2024 57comments  |  Jump to last

In The Mirror, John Cross writes that, "Everton and Nottingham Forest are up in arms after being charged for overspending while conveniently forgetting it was actually the clubs themselves who brought in PSR more than a decade ago."

The journalist dismisses the notion that PSR is "some sort of conspiracy to help the big boys by keeping the likes of Everton and Forest firmly in their place" or that the "independent panel [made] up a punishment as they [went] along.

"Don’t blame the Premier League. Blame the clubs who broke the rules. And it’s the clubs who imposed these rules in the first place."

» Read the full article at The Mirror



Reader Comments (57)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 16/01/2024 at 15:17:47
Judging by many of the, frankly, bizarre posts on the other two or three threads, this is going to be a difficult read for some to stomach.

At first glance, I can't see anything clearly amiss with what John Cross, Chief Football Writer for The Mirror, presents here.

[But no doubt he's an avid lifelong Kopite and can therefore be safely ignored.]

Lyndon Lloyd
2 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:19:50
Everton did help to vote this in but it's hard to comment on this specific issue without knowing what was discussed by the 20 Premier League clubs at the time, what alternatives were even available and how much sway the big six clubs had over what was proposed that persuaded the other 14 to go along with it.

Everton probably assumed, naïvely, that they'd never fall foul of it if Moshiri's grand plan succeeded so it didn't much matter!

It's safe to say that the Premier League wanted to put something in place around profitability and sustainability. I don't know why they chose a three-year rolling period as the benchmark (the EFL system makes much more sense) but I think we're seeing a situation where the practical implementation of what might have seemed like a decent solution at the time has shown it to be farcical.

If we lose the appeal, it's possible that the second independent commission might rule that we can't be punished twice for the same offence in the same rolling interval but forgive me, as a beaten-down Evertonian now programmed to expect the worst, if I'm sceptical of that actually happening!

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:30:52
John Cross, the Mirror "Everton and Nottingham Forest are up in arms after being charged for overspending while conveniently forgetting it was actually the clubs themselves who brought in PSR more than a decade ago. Don't blame the Premier League. Blame the clubs who broke the rules. And it's the clubs who imposed these rules in the first place."

Not quite, John, dearest. The clubs did not vote on a sanctions framework. That was retrospectively and arbitrarily introduced.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:39:09
But, Brent, what they did vote for (presumably) was the completely unrestrained "any punishment they can think of" strategy that was written into the Premier League rules.

So, strictly, the so-called sporting sanction they came up with (be it at the Premier League's behest or not) was completely within their remit.

Lyndon Lloyd
5 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:50:51
The sanction – and the size of it – is the real sticking point here, not whether Everton were actually guilty of breaching the agreed threshold (even if there is a very grey area around the question of stadium interest payments which could have gone either way with the commission).

The 10-point penalty was wholly disproportionate as many of us agree. That there wasn't a concrete sanctions framework in place from the outset is a pretty damning indictment of the Premier League as an organisation and "regulator".

Barry Williams
6 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:59:23
A simplistic piece by a simplistic paper with no new insights and no proper journalism either. In fact, despite Everton being in the headline – very little of the writing is about Everton. In fact – no journalism to see here!

I am amazed that a sensationalist rag like this actually had John Pilger – a true journalist – on their books once.

Brent Stephens
7 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:59:40
Michael,

"So, strictly, the so-called sporting sanction they came up with (be it at the Premier League's behest or not) was completely within their remit."

Yes, and both points hold:

"The clubs did not vote on a sanctions framework. That was retrospectively and arbitrarily introduced."

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:07:18
What I'm beginning to find intriguing is the amount of people who thought Everton were disproportionately punished the first time around, that are now saying that if you break the rules then you should be punished.

The Premier League, is already a circus, let's just hope it isn't also a fix-circus where Everton Football Club are concerned.🤞

John Keating
9 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:13:40
As was said by Masters, the Premier League more or less said if rules had been broken then the “independent” commission had complete freedom to impose whatever they thought fair.

That being the case, our £19.5 million 10-point deduction is now the benchmark.

Problem is the rules are going to be scrapped in August so our benchmark will be void.

Similarly, when the Government step in it again will be changed.

Whatever we get will be based on present “rules”; everyone else will be smiling!

