30/01/2024 231comments  |  Jump to last

Everton's appeal against a historic 10-point sanction for breaching the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules will begin tomorrow and conclude by Friday it is being reported.

A decision from the hearing, to be heard by a different panel than the Independent Commission that recommended the biggest points penalty in top-flight history, is expected by the middle of February and the ruling will have a significant bearing on the Blues' second charge for contravening spending rules.

Everton were originally deducted 10 points by the Premier League on 17 November for going over the amount permitted for losses by £19.5m and had 14 days to lodge an appeal. That appeal will now be heard over the next three days, with Laurence Rabinowitz KC steering the club's case.

Rabinowitz will argue argue the Blues' contention that the punishment was disproportionate for the level of the breach and when measured against previous censure handed down for the transgression of other rules, most notably Portsmouth's nine-point deduction in 2009 for going into administration.

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Everton were charged again for breaching PSR earlier this month, with the club arguing in a pointed statement that they had already been charged for 75% of the period under consideration and vowed to again fight their corner.

That second independent commission, together with the one that will hear the League's case against Nottingham Forest, is expected to sit in March.

Meanwhile, details of a reply sent by Premier League Chair Alison Brittain and CEO Richard Masters to a letter from Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, Sir Brendan Barber and Dame Sue Owen have emerged in The Times in which they reject accusations that the integrity of the independent commission that docked Everton ten points was compromised due to a lack of transparency over the sanctions framework adopted.

“We completely reject the suggestion that the judicial panel and the commission that heard this case is anything other than absolutely independent of the league," Brittain and Masters wrote. "The suggestion that these individuals are somehow compromised is entirely without merit or foundation. Its perpetuation in your letter, published in the press, is damaging and unhelpful.

“Everton was provided with complete transparency as to the board’s view on the appropriate sanction in this case. So as to provide as much notice and clarity as possible, it was communicated to the club two months before the hearing with detail of not only the ultimate sanction that the board considered appropriate but how it had got to that answer.

“The club was then given opportunity in written and oral evidence and submissions, in advance of the hearing and at the hearing itself, to explain why it disagreed with it and make its own submissions on the appropriate sanction.

“In the event, as you can see from the decision itself, the commission disagreed with the board [and the club] and came to its own view.”


Reader Comments (231)

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James Marshall
1 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:20:01
So our appeal will be heard over the next 3 days, starting tomorrow.
Christine Foster
2 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:29:28
Within three days? Are you kidding?

What is it to be? Tell us what you think and we will let you know? Hardly time to consider the appeal or implications... undue haste?

Christine Foster
3 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:35:11
According to Sky "Everton pleaded guilty" — nowhere have I seen the club saying that.

It may well have been that the club was over but had mitigating circumstances (not considered valid) or disputed accountancy interpretations but why would the club plead guilty and appeal??

Undue haste on consideration of appeal — clearly they think it's an open-and-shut case.

Iain Crawford
4 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:41:14
Christine, it does seem a short time.

They said the verdict will be given mid-February, so maybe they listen to the arguments over 3 days then take another 2 weeks to deliberate and reach their decision.

Christine Foster
5 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:50:11
Sky's statement is almost a word-for-word cut and paste from the November statement... no consideration for the protests, the fans or the Premier League stance.

I think a few Hail Marys are in order. I just don't like the way this is feeling, I do hope our learned counsel makes a mess of them.
Mal van Schaick
6 Posted 30/01/2024 at 11:58:44
Appeal hearing to start on Wednesday, taking 3 days.

How stupid in the middle of a season. Time for total reform especially when the rules are ancient and finances and income have changed significantly.

Brent Stephens
7 Posted 30/01/2024 at 12:05:57
Mal, it would be stupid not to hold the appeal hearing as soon as possible. We have another charge to then answer followed presumably by another appeal.
John Chambers
8 Posted 30/01/2024 at 12:16:27

Rather than pleading guilty, the wording I recall was that the club accepted they had broken the limit but the mitigation was the change to how the loan interest was to be treated, ie, Spurs could offset the cost incurred for the stadium but we couldn't, and the unforeseen loss of income due to the Ukraine War.

Dave Lynch
9 Posted 30/01/2024 at 12:26:59
The hearing will have to be conducted ASAP — can't get to the end of the season and say "Sorry... bit harsh that sanction, here's your points back".

There would be carnage!

Lynn Maher
10 Posted 30/01/2024 at 12:55:49
Our appeal starts on Wednesday according to BBC. I think I just want to get it over now.

One down, how many more to go?

Pat Kelly
11 Posted 30/01/2024 at 12:59:56
At the moment, the only thing appealing about Everton is Rabinowitz.
Simon Harrison
12 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:05:06
The Appeal date is set: Wednesday through Friday this week.

John Keating
13 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:06:16
I think our legal team should also be ready to go to arbitration immediately after the appeal result, regardless of the decision.
I would imagine the agreed arbiter, at worse, can only uphold the appeal decision.

Best case: he or she can better the decision.

Andy Finigan
14 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:18:18
I totally agree, John, even though that's not in the Premier League rules.

Well, the Premier aren't abiding by fair rules. So, Mr Silk, on Friday, let the appeals commission know that Arbitration is the next step.

Anthony Hawkins
15 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:18:36

I keep being told on this forum that the rules didn't change regarding offsetting costs for the stadium build, but regularly see it being mentioned the rules did change. I'm confused.

More widely, I'm going into this appeal with low expectations and only hope something positive comes out of it. I can also only imagine many clubs are either more clever in their accounting or are currently literarily on the limit of PSR.

Facing this forward, it's interesting to note the Premier League know it's an impending issue and, rather than allow for that, look to punish who they think they can get away with. Come August and the rule changes, everyone else will be mapped against the new rules... insanity.

David Vaughan
16 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:22:31
John Keating
17 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:34:04

I'm sure I read somewhere that arbitration is available after the appeals decision.

A single arbiter approved by both sides can sit very shortly after the appeal decision is announced and a decision binding to both parties made quickly thereafter.

Surely if an arbiter is agreed to, the result cannot be any worse than the appeal decision?

Brent Stephens
18 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:49:56
John #11,

From memory, arbitration first has to be agreed by both sides. So it seems it's not just a case of agreeing who the arbiter is?

Jamie Crowley
19 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:52:43
Well, our season comes down to an appeal with dudes in suits.

Don't ya just love sport?

If they uphold this 10-point deduction, I'd riot. Tony Hibbert leading the chaos.

Seriously, this ridiculous penalty can't stand. I've said since the beginning we're guilty, there should indeed be a punishment. But 10 points is simply obscene and has to be reduced. If it's not, Man City should have a 40-point deduction coupled with automatic relegation.

I too, like Christine and Anthony above, have very little hope in this process. I pray I'm wrong.

Andy Finigan
20 Posted 30/01/2024 at 13:56:52
What I don't like is this appeal ends on Friday but the decision won't be announced until late February.

You can see straight through this. The commission smiling saying all the things our team want to hear…

Then, come the end of February — "bang" Everton Football Club on appeal have not reduced their deduction from 10 points and the original decision stands.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:20:47
Further to the question of arbitration...

The Premier League Handbook says:

W.79. Subject to the provisions of Section X (Arbitration) of these Rules, the decision of an Appeal Board shall be final.


X.4. In the case of a Disciplinary Dispute, the only grounds for review of a decision of a Commission or Appeal Board by way of arbitration under this Section X shall be that the decision was:

X.4.1. reached outside of the jurisdiction of the body that made the decision;
X.4.2. reached as a result of fraud, malice or bad faith;
X.4.3. reached as a result of procedural errors so great that the rights of the applicant have been clearly and substantially prejudiced;
X.4.4. reached as a result of a perverse interpretation of the law; or
X.4.5. one which could not reasonably have been reached by any Commission or Appeal Board which had applied its mind properly to the facts of the case.

Simon Harrison
22 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:22:04
I wonder if 'our' silk could ask for an adjournment in proceedings? Until that is, when the Premier League have responded to the Chair of the Parliament's cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee question(s) as those answers are very relevant to the appeal proceedings.

Just wondering...

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:23:15
I'm staying positive on this, we won't need no arbitrator, we will come out of this with a lesser points reduction to help us climb a few places up the table,

You would think our barrister is a dummy, he'll earn his big fee and Everton will benefit from this and so will all the other clubs, big or small, when the league adjusts the rules at the end of the season with two of those clubs benefiting most of all.

Alan J Thompson
24 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:23:58
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the problem was either that we borrowed money for use toward the new stadium but then used it for everyday football expenses but tried to keep the interest payments on the stadium accounts and therefore exempt, or that we borrowed the money before the stadium build had commenced or even passed the planning stages therefore it couldn't have been for the stadium.

Whatever, we must also be claiming the penalty is severe for the "small club" misdemeanour as very little advantage could be gained which seems more likely to succeed given how it could affect those clubs still to answer the many more charges, concerning much more money, that could be raised against them.

Brian Williams
25 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:24:34
Brent #21.

Arbitration it is then!

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:29:38
I'm with Dave. Let's see what comes out of this given the recent scrutiny on the Premier League. We can only second-guess.
John Keating
27 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:30:20
So Brent could be
4.3, 4.4, 4.5 either singularly or even all three!!!!
Brent Stephens
28 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:35:59
All three, John!!! And because of 4.2 (and all possibilities in that)!!!
Bill Gall
29 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:42:41
I think we may be fairly successful, as Bill Kewright will not be there to advise our legal team how Everton would do it.
Jay Harris
30 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:49:53
Allan J #24,

The problem was Moshiri gave an interest-free loan for the stadium development and then took out an interest-bearing loan for cashflow purposes and used that for running expenses.

That is why we had to admit guilt, but a good lawyer should be able to prove that that was only necessitated by stadium building costs and therefore should be allowed in the calculations.

The only problem I foresee is that KC Rosen, who appointed the first so-called independent commission, is also choosing the constitution of this appeals commission.

Robert Tressell
31 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:49:59
Reading the comments, I'm reminded of the scene in Blackadder 4 where Edmund is accused of eating Lord Melchett's cherished pigeon.

Nevertheless, and without any evidence or insight, I have always expected the deduction to be reduced to 5 points. Hopefully that (or something better) is what happens.

Brendan McLaughlin
32 Posted 30/01/2024 at 14:51:46
I imagine the club will know the result next week.

Once the decision has been communicated to both parties they will probably allow a further week to agree the wording of the Appeal Report before it's made public probably mid-February.

Let's hope it's not another St Valentine's Day Massacre!

Dale Self
33 Posted 30/01/2024 at 15:07:57
Calling out Masters looks to have been a wise move.

Even without a reduction I think we are up comfortably once past City and Spurs.

Andy Finigan
34 Posted 30/01/2024 at 15:22:36
Simon @22,

That is a very good suggestion as, depending on those answers, which should be known around the 8 February, would or could absolutely benefit our appeal.

Also, I think the whole hearing over the 3 days should be videoed or at least recorded as backed-up evidence of answers that were given by the independent commission as I don't trust any of them.

Mark Ryan
35 Posted 30/01/2024 at 15:24:41
Rob @ 31,

Speckled Jim, ha ha!! Can you see the offender stood in this courtroom? Lord Melchett looks around and points at the only other person in the room besides Captain Darling, ha ha!

It's very akin to that trial!

Paul Hewitt
36 Posted 30/01/2024 at 15:26:02
Super silk will be our signing of the season.
Anthony Hawkins
37 Posted 30/01/2024 at 15:26:59
Andy @20.

I too am confused why it could take 2 to 3 weeks to reach an outcome of the appeal. I'm pretty certain the Premier League have made up their minds and imagine the board are presently readying themselves for tomorrow.

Stu Darlington
38 Posted 30/01/2024 at 16:12:56
I don't hold out any real hope of a positive result for the club, because the Premier League has demonstrated time and time again that it is incapable of dealing with any complex issues that occur with any degree of consistency, fairness or competence. So why should anything be any different this time?

The only solution is an independent regulator. Easy to say, but what does it really mean, and how should it be set up?

Well, it must be set up by Act of Parliament – but no politicians should be involved as they are for the most part self-serving and the last thing we want is for the Regulator to become a political football like the NHS, education, public transport etc.

One exception I'd go for would be Andy Burnham, who is not a Westminster politician anyway.

But what form would the regulator take? One person? Hardly likely. A committee then? But how many? Too many and nothing worthwhile gets decided. So what? Maybe 6 or 8 people?

And what should the make-up be? Ex-players, PFA reps, financiers, owners, fans? Do they draw up the terms of reference, rules and procedures? Who validates them?

Does the status quo remain until all outstanding allegations have been dealt with, eg, Man City and Chelsea?

An independent regulator will be the outcome of all this — I have no doubt. Unfortunately, it will not come in time to help Everton but, in my view, it is a must for the good of the whole football pyramid.

Will Mabon
39 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:12:52
I wonder who comprises the "panel" this time?