Duncan McDine
10 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:15:22
Tony,

Those people can be grouped into a category starting with the letter C.

For whatever reason, they want us gone.

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:33:30
It does feel like certain parts of the media are beginning to pull rank, Duncan, but if I'm being honest it doesn't concern me in the slightest.

I'd personally take an unjustified relegation, if it meant we got decent owners, rather than staying in the Premier League, if it meant we ended up being owned by 777 Partners.

The reason is that I believe 777 Partners would just continue to run the club the way it has been run for most of the last 25 years (robbing Peter to pay Paul). I think that erasing the stain of the last 25 years has simply got to be the starting point and, if we want a brighter future, then it's definitely the most important thing, imo.

Raymond Fox
12 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:31:01
The advantage that PSR gave to the usual 5 or 6 was they were already sitting pretty with squads worth way more than the rest of the other clubs and in stadiums bigger than most.

They had splashed money all over the world on players pre-PSR which now enables them to buy and sell at a higher value than the rest of us.

And they were already in European competitions with all the extra money that brings.

We and the rest of the other clubs who voted were barmy for agreeing to PSR.

Gary Gregson
13 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:31:28
When you support a football club, it's all about having dreams of success. The Premier League has taken away those dreams for most teams now. It's becoming boring.

As long as Everton survive this, and I mean not go into administration and possibly liquidation, then so be it. We can't do anything about it.

When the clubs voted on sanctions, I really believe that they must have thought sanctions would start with a fine and build up for any subsequent breaking of the rules, but 10 points deducted is now the starting point for any punishment… Crazy.

Football will start to go in a downward spiral soon. The new Sky deal is the last of the big deals and is actually less per game; the day of reckoning is coming.

Jason Hewly
14 Posted 16/01/2024 at 21:23:03
To win the League, you need to build a good team.
To build a good team, you need to spend money.
To spend enough money to build a good team, you need to already be a successful Champions League regular.

You're allowed to have one lucky season, but if you crash their party, they'll come looking for you. I'm still watching because it's the habit of a lifetime, but it's not sport. It doesn't even look like "sport" any more.

Matt Traynor
15 Posted 17/01/2024 at 06:46:37
Nottingham Forest weren't even in the Premier League when the clubs voted for whatever they voted for.

But I wouldn't expect a rag like the Mirror to be aware of that – they would often have the match reports for Everton and Liverpool games, played at the same time, in different cities, written by the same "journalist".

Pete Neilson
16 Posted 17/01/2024 at 08:33:08
The new P&S rules that will be introduced are rumoured to be based on wages to turnover. The entirely random £105M figure will be dead. So it's recognised that the current rules are not fit for purpose but the Premier League crack on with enforcing them.

The current rules were introduced in 2013 after lobbying from its supporters Arsenal, Spurs, Man United and The RS.

Six clubs voted against Man City, Fulham, West Brom, Southampton, Swansea and Villa.

Premier League clubs face points penalty under new spending rules — The Guardian, 2013

Rob Dolby
17 Posted 17/01/2024 at 10:28:33
We did agree to the rules like the other 19 clubs but did anyone actually try and scenario test those same rules? I very much doubt it.

Did anyone from the club scrutinise the proposal for the psr and have an understanding of it?.of course not.

Who actually drew up the rules?

We are the test case and it's obvious to all besides the top clubs that these rules are not fit for purpose.

The punishment matrix doesn't even exist, an independent panel can randomly generate a punishment! Who in their right mind would vote for that?

Whether they intended to to it or not these rules have highlighted the protection and power of the top 6 making the league non competitive for the others.

Even if we get the points back we are still faced with the glass ceiling next season.

Will these charges against us bring about a fairer system next season or will the rules just double down and protect the big clubs even more?

With Newcastle entering the scene the PL are faced with a conundrum as the Saudis will flood the league with riches dwarfing the likes of Arsenal Spurs and Chelsea.
A bit like LIV and the PGA. Eventually money will talk and Newcastle will be allowed to spend big.

I would love to see a new system in place where the top clubs have a smaller budget than the bottom clubs capping the amount of spend compared to finishing position. That would even things out to a degree.

This whole saga is highlighting the way the PL is run. Would a government regulator improve this? I'm not so sure.