Stu, there would be no such thing as an independent regulator. Not with the genuine best interests of fans IMO. Worst case scenario, attachment to the whole culture/media/sport arm.

I don't know the answer. I don't believe government is it.

John Keating
40 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:29:20
Wasn't there a journalist who announced the result of the initial commission half way through it's sitting?

I seem to remember, a quite right, uproar at the time. Obviously he had the inside track.

Hopefully this cowboy does the same during the appeal and puts us out of our misery.

Jerome Shields
41 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:38:19
I am hopeful of a 2-point reduction at best and I do not expect it to go to arbitration.

The Premier League has responded to the Select Committee questions but seems to have ignored the small club jibe, unless it is part of the response I have not seen. I do think that the Premier League's response is belligerent and hope it is not part of an uncompromising attitude.

It is very much wait and see. Hopefully, increased scrutiny for the Premier League will be a factor. As Brendan says, the club will know something next week.

David McMullen
42 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:47:03
I read it was being quoted the decision is final. And Everton can't bring new evidence. Which is not fair really, but I'm sure the KC will be ready.

The Premier League are a dodgy outfit indeed, their response is I imagine expected, as they fluster around following the open meeting with MPs and the subsequent letter from the Commons Select Committee. So they make cheap shots at the effort others are putting in to speak on our behalf.

Maintaining the same stance almost exactly. They're really putting the blame fair and squarely on the football club. Only they're not just saying it, they're rubbing our nose in it, and clearly putting Everton out to dry.

It's beyond doubt that they're making an example of Everton. It's like they're ancient Rome and Masters is an Emporer, Everton's head has been chopped off and is held aloft for all to see.

Bill Hawker
43 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:51:57
Anything less than 5 or 6 points returned to us will be a travesty of the highest order.

I'd love to see all 10 given back and us given a fine instead but I can't see that happening.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 30/01/2024 at 17:54:43
David #42,

"I read it was being quoted the decision is final. And Everton can't bring new evidence."

David, I would very much doubt that the decision is final in a formal, legalistic sense (though we can speculate that the Appeal Panel won't change the decision and reasons for that, which is a different matter). Otherwise, there is no point to an appeals process.

I would also think it quite reasonable that new evidence couldn't be brought forward, unless there were reasonable grounds on which the new evidence could not have been made available to the original Commission hearing.

Will Mabon
45 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:02:05

I think the "leak" discussed here on TW a day or two beforehand, was of a 12-point deduction.

Not to say tactical leaks aren't a regular and routine part of operations, as they certainly are.

Will Mabon
46 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:06:35

I'll be glad if we finish any way forward from where we are now after the appeal and the second spanking.

Kieran Kinsella
47 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:12:58
What's more likely?

1. We get our points back?
2. 777 Partners get approved
3. Archaeologists uncover the Arteta money?

John Chambers
48 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:22:47
Brent #18. I haven’t searched through the rules but here is an extract from The Athletic
“Additional deductions can be made for the long-term benefit of the game, which includes investing in youth development, women’s football, infrastructure and community work.”
The stadium should therefore qualify under infrastructure
Barry Rathbone
49 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:24:08
Reading the response of Premier League Chair Alison Brittain and CEO Richard Masters in this piece doesn't bode well.

Clearly bruised by allegations of nobhead behaviour they're digging in. Everton were given every chance to put up a defence according to them and what they submitted was shit.

Can't see us getting much more than a token point or two penalty reduction.

David McMullen
50 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:29:39
Sorry Brent I meant what ever the outcome of the appeal - the decision is final.
Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 30/01/2024 at 18:29:53

It is interesting to see everyone from Man Utd to Newcastle moaning they can't sign anyone as FFP is suddenly "a thing." I am wondering if the EPL under duress from its constituent members will relax the rules. In which case, will that help us right now? Or will they nail us again and after the summer start with a clean slate so all our rivals can carry on regardless?

David McMullen
52 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:13:38
Barry you're probably right about Everton's defence but, hey, we have an appeal. We have a chance to "put right" what ever we screwed up on. I'm confused by the whole thing because some times I read (or hear) that if we change X then the charge disappears and so does the second charge. But everyone tells us we admitted guilty and we broke the PSR (no matter how little) - we breached.

So yes, they are digging in. But I think there's a hell of a lot more to it than that. If there wasn't, why would Andy Burnham bother? Why would the likes of Mark Carney bother? Why would the Parliamentary select committee request more detail?

Everyone saw Masters squirm at the same committee appearance. Whether he was caught off guard or just plain nervous, he gave more scope to anyone who was remotely dubious about his behaviour and opened up the door for a continued examination of what's been going on.

David West
53 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:18:05
The letter from Masters & Co is telling.
They are having none of the arguments around the "formula" being outside the rules. The tone suggests they are pissed at all the bad press Everton are bringing on them.

I'm sure they will have a legal team as high profile, if not more advising them that they are in a good position to win.
So it's going to be a tussle.

The decision is final reference I thought was meant PL clubs have no option to appeal or take it further, to arbitration after the initial appeal.

The severity of the point deduction is probably our best shout at a reduced points deduction now.

Fingers crossed.

Brent Stephens
54 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:23:05
Cheers, David #50. I should have realised that.
Brent Stephens
55 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:28:52
John #48 - the only "allowable" spend re the stadium is interest on loans. We got caught out in part claiming interest against a loan taken out before the stadium build started; and we also got caught out because the only loan related to the stadium, Moshiri's loan, was interest-free.
Christine Foster
56 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:36:54
David, I think the EPL board are passed too and are doubling down rather than any attempt to consider any valid points or not.
This is vindictive, this is intentional.
The sacrificial lamb is bleating and they have no intention of giving an inch, they want more.

Elsewhere it's had the desired effect, clubs are suddenly concerned..
They won't let up now or give an inch. They have got the nessage across. The letter is telling as it clearly rankles them and they believe they are the righteous party. Any watering down of the original sanction, plus their public protest now means any reduction in the appeal will put them under pressure and ridicule. Brazen. This appeal is lip service. Conversely, if it does happen, they can point to the " independence " of the commission.. best description of self interest I can think of.

David McMullen
57 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:40:57
David you might be right. About the PL being pissed off with Everton.

How dare we not just accept our punishment.

David McMullen
58 Posted 30/01/2024 at 19:44:51
Just to add, that the 'formula' thing, is a real ball breaker.

Because they have real grounds to charge Everton, as they haven't got a proper framework. Adding to which, they change their said rules mid case.