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 17/01/2024 at 13:58:27
Rob #17,

The PSR rules are due to be discussed by the Premier League in August with a view to making changes.

I wonder how many clubs will heed the lessons of the "flawed" PSR regime as amplified by what has happened particularly to Everton and push for the type of changes many ToffeeWebbers have argued for on here?

Not many is my guess.

Si Cooper
19 Posted 17/01/2024 at 22:45:53
Please correct me if I go wrong but looking at what has been posted:

4 teams lobbied for PSR (and these were probably those who would definitely benefit from ‘pulling up the ladder');

6 teams voted against (Man City perhaps recognising they needed some more significant ‘over-spending' to become the best club side in the world). Does that mean the other 10 voted for PSR or could some have abstained (although that doesn't seem likely)?

With a bit of lateral thinking, I think I could make a case for the 6 who voted against but some of the 10 who joined the 4 lobbyers must have effectively been turkeys voting for Christmas.

We can only assume some ‘turkeys' did not think they were turkeys (or simply didn't realise they were voting for ‘Christmas'.

Having come to realise how smug a lot of bosses are for no good reason, I can easily imagine our board were convinced we would be on the gravy train when PSR came in, possibly having far too much faith in their ability to increase the club's revenue streams, or simply believing they had the secret formula for being perpetually ‘the best of the rest' and were content with that?

If you vote for something thinking it will be a really good thing, and then find out you voted for something that was actually really stupid, then you have to have the right to complain but you must also eat humble pie and admit you were stupid to vote for it in the first place.

Brendan McLaughlin
20 Posted 18/01/2024 at 13:41:17
Si #19,

See my post #18 addressed to Rob.

Do you expect when PSR is revisited in August by the Premier League that clubs will move to address the concerns thrown up in the light of Everton's experience?

Anthony Hawkins
21 Posted 19/01/2024 at 14:44:38
I do not disagree that, within the strict limitations imposed and outlined by the commission, Everton broke the rules. What the whole picture misses is that the rules include capacity for financial allowances, which were changed mid-term and mitigating circumstances, which were dismissed by the panel.

Ignoring the stringently applied rules and contravention thereof, a club going into administration attracts 9 points - Everton received 10 points and are still, technically a going concern. The punishment surpasses the precedence set elsewhere.

Ed Prytherch
22 Posted 19/01/2024 at 15:49:06
Pete #16,

Thanks for the link to The Guardian article from 2013 explaining the rules as they were written at that time. The Everton board knew what they voted for well before they became non-compliant.

It specifies a points deduction for non-compliance. We can challenge the size of the deduction but it was the owner and board that got us into this mess.

Ed Prytherch
23 Posted 19/01/2024 at 15:59:52
Anthony #21,

Would you kindly explain: the rules include capacity for financial allowances which were changed mid-term?

Thanks.

John Chambers
24 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:09:43
Yes, the club voted to bring in the P&S rules but, in the 10 years since they set that £105M limit, inflation alone means that number should have gone up by about £30M.
Jamie Crowley
25 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:26:18
Can Brent and Michael just dominate this post and go back and forth on this matter?

They've both hit the crux of the issue.

Everton did vote for this in favor. But no, they didn't vote on the scope of punishment of any framework of punishment.

The question is, why in all that is holy would you give this type of unrestrained power to any group of individuals in power?

I agree with Lyndon – the severity of the deduction is wholly disproportionate. I've said it multiple times – if the deduction for bankruptcy is 9 points, how do you go above that deduction if you're still solvent? It's backwards and makes zero sense in my mind.

They should reduce the points deduction to 6, and throw out the second "infraction" due to double jeopardy.

Kevin Prytherch
26 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:28:36
From my understanding, the rules changing relate to interest payments being offset against the stadium.

During the reporting period, Moshiri provided Everton with interest-free loans, and we also got loans with interest from elsewhere. Everton believed that the interest on these loans would not count towards PSR, as they were sourced for the stadium and therefore exempt.

By the looks of things, problems have arisen because Moshiri's interest-free loans have been paid straight into the stadium while the loans with interest went into the club – therefore the league counted the interest towards PSR.

It sounds like a calamitous mistake; however, we would not have needed the interest-bearng loans if we weren't building the stadium – regardless of where they went.

Everton were in regular contact regarding PSR, and part of this contact was clarification that the interest wouldn't count towards PSR. It was only when the accounts were submitted that the Premier League found that the interest-bearing loans were paid directly to the club – so then informed the club that the interest would count towards PSR.

Brendan McLaughlin
27 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:28:59
John #24,

If you accept that PSR was introduced to ensure greater financial diligence amongst clubs, it could be argued that the limit should never be increased as this should ensure that clubs increasingly live within their means.

Anthony Hawkins
28 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:44:40
@Ed #23, Spurs, Arsenal et al had their stadiums built etc under rules which allowed for far more to be allocated and offset financial.

Everton started building the new stadium under these same rules, which is why they deemed the circa £30M deductible for PSR. Part way through the build process and, I believe season (could be wrong on the latter), the rules were changed so less offset was allowed, including the interest payments. That's where the tabled confusion at the panel came from.

Had the rules not been changed, the £30M interest payments would have been deducted and no breach would have occurred.

The remaining mitigating circumstances (undervalued players, unable to sell Sigurdssson etc) were brought as further mitigation which would never have been considered otherwise.

Bill Gall
29 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:57:41
I understand that Everton signed an agreement along with other clubs on the PSR proposal.

I believe that the major problem that has stirred up the rightful indignation of the supporters was the actual 10-point deduction, plus another charge that the club breached the rules again.

I may be wrong but has PSR stated that there would be either financial or points deduction for breaking the rules but no actual figures, and this 10-point deduction was just decided by a committee?

This is the point of major discontent, you can be judged breaking the rules, but no set ruling of what level the punishment should be.

Everton have broken the rules of an agreement that they signed. The problem is what will be the punishment: a warning, a fine? If so, how much? Or a points deduction… again, how many…? 1 to 10 – who knows?

Ed Prytherch
30 Posted 19/01/2024 at 17:11:28
Anthony #28,

Spurs, Arsenal et al had their stadiums built etc under rules which allowed for far more to be allocated and offset financial. Everton started building the new stadium under these same rules, which is why they deemed the circa £30m deductible for PSR

The rules were established in 2013 and Spurs stadium construction was between 2014 and 2019.

Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 19/01/2024 at 17:18:52
Jamie #25, "double jeopardy" is an American legal concept (5th amendment), not UK.

And it applies to criminal charges targeting an individual person, not this kind of corporate thing.

Brendan McLaughlin
32 Posted 19/01/2024 at 17:35:36
The "double jeopardy" issue only arises if the next Independent Commission doesn't mitigate any further punishment on the basis that the second breach includes years already dealt with in respect of the first breach.

I very much doubt the next Independent Commission won't take the fact that the two periods overlap into consideration.

Mark Taylor
33 Posted 19/01/2024 at 18:19:36
Daft article. PSR is not remotely like a tax return. There you at least know what the tax rates are that will apply.

The whole problem here is that the punishment is entirely arbitrary and that is very different to a tax return.

I for one would not fancy a HMRC investigation on the same basis as the commission....

Dale Self
34 Posted 19/01/2024 at 18:22:20
Our club’s in jeopardy baby.
Ooh oo oo ooh
Michael Kenrick
35 Posted 19/01/2024 at 18:45:35
Bill @29.

There is, in amongst the Premier League's rules, one about the punishments an independent commission may inflict.

It's long and convoluted to cover all sorts of infractions well beyond PSR… but the bits I think we need to understand are these:

W.51. The Commission may:
● reprimand;
● fine (unlimited in amount);
● suspend;
deduct points;
● recommend expulsion;
● order payment of compensation unlimited in amount;
● any combination of the foregoing or such other penalty as it shall think fit;
● make any such penalty conditional;
● order payment of costs;
and/or

make such other order as it thinks fit.

The bits that seem to be sitting fairly and squarely in people's blind spots I have underlined.

In fact, there's really only one bit you need to read:

Make such other order as it thinks fit.

In simple agricultural language, they can do whatever the fuck they want. And it's the clubs who gave them this power — not some disconnected external 'corrupt' Premier League entity… The clubs themselves voted for this!!!

We can caterwaul and howl at the moon about how horrible it was that they said 10 points. But that is completely within their remit. No corruption of the rules or the process.

Now the Commission should really have explained exactly how they got there and why. But they didn't.