Anthony Hawkins
59 Posted 30/01/2024 at 22:30:59
Where my head is at is what if the appeal fails. Will the panel reconvene and intervene on our behalf or will they drop the issue? I hope the likes of Andy will continue to escalate the unfairness.

It’s the hope that kills you.

Anthony Hawkins
60 Posted 30/01/2024 at 22:45:49
Also, where can I find the PL response to the DCMS?
Alastair Donaldson
61 Posted 30/01/2024 at 22:55:35
This is still the only penalty we’re going to get this season!

John Keating
62 Posted 31/01/2024 at 06:53:32
Does anyone know the make-up of this “independent” appeals panel? Anyone know where it's being held? The Premier League offices? Are observers, media allowed to attend?

Talk about transparency!

It appears this Premier League stuff puts the Masonic Lodge into shame.

Paul Hewitt
63 Posted 31/01/2024 at 07:04:25
John @62.

I've heard the panel consists of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy. So we should be fine.

John Keating
64 Posted 31/01/2024 at 07:40:41

Those 3 haven't got a brain between them so actually we might have had a chance with them.

Benjamin Dyke
65 Posted 31/01/2024 at 12:00:19
Is it possible to read the original decision and their basis for setting the penalty at 10 points?

I would be very surprised if the verdict or penalty is changed, partly because I don't trust the process but also because the Premier League would lose an awful lot of face and the integrity of the competition would come under even more scrutiny from all the clubs that suddenly end up in the bottom 3 if we move upwards.

I think we'll lose the appeal – the cost to the Premier League is too high for any other outcome: it all hinges on whether the commission is truly independent (which I doubt very much).

Ray Jacques
66 Posted 31/01/2024 at 12:18:29
Benjamin, that's my fear too, they aren't grown up enough to admit they have made a mistake on the punishment. My other worry is that our club has been run by a rank shower of useless people and so we are guilty as sin. I wouldn't trust either.

I am hoping they reduce it to 5 points, but then, when we are done again, they add another 5 on so it stays as a 10-point loss and they save face. Hopefully Forest also get done for 5 points so our position improves.

Can only hope.

Anthony Hawkins
67 Posted 31/01/2024 at 12:46:40
It depends what is classified as an 'independent commission' and what the remit of their powers are.

If it's a group of non-specific representatives who derive if XYZ has happened only to apply the punishment recommended by the Premier League with impunity, they have achieved their outcome. If however, the remit is to assess and apply the rules with discretion and come up with the punishment, then it's game on.

It's clear the Premier League has affected the outcome, however it's positioned.

James Hughes
68 Posted 31/01/2024 at 12:53:57
Paul H @63.

I was told by a friend that it was supposed to be a 5-man panel – for balance two ex-Evertonians were included.

However, Koeman couldn't be arsed and was playing golf and Martinez was too busy with his new role as set-piece coach.

Brendan McLaughlin
69 Posted 31/01/2024 at 12:55:34
Let's face it... irrespective of the outcome of the appeal, the independence of the commission will still be questioned.
Michael Kenrick
70 Posted 31/01/2024 at 13:27:54
Benjamin @65:

"Is it possible to read the original decision and their basis for setting the penalty at 10 points?"

It is possible to read the original decision. They made a 29-page 'findings' report available online.

In that document, they didn't provide any basis for setting the penalty at 10 points.

They did quote the 'guidance' on punishment provided by the Premier League – what they called their sanction policy, which was developed at a Premier League Board meeting back in August 2023, so just a couple of months before the hearing in October 2023 — but crucially months after Everton had been charged.

This was presented to them in a submission as part of the Premier League's case against Everton during the hearing… but pointedly the independent commission said they would not follow the guidance as that was not part of the Rules (in the Premier League Handbook for 2021-22*) for the period under which Everton were charged.

Then to cap it all and rub nasty salt in any remaining wounds, the 10-point deduction is exactly what they would have determined if they had followed the Premier League's newly developed sanction policy.

Quite where that leaves us is anyone's guess, but a decent Kings Council should be able to make mincemeat out of them with this on appeal. But we shall have to wait and see…

[* This could be wrong as the charge was levied in March 2023 and could have been done under the Premier League Handbook for 2022-23, which was in force when the charge was made.]

Mal van Schaick
71 Posted 31/01/2024 at 13:32:38
I am pretty sure that the opening arguments from lawyers representing the club and its position regarding the club's finances will lay out our case for leniency and perhaps a restoration of some points, given that the club admitted the breach of rules, but not on the scale that the original commission found.

All we can do is wait and see, though I would like to see updates on a daily basis, if possible.

Steve Barnes
72 Posted 31/01/2024 at 13:46:59
Apparently, The Telegraph reporting on a letter from Premier League…..

Everton failed to curb spending during "many months" of warnings, the Premier League claims in a letter coinciding with the club's appeal against their 10-point sanction.

Good to know that the Premier League can act quickly when it wants to….

I agree with the earlier post, best we can hope for is reduced by 5 points and then given another 5 for same offence….

Mark Taylor
73 Posted 31/01/2024 at 13:59:21
I'm also with Steve and Ray. 5 points off this one but another 5 for the latest breach in due course.

Those numbers might be marginally different but my hunch is, they will add up to 10.

Michael Connelly
74 Posted 31/01/2024 at 14:05:15
All parties: Everton, the Premier League, the 'independent' panel, the legal reps, will all want a satisfactory outcome from this hearing, and for the issue to be put to bed.

I think if the penalty is halved to 5 points, then that all parties can measure some success from that, and that is the outcome I predict.

No doubt the Everton legal team will be putting feelers out looking for that type of reduction, unless there is a strong argument against any punishment, which may see the legal team go in hard looking for the full reinstatement of the 10 points.

Andrew Clark
75 Posted 31/01/2024 at 15:57:45
Whilst I agree with the vast majority of the comments below, and really appreciate those who have analysed and researched our position and chances of success, and I pray for leniency when our appeal is heard, I think that our league status may not depend solely on the points deduction.

If the 10-point penalty (or worse-) is upheld, unless our forwards can put the ball in the net more than once every 17 games, I doubt we will get sufficient points to survive anyway.

John Keating
76 Posted 31/01/2024 at 17:08:29

I think our team should go for a complete, full, 10-point reinstatement.

In my opinion, the argument is over a financial calculation where no sporting advantage was gained, therefore a financial penalty should be given if anything.

John Raftery
77 Posted 31/01/2024 at 17:35:56
No matter how persuasive the club's case, the Appeal Tribunal can simply choose to reject it. They are only accountable to the Premier League Board, not politicians or financiers. They are under no obligation to produce a sound rationale for any decision they make.