I think that's very strange because they explained in painstaking detail most other aspects of the hearing process and findings. But not the ultimate punishment.

It's really a glaring omission… a clear and obvious error, some say. Almost as if it's a gimmie as a bone thrown to the Appeal lawyers for them to chew on…

We shall see.

Bill Gall
36 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:14:58
Michael #35,

Thank you for that explanation, it gives me more concise information on this committee, especially your last few paragraphs.

Let's just say this committee don't know or give a fuck what their actions are doing.

Kevin Edward
37 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:26:45
All very good points made and it's hard to argue when you see it laid out in text. But I'm happy to keep howling about it as it's not really fit for purpose.

The intentions were probably correct at the time of adopting it, even if ‘cut and paste' from the Championship.

But things have moved on big time, with the Shitty Six escaping punishment, VAR being clearly out of control impacting results, and kangaroo court-like behaviour.

They are trying to avoid being regulated, without impacting ‘the brand' of the six. The Premier League rules prevent any other club from competing so they are unfair, so the punishments on offer are also unfair.

Long may the howling continue.

David McMullen
38 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:02:34
Perhaps John Cross might be right in a cold, clinical black and white way but that's a bit too simplistic. It's naive of him to report like that — just feeds all the muppets and the misinformation. You know the ones: "you cheated", "you spent over half a billion", "you broke the rules".

Everyone has an opinion. Maybe that's his valid opinion. I've learnt a lot in the last few months or longer. I hadn't a clue about PSR or Premier League rules. VAR come to that. Learnt shit loads.

I've written to my MP and to the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. I've learnt who the Secretary of State is for Sport. (Of course I knew Andy Burnham did this in his time in Government, with Hillsborough and JFT96.)

What I can say is, if I can see the holes in the charges and the rules and I can question numerous things associated with the PSR and the Premier League, then I think there is more, much more to it than "Don't blame the Premier League. Blame the clubs who broke the rules".

Seems to be a lot putting Everton in their corner a fresh wave since Monday. Yet there's so much unravelling. The Commons committee during the week, the letter that was sent including Mark Carney, Andy Burnham's letters. People like Henry Winter and Martin Samuels before that. This is not going to blow over, John Cross!

Graham Fylde
39 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:12:38
Michael @35,

I think you make very fair points and the nub of the issue is that we shouldn't mix up (legal) discretion with giving an arbitrary and, as you point out, unexplained decision that, effectively, brings the process into disrepute.

Legal appeal committees can sometimes come to very different conclusions on the same set of facts – Derby won at their first hearing with its change of amortisation but we know what the appeal committee concluded – so I am putting faith in having a new committee that has its own discretion and a top KC leading our appeal.

As you say, the rules are things we signed up to. In public law, you can call into question the fairness of the law itself at judicial review but we will, I think, concentrate on elements like whether the first committee interpreted the rules properly in our case, followed their own guidelines in arriving at the sentence, and were influenced by the Premier League's attempts to improperly introduce guidelines part way through the process.

10 points and no explanation is not appropriate and not sustainable. Bring it on!

Stan Grace
40 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:18:30
Michael,

'Make such other order as it thinks fit' means they can apply another form of punishment not already specified, NOT that they can do what they like with the punishments already specified.

Neil Storey
41 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:56:24
Even setting aside the many issues under discussion around Everton, Forest (and no doubt other clubs soon), there is a simple but crucial factor that somehow doesn't seem to be afforded due consideration.

Which is that the ceiling of £105M loss over three seasons was set and agreed in 2013-14. Since then, transfer fees, wages and running costs have spiralled.

Even adjusted for inflation alone, the £105M figure should already be £161M. Why isn't it?

Yet inflation was neither factored in by the Premier League at the time of setting the “rules”, nor by the Premier League since or by the “independent” commission which either deliberately or incompetently ignored this most obvious failing.

So Everton were hammered with a disproportionate points deduction for losing £124.5m which is £19.5M above the ceiling set in 2013 but well below the inflation-adjusted figure today.

There is no doubt about the incompetence and gross mismanagement of Everton's owner and previous Board members over the period in question. The supporters protested vehemently against them over recent years.

But to punish the club, supporters (especially) and local community with an unprecedented points deduction based on incompetent “rules”, with no semblance of transparency, integrity or basic economic sense, is wrong and wholly unjust.

With the final Premier League table and positions likely to be subject to change even after the end of the season, this makes a mockery of the Premier League as a “global leader”.

Mr Masters and Co have much to answer for.

Brendan McLaughlin
42 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:01:33
Neil #41

See Brendan #27

Bill Gall
43 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:17:34
Makes you wonder: Did all the Premier League club chairmen who were either for or against this PSR agreement, really go over it???

It seems to me those who were against it could see what it may lead up to, and those who were for it never really had their legal team go over it before signing of on it.

That shows how competent or incompetent their Chairman and board were. And we all know what kind of Chairman and board we had…

Brendan McLaughlin
44 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:40:48
David #38,

What are these "holes" you speak of?

Throw us a bone... ffs!

Jack Convery
45 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:50:26
David Attenborough once made a programme about animals who live on Cold Climates – Life in the Freezer. He should make one about us Evertonians and call it Life in Glue.

The first team to have a player banned retrospectively for diving – Niasse. Apparently Salah has never dived for an awarded penalty, according to the Premier League. That is one example of how we have been singled out.

Another is Jack Rodwell's sending off when Eeor pretended and rolled around in apparent agony, even though no contact was made. Calvert-Lewin sent off for a dangerous tackle against Palace… after a VAR review.

These type of things are happening on a frequent basis to Everton.

Barry Rathbone
46 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:51:54
Despite all the gnashing of teeth and accusations of conspiracy, I still haven't read anything attempting to put up a case of Not Guilty… so the Mirror boy appears to be right.

The authorities hold all the cards and can penalise as they see fit; so, yes, appeal… but get ready to take it on the chin.

Phil Friedman
47 Posted 19/01/2024 at 23:58:15
Blame the Premier League for their absurd double jeopardy rules.
David McMullen
48 Posted 19/01/2024 at 23:58:19
Brendan, I just read the letter from Carney, Barber and Owen, (that '70s pop group) - 'Political and finance heavyweights add their voices to Everton appeal' which is on here. That alone is good stuff.

My own observations include stuff other people have picked up on – small things, such as there being no change in the allowance due to inflationary costs, ie, players' wages. I read it's been 10 years for PSR.

David McMullen
49 Posted 20/01/2024 at 00:27:30
Another simple observation from the independent commission was that they said they would not impose a fine over a points deduction due to the wealth of the owner.

Which is the complete opposite to what happened with the Sky 6. And as the FAB have also written themselves, it implies the owner's wealth mattered but yet they're punishing the football club – not him.

Plus, Moshiri is selling up. Which renders that suggestion by the commission obsolete. Anyhow, Moshiri's wealth is affected by the war in Ukraine.

There's more holes than in Blackburn, Lancashire

Steve Brown
50 Posted 20/01/2024 at 02:50:33
I don't see the fact that Everton voted for the PSR rules as compelling. The issue is not the rules but how they have been applied.

The big mistake we made was admitting we had breached PSR at all. Man City's entire defence has been built around rejecting their charges – even if true. They aim to wear the Premier League down.

The club's defence will be now that there is an absence of due process in how the Premier League manages PSR – that charges be settled according to an established set of rules and principles, and that clubs will be treated fairly. That is particularly relevant in terms of the absence of a clearly established punishment framework. Claiming that it is for the independent commission to decide the punishment is weak and unfair as it cannot be consistent.

They will also argue that the mitigation was not properly considered. Payments for the stadium were made, whether they came from the club's current account or via 3rd party loans.

Equally, to claim that the Ukraine-Russian War was not a mitigating factor is ludicrous. It directly cost us £30 million in lost sponsorship revenue which would have more than covered the overspend.

That is like saying that the earth turning doesn't impact sunrise and sunset.

Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:21:56
Graham @39 — very good points. Thank you.

Stan @40 — I guess my reading of the rules comes to the complete opposite of what you conclude. Sorry, but I think they can absolutely do whatever they like with the punishments already specified in Rule W.51.

What they did is exactly in line with what it says there: deduct points. They deducted points.

Brian Denton
52 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:39:25
Michael, I understand what you are saying but if you allow 'deduct points' to let the commission to stick a finger in the air to choose the number of points then that's a recipe for anarchy. Why not 20 points? 30 points? 2 points?

There are so many things wrong with the formulation and application of these 'rules'.