Moreover, if the Tribunal confirm that a sporting advantage was gained, it follows competitors suffered a sporting disadvantage, thus leaving the door open for compensation claims.

Dave Ganley
78 Posted 31/01/2024 at 17:51:53
John, #77,

A couple of things there: Isn't the appeal tribunal meant to be independent and certainly not accountable to the Premier League?

Also, haven't the Premier League already said themselves that no sporting advantage was gained, so I'm not sure how that can be disputed either.

John Keating
79 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:09:29


The appeals members are supposed to be “independent”; however, I believe the members are chosen by the same guy who picked the initial “independent” commission members.

All members are from a small group of people who could possibly sit on one panel one day and another panel the next day. No doubt they all know each other very well indeed.

You are also correct in saying the commission stated Everton gained no sporting advantage. That being the case, and as it was a financial misdemeanour, I believe a financial only penalty should be given, if any penalty at all.

Brendan McLaughlin
80 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:16:34
Did I miss something?

Surely the Independent Commission clearly stated Everton had gained a sporting advantage citing the Sheffield Wednesday (?) case as the precedent?

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:18:30
Brendan, that was also my reading of the Commission report – they concluded we gained a sporting advantage.
Kieran Kinsella
82 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:31:38
Telegraph letter from the Premier League that Steve mentioned earlier states that, after months of warnings, Everton continued to spend “significantly on transfer fees and wages”.

Here is the thing:. "Significantly" on transfers requires some kind of context. In isolation, if you said Barnet spend £10,000 on a player you can say for many people £10k is a lot of money, ergo Barnet "spent significantly."

Surely you have to look at it in context of what we spent over the last year or so after supposed warnings relative to our rivals. In which context, our spending on transfers was not significant.

On wages, similar tale. We offloaded high earners like Mina and Townsend and brought in new players on lower wages. Or are they going to argue our wage bill remained "significant" because we continued to pay through the nose for existing players like Dele and Gomes? In which case, what were we supposed to do? Refuse to pay them and get points deducted for that?

It seems to me like a bad-faith attempt to argue we could have changed the situation over "several months" before the hearing. We made as much change as we reasonably could but you cannot undo 8 years of errors in a couple of months.

Anthony Hawkins
83 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:34:29
No sporting advantage has to have been had, only the intention to gain a sporting advantage.

There has to be a route beyond the panel and Premier League to counter any corruption, fraud or wrongdoing. Whilst the Premier League may currently be self-regulated, it isn't above the law nor unaccountable for its morality.

I know I keep coming back to the Post Office, but they are now finding out that they too aren't as self-contained as they believed themselves to be.

Kieran Kinsella
84 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:39:41
Anthony @83

If that's the case, does it make much of a difference?

I mean if you attempted to murder someone, you'd still go to jail even if you didn't succeed. Maybe your sentence wouldn't be as long as say a friend of yours who was a successful murderer. But I'd imagine your sentence would be longer than say if you had another friend who committed manslaughter.

Kevin Molloy
85 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:55:33
We have to attack the whole concept of sporting advantage.

In the context of these rules (set up to safeguard club finances), the idea that a breach would give rise to a sporting advantage is illogical. In the Premier League, the bigger you are, the more you get to spend, so the concept of one team spending more than another conferring a sporting advantage is a nonsense.

You can't let each team spend a different amount, and then say "Luton Town, you overspent, you gained an advantage over Chelsea, here is a 10-point deduction" when the facts were Luton spent X and Chelsea spent a X+ one billion… but that is what these rules would allow to happen.

Brendan McLaughlin
86 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:58:30
Kieran #84,

"As say a friend of yours who was a successful murderer…"

Who the feck is Anthony friendly with?

Pat Kelly
87 Posted 31/01/2024 at 18:58:49
The Telegraph's claim, quoted above, and its timing, is damning. They are essentially saying Everton ignored warnings over many months but continued to spend.

This is designed to give the appeals panel every excuse to reject the appeal and no room for manoeuvre. The Premier League aren't leaving the door open. So don't expect any leniency.

Dave Cashen
88 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:12:58
We'd have still been talking about footy if we'd just left Marcel Brands where he was.
Rob Williamson
89 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:17:18
Is there any reason why these proceedings shouldn’t be held in public?
Tim Welsh
90 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:29:20
Reading all these posting on here and following this over the last few years just confirms one thing: it is one almighty mess. 'Repeated warnings'… 'no sporting advantage'… 'Everton's misdemeanour was not deliberate'… 'Leaks to the press'… 'making it up as they go along'.

All I know is that, at present, we stand to be the most punished fans and club and that this is, by dint of that, the worst crime in British football history. Maybe, if the club had encouraged the fans to attack the opposition's coach after re-tweeting a route, or had one of our players tested positive for drugs, or had one of our squad throw matches for betting purposes, we would have got off more lightly.

I just hope our KC has the perspicacity to pick it all apart.

But, yes, Rob. Why isn't this held in public?

Dale Self
91 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:39:53
I agree that we are guilty as fuck. Somewhat intentionally so if the reports are accurate. This has been out there a while before the penalty was imposed. My take is that those considerations are baked into the 10-point deduction.

We are now in a different phase wherein the value of the penalty is being questioned on the bases of process and consistency. The club has rights that cannot be overrun by a replay of previous bad behavior. Nor is our poor behavior a defence for the Premier League's Byzantine bureaucratic treatment of this problem.

Barry Rathbone
92 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:54:20
I imagine other clubs could say our spending gave us a massive sporting advantage because it might have helped avoid relegation.

Be interesting to compare relegated clubs spends compared to us over the period.

Might not be true but I can see it as an argument.

Andy Finigan
93 Posted 31/01/2024 at 19:56:29
Looking at the reasons the Premier League only allow you to go to Arbitration if our appeal team get this stubborn "We aren't going to take anything you say into our decision-making."

Thus ignoring our main mitigating factors, ie, the war in Ukraine and losing up to hundreds of millions in naming rights and sponsorship. Surely we would be better going down that channel and thereby throwing the whole appeal up in the air?

Pat Kelly
94 Posted 31/01/2024 at 20:02:04
Barry #92,

I guess the argument is our spending broke the rules. It gave us an advantage. We didn't take the advantage of that additional spending. It was wasted, like most of our spending in recent years.

It doesn't matter how much the relegated clubs spent if it was within the rules.