Danny O’Neill
53 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:44:59
A bit of repeat mode, but a very emotive subject that is on all of our minds, even throughout the night.

From my basic analysis, 13 clubs from 2013 remain in the Premier League. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I'm there or thereabout.

Two have been relegated and came back up. Maybe a team coming into the Premier League has to agree to the vague “rules”. I don't know. But there are several clubs in the Premier League now who were not there when these rules were supposedly voted on. Maybe someone with more detailed knowledge can comment.

It just appears to me they make these “rules” and judgement up as they go along. The framework doesn't seem coherent or clear and if agreed in 2013, is 10 years out of date unless they have made amendments?

Independent? They allegedly advised and recommended the so-called independent commission on their intent to lead to a disproportionate punishment. That is not independent however they dress it up.

And now they want to assess us again on rules they are about to change having acknowledged their own existing vagueness isn't fit for purpose. It should be null and void.

I've never said we didn't break the rules. But it was hardly a significant breach. It just seems they are not clear and there is no framework or established process to determine appropriate punishment and distinguish between financial and sporting offences.

The suits at Paddington are simply protecting the few, not the many. We were found guilty of spending little more than the price of one half-decent player.

In other news, the Everton Stadium construction still goes on. Luton tickets will be on sale soon for the FA Cup, and we have Fulham away to look forward to. They can try all they want but we are not going anywhere.

We, the supporters and the players, are being penalised for mismanagement at board level, which should be the target.

These people are not football people. I'd like them to come and sit next to me at Goodison Park. In fact, as it's closer, they can come to Fulham. But if they do attend matches, I imagine they will be in the corporate boxes, not really aware of what is happening on the pitch.

Final point, I had an interesting conversation with a trusted friend I communicate with regularly. I don't read the red tops, but the Mirror is apparently in trouble and uses Artificial Intelligence "bots" in a lot of its reporting. I wouldn't get too concerned about what they write.

Michael Kenrick
54 Posted 20/01/2024 at 11:28:19
Steve @50,

All good and very valid points of argument. I hope you're right and we prevail on some or all of them, if made with strength and stubborn resolve at the appeal.

Claiming that it is for the independent commission to decide the punishment is weak and unfair as it cannot be consistent.

I've been meaning to go back and find the clip in the testimony from Richard Masters where he talks briefly about this…

"For PSR rules or other rules, we have an open sanctioning regime and that is an active decision to leave it to the independent panel to decide because it gives the maximum flexibility to decide in the circumstances, having listened to all the mitigating arguments made by the club and by the Premier League, to make its own decision. And whilst that may not be clear, we believe it is the fairest way to do it."

Now you can dismiss that out of hand because he's a twat, whatever… but I think you will find that reflects how things were set up and agreed to by the clubs.

It's not, in and of itself, corrupt. How can it be if that is what the clubs agreed to and that is what the independent commission did in Everton's case?

Eddie Dunn
55 Posted 20/01/2024 at 11:59:31
In 2013, Nottm Forest were not in the Premier League but they will be judged in the same way.

Masters said that the clubs all voted for it but in Forest's case they simply did not.

Christine Foster
56 Posted 20/01/2024 at 12:14:40
Eddie, 9 clubs who voted in 2013 are no longer in the EPL today. In fact, there are only 9 clubs in the EPL today who were there in 2013.., no surprises as to who...

The Top 6 probably couldn't be worried as they had already benefitted and the rest never gave it a second thought anyway... they didn't earn enough to lose that much!

Alan Corken
57 Posted 04/02/2024 at 21:39:40
Well yes, Everton voted for the rules. They also have admitted breaching them! This is not the point at issue.

The refusal of the commission to give any credence to Everton's mitigations is the issue (eg, the impact of the first major land war in Europe in 70 years on our sponsorship).

The deduction of 10 points when the Premier League admit there was no on-field advantage is the issue.

Why the Premier League are seeking to apply a totally disproportionate penalty for a £20M overspend, is the issue.

The random nature of the penalty and the suspicion this is more to do with preventing government intervention and regulation than appropriate and fair punishment, is the issue.

The case has exposed the fact that PSR rules are a steaming pile of shite and clearly need updating and that Premier League governance is not fit for purpose, but that is not what the appeal is about... that is for another day.


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