Brendan McLaughlin
95 Posted 31/01/2024 at 20:11:09
A club that spends more than the rules allow is automatically deemed to have gained a sporting advantage. It's a matter of legal precedent that a quasi-legal body such as the Appeals Committee will almost certainly adhere to.
Kieran Kinsella
96 Posted 31/01/2024 at 20:12:26
Bit of a smoking gun though on Everton's arguments they weren't aware of being in breach:

The Everton manager said: “The Premier League has to solve different problems than the financial fair play of Everton. For the fact that six teams wanted to go in the Super League, first of all they have to take care of this and then, maybe, they can have a look at Everton. But we are going to look at ourselves.

“If they looked at us, with the problem they had with the top six that wanted to join the Super League, that would be funny. Of course we will take care of our financial aspect but we can buy without selling players this summer for sure. We're all agreed on the plan we have to improve the squad and there is no doubt we are totally focused on this. We are totally agreed, from the manager, the club and the technical director, Marcel Brands.”

That is from Carlo Ancelotti 3 years ago.

Tim Welsh
97 Posted 31/01/2024 at 21:51:37
I still can't stomach these assertions that we are 'guilty'.

That is a loaded word in the world of law, and the Premier League is not a court of law. We may have fallen foul of their arbitrary and outdated measures, but we have done nothing morally wrong.

At one point under Stalin, it was illegal to tell jokes. It doesn't make the law right.

And the Premier League have no legislative power, they can only make up rules... as they go along.

We should be challenging the rule itself which is a thinly veiled, cynical and hypocritical construct to establish a muted tier of teams.

If we get through this, I don't want Everton to be part of such a morally bankrupt competition. If it had started like this in 1888, it would have lasted about a year.

Terry Farrell
98 Posted 31/01/2024 at 22:02:48
Welcome to Wrexham, with Holywood stars splashing the cash on players and the ground to drag Wrexham up the league — it would not be allowed in the Premier League.

Masters is taking it into a black hole and he's confused about what he is trying to achieve. Blackburn Rovers would not have happened either. What's wrong with trying to break through as long as you don't go bust?

He won't have the bottle to apply his same one-eyed warped logic to every other Premier League team, that is a given, and if he did, the Premier League will become the laughing stock of world football.

Bobby Mallon
99 Posted 31/01/2024 at 22:48:08
Why don't the fans buy Moshiri's shares and fuck 777 Partners?

He owns 127,000 shares @ £3,500 a share. We must have over 100,000 fans world wide and some of them must be minted.

Kieran Kinsella
100 Posted 31/01/2024 at 23:42:17

Look at ToffeeWeb and tell me 100,000 opinions would work well.

Kevin Molloy
101 Posted 31/01/2024 at 23:56:11

If they are saying they have automatically applied such a rule, then that process needs to be challenged. In a league where each club is allowed to spend a different amount, the concept of gaining an advantage by spending more is a faulty argument. If you are allowing different clubs to spend different amounts, then you have already thrown out this argument.

I know they said there was a precedent set by the EFL. But we are not bound by what they do, and their league is completely different to ours. I can understand how it can be said that a breach in such a league may bestow an advantage as most of the clubs are of a similar spending power and so start out in the same boat, but in a league with Luton and Chelsea in it, that rule becomes a nonsense.

Mike Dolan
102 Posted 01/02/2024 at 01:37:17
This entire affair has been so botched by Richard Masters that, if the Premier League wants to stop the bleeding and pick up a little respect from the clubs both big and small (who incidentally pays their wages), there is only one outcome for this one.

Think about it: Leaks still continuing from Premier League offices. Does the ‘independent' commissioners not hear them? This is deeply prejudicial to Everton.

Punishment when it is published is extremely severe and totally without precedent. This is devestating for a small club.

As this historically out-of-all-proportion sentence, if it's allowed to stand, would wipe out of existence Manchester City, Chelsea, and others and the scale of their punishment would mean that dead dogs would be allowed to lie in those cases.

The FFP was never adjusted for inflation and was completely unworkable and this was through neglect from the Premier League.

If the Premier League has any common sense at all, the only solution is to restore the 10 points immediately, drop all charges against City, Chelsea and Forest, and have all of the clubs pick a new commissioner with a term of office who would run the league transparently.

The clubs have till the summer to figure out a fair and equitable system of running this league. The one thing they have to do first is get rid of smarmy Richard Masters who is ruining this league and this beautiful game.

Paul Smith
103 Posted 01/02/2024 at 05:53:15
Doubt we'll get anything back. The sanction has sent a message to the rest of the Premier League to stop spending and they have. This window has been a non-event. They will feel justified.

Long term though, a low-spending Premier League is a disaster and not the business model they want, so rules will change and the Government's decision will likely be guidance or a watered-down charter and the cycle will start again.

Money talks.

Derek Thomas
104 Posted 01/02/2024 at 07:10:07
Bobby Mallon @ 99;

Okay, I'm in for 2 shares.

But as a shareholder and, presumably part owner... if only 2/127,000ths of an owner... am I liable for 2/127,000ths of all debts.

Benjamin Dyke
105 Posted 01/02/2024 at 09:51:54
There are 2 things that are hard to take in all this:

The club's apparent naivety in continuing spending when the Premier League warned them.

The idea that it's OK to punish a club on a basis not communicated or laid out before any alleged offence was committed – that's not justice, no matter whether Everton are guilty of breaking any rules or not (which itself appears highly subjective).

The Premier League have made a right pig's ear of the whole thing and this is proven in that the rules will change in August. Sod's law that Everton mess up in this small window which coincides with the period they're also struggling on the pitch. 10 points would have been nothing to a team firmly in the Top 6, for example.

Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 01/02/2024 at 10:08:58
Mike (102),

Yes ,the punishment has to fit the alleged crime; it doesn't. We've been made an example of to stop the spending: Ridiculous – like sending the refugees to Rwanda to stop more from coming in!

Danny O’Neill
107 Posted 01/02/2024 at 10:30:21
Totally, Dave.

Scapegoats for the grey suits.

The net is closing on them and their day is coming.

Paul Hewitt
108 Posted 01/02/2024 at 11:01:34
Off topic but 777 Partners invest another £30 million. That's £180 million now, they must know something to keep investing.
Michael Kenrick
109 Posted 01/02/2024 at 11:31:40
One of the prime criteria the Premier League are considering in their deliberations over the approval of new owners is apparently confirming their ability to provide funds that help to ensure the profitability and sustainability of the club being taken over.

Does this not surely represent a massive conflict of interest in that the Premier League are in effect restricting Everton's business freedom over an inordinately long period of completely unwarranted uncertainty, and thereby directly exacerbating ongoing concerns about the club's profitability and sustainability?

And yet, throughout this incredibly long review period, these potential new owners are continuing to provide, month after month, the very funds the club needs to keep going! Including the extra funding needed by the club to fight this appeal!

What an utter nonsense.

Clive Rogers
110 Posted 01/02/2024 at 11:55:14
Bobby, 99, that’s £445 million. Take quite it bit of collecting from 100, 000 persons. I would be prepared to hold it though while negotiations are ongoing.
Brian Harrison
111 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:07:49
Michael @109,

I share your concerns about the length of time it's taking the Premier League to decide if 777 Partners are fit and proper people to take over a Premier League club.

I must admit I hear all the stories about 777 missing deadlines to pay bills also a court case in the US where they're being sued for a considerable sum of money, and maybe the Premier League has to weigh up all this to properly decide if they are fit and proper to run our club?

Also some supporters of clubs they do own have been protesting about their ownership, so it doesn't fill me with any confidence that they are the right people to take over our club.

But an even bigger problem would be if they pulled out, then there would be a strong possibility that we could go into administration. As it doesn't look like Moshiri is willing to pay even the day-to-day bills. So, if 777 Partners pull out, it's hard to see any other outcome than going into administration.

Andy Finigan
112 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:19:01
Where did you hear that, Michael 109?
Steve Johnston
113 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:19:13
Paul Hewitt 108 and Brian Harrison 111

Forgive my maths skills (I'm crap), but if 777 don't get the go ahead for the takeover, then they will want back that £180 million. Who pay's that? With that figure suddenly gone out the club, I cannot see anything but administration.

Stephen Davies
114 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:22:41
Brian #111,

Yes, we hear these stories all the time, yet I hear today that 777 Partners have just stumped up another £30M to EFC.

So where is their money coming from?

Stephen Davies
115 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:28:28
Everton provided further £30M by 777 Partners - https://www.bbc.com/sport/articles/cl4x1z4d5zvo.

So where is this money coming from?...if it's legit then why is it taking so long to be confirmed by the Premier Legaue?

Is it that they don't know where it's coming from?
Are they a Front for someone else?

Lynn Maher
116 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:31:03
Slightly off topic but I recently wrote to my MP regarding the forthcoming (hopefully) legislation, The Football Governance Bill and Independent Regulator.

I went into great detail, voicing my concerns over Richard Masters inability to answer many questions put to him.

Imagine my surprise this morning in receiving an extremely detailed reply, thanking me for my support for proportional representation in elections to the House of Commons!!!!!!!!

You couldn't make it up. But I know who I won't be voting for in the next election.

Stephen Davies
117 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:31:58
Steve #113,

£180M is not all we owe... it's something like £500M.

MSP, Rights & Media Funding etc.

Tom Bowers
118 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:32:34
In all honesty, does anyone really believe that the Premier League will give us back any points?

Sadly, the league has proven to be an inept bunch who have messed with the offside rule and the VAR.

The attempted leg-breaker by the Luton player on McNeil should have been punished and was inexplicably overlooked by inept refereeing and the VAR. What happens... Luton score.

Okay, who knows what may have happened but Everton have had no luck whatsoever with the decisions on and off the field (no penalties either), so why can we be upbeat about getting points back?

With big opponents coming up and a mass of absentees, it has become another disastrous season.

Iain Latchford
119 Posted 01/02/2024 at 12:35:54
Not an expert on these things, but I don't think administration helps anyone. 777 Partners wouldn't get their full £180M back for a start. As far I can see, the person who is going to get the biggest hit is Moshiri. We don't technically owe him anything.

The scenario I can see happening is the 777 deal falling through, then us being on the verge of administration. Someone can then come in and buy us for what is effectively the value of the debt (777: £180M; MSP: £150M; R&M: £200M, plus completing the stadium).

This is very similar to what happened across the park. Moshiri might recoup a bit if he's lucky, but I don't see what other option he will have other than to accept the best offer on the table. With administration, everyone loses.

It's long been rumoured that other groups are looking to step in. They'll just be biding their time, then will step in with a take it or leave it offer at the last minute getting, us at the lowest possible price. It's sensible business.

That's my theory anyway. Could be complete rubbish!

Clive Rogers
120 Posted 01/02/2024 at 14:21:11
I understood that 777 were borrowing the funds for the loans to EFC.
Steve Johnston
121 Posted 01/02/2024 at 14:26:55
Stephen Davies @117

Many thanks. Didn't think about non-777 money!

Brian Harrison
122 Posted 01/02/2024 at 15:16:19
Ian @119

You're right that administration helps nobody, but it's becoming more and more likely if 777 Partners don't get the go-ahead for the takeover.

Seems 777 Partners are struggling to convince the Premier League they have the funds, so the question is who is financing 777 if they haven't got the funds in place?

Stephen Davies @113 quite rightly notes how much the club owe to the various companies already providing loans to the club. Rights & Media Funding loaned £200M and MSP loaned £100M and it was calculated that the interest alone on those loans was £32M a year.

Now should 777 Partners not get the go-ahead to buy the club, then the £180M they have already put into the club will have to be repaid. I don't know if the money from 777 Partners is a loan or money that will have to be paid from any new owner. I would imagine that the 777 loan as well as the Rights & Media and MSP loans will have charges against the stadium.

John Keating
123 Posted 01/02/2024 at 16:14:14
Vibrac, Robert Earl, British Virgin Islands, our best friend Green… It's just history repeating itself.

In hock to the hilt. It's been like that since The World's Greatest Evertonian took over. We're left with his legacy.

Steve Johnston
124 Posted 01/02/2024 at 16:31:50
John Keating @123,

Totally agree, mate. What's happening now is the culmination of years of stagnation and mis-management plus ultimately, the self-interests of Kenwright. EFC was simply his train-set.

Joe McMahon
125 Posted 01/02/2024 at 16:49:19
Steve @123 & John @124.

It's a pity Kenwright still isn't with us, just so he can see what a catastrophic mess we are in, what he has done to Everton FC and its fanbase, and to be answerable for all this.

Steve Johnston
126 Posted 01/02/2024 at 16:56:28
Joe McMahon 125

Aye. But you just know he'd find a way to deflect the blame and get the press to blame the fans. Again.

Mike Gaynes
127 Posted 01/02/2024 at 17:11:51
Brian #122 and Iain #119,

Remember MSP wanted to buy a chunk of the club, and I remain convinced they would not have made the loan if they were not certain of a positive outcome. The scenario I have envisioned since this whole thing started is MSP emerging as at least partial owners.

And that would be worthy of celebration.

Paul Jones
128 Posted 01/02/2024 at 17:12:59
Kevin @101.

This EFL precedent thing has never washed with me. It might be my ignorance but what exactly is this precedent?

The nearest I can see is from back in 2018 when Leicester were finally charged for a breach of spending that gave them a competitive advantage in the EFL 5 years earlier (which is one advantage we certainly never enjoyed). They escaped with a fairly paltry £3.1M fine and zero points deducted.

So why isn't this the precedent that is being used against us?

Kevin Molloy
129 Posted 01/02/2024 at 17:39:28

The whole thing is extremely odd. I refuse to believe the Premier League wanted to do this.

You can see what a cold wind is now blowing through the Premier League as a result of this 'getting tough' approach. There are no deals getting done, the polar opposite of what they want.

I'm sure this is the Government leaning on the Premier League to harry the Russian money as much as they can. That's the only scenario that makes sense to me.

As we currently have a Premier League forcing one of its founder members into administration during a one billion pound project, cos they want to enforce rules set up to safeguard clubs' financial wellbeing — you couldn't make it up.

Brendan McLaughlin
130 Posted 01/02/2024 at 19:44:30
Paul #128,

The precedent was established in Sheffield Wednesday v The English Football League. The Independent Commission which dealt with Everton's breach specifically cited this case.

Apologies for not providing a link but if you google the text in bold above you should hopefully find a link to the commission hearing report.

John Keating
131 Posted 01/02/2024 at 21:48:11
I understand the appeal hearing will end tomorrow.

That being the case it wouldn't surprise me to find a “connected” journalist or two will have an exclusive Saturday at the latest.

It would be nice to know before the Spurs game our stolen 10 points had been reinstated! Should give everyone a big gee-up!

Paul Jones
132 Posted 01/02/2024 at 23:08:21
Thanks Brendan @128.

I'll dig out my specs and will do some reading up on it.

John O'Brien
133 Posted 02/02/2024 at 00:45:00
One thing that could work in our favour is Forest have continued to spend money on permanent signings and loans in this window. One of the issues that the Premier League used as an aggravating factor against us in the original hearing is that they maintained that we were still spending recklessly - even though we are third lowest on net spend over the last few years.

This spending in this window could come back to haunt them and benefit us, they could see our zero spend as a mitigating factor for us and aggravating factor for Forest.

I know some people believe that we won't get any of those 10 points back on appeal but my feeling is that we will get between 4-6 points back, these decisions are made by individuals who will have noticed the public shock at the severity of the original decision from neutral football people. They will be influenced by public sentiment which was absent at the original hearing. I firmly believe they will be swayed by the level of mitigation eg player X, Ukraine and the interest issue being allowed not allowed whatever it was.

Also, when these sporting sanctions are imposed they know it will be appealed and when it goes to appeal its almost always halved, or reduced. The optimist in me says we will get them all back but I can't see that happening even though I think there are good grounds to get them all back. I've got a hunch the Premier League panel were aware of that when they put down the draconian 10 points, thinking they will end up with 5 on appeal.

But if we do get approx 5 points back as most neutrals believe we will and we can show strong mitigation at the next hearing for 2022-23 compared to the 'Trolley Dash on the Trent' then they could end up getting a more severe penalty than us so we could improve our points situation quite markedly versus them. We could quite conceivably improve our position overall by 10 points over Forest and I'm not sure they will have quite the same heavy hitters politically to fight their corner as we have had with Andy Burnham et al

I know this is all supposition but hey, that's what we do on here.

Dave Lynch
134 Posted 02/02/2024 at 11:44:09
Am I mistaken or is the appeal verdict due today?
John Keating
135 Posted 02/02/2024 at 11:46:57

The appeal is, apparently, to be completed today with an official result announcement mid-February.

Alan McGuffog
136 Posted 02/02/2024 at 11:47:54
Decision due in mid-February, Dave, but I'll be astounded if there isn't a "leak" sooner.
Dave Lynch
137 Posted 02/02/2024 at 11:51:41
Cheers, lads.
Danny Baily
138 Posted 02/02/2024 at 13:33:32
Any rumours/leaks about the outcome?
Ray Jacques
139 Posted 02/02/2024 at 13:51:14
I am struggling to comprehend why there haven't been any rumours or leaks about the outcome. Strange.
Dan Parker
140 Posted 02/02/2024 at 13:56:21
It's done the job, sacrificial Everton brings the Premier League's January transfer window down by £700M+. I wonder why when they're all compliant…

Masters is that old general in the movie Paths of Glory. Shoot a few at dawn and the rest will comply.

Rob Halligan
141 Posted 02/02/2024 at 14:04:12
Got sent the following by Tony Abrahams, so I take no credit for it. It's a bit of a long read, but very much to the "Nail on Head".

The complete letter

Everton: A Team of Firsts

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter not as an Everton fan but a fan of the game in general, a game we as fans feel is slowly being clawed away from us. My focus will of course be Everton and I hope I can demonstrate why.

As founder members of the English Football League Everton have been one of the pioneers of the English game for 145 years, leading the way. Everton were trend setters in so many ways and it was a badge of honour worn as the club even have a whole page dedicated to over a century of firsts.

Maybe, just maybe, Mr Masters of the Premier League simply just forgot that Everton are one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs when he labelled Everton and Nottingham Forest, two times European Cup winners, small clubs; he did seem under a lot of stress at the time so such a lapse could be forgiven if it were not for the worrying trend I'm about to outline.

Everton being first at something has changed from being a badge of honour to something more sinister, some may even say a curse, although I cannot escape the feeling of something much more human and malevolent at work.
A startling pattern has arisen that seems to have escaped the attention of the media at large, if there is a new rule or punishment then Everton seem to be the scapegoat such a rule is tested upon.

Pre VAR before the 2016-17 season, the FA, Premier League and PGMOL introduced a new retrospective ban for diving or simulation across the leagues. On paper it sounded like a fantastic new rule designed to punish cheats. However, it's implementation was not as we had hoped. Despite several instances of simulation that season, up until the implementation of VAR which effectively replaced it, only one Premier League team were ever punished by having a player retrospectively banned.

Oumar Niasse was retrospectively banned for simulation following the award of a penalty v Crystal Palace. In its report, the FA stated that the presence of contact does not prevent a theatrical fall being simulation. Niasse remains to this day the only Premier League player retrospectively punished for simulation despite a plethora of acts of simulation since. [BBC Sport Website 24 November 2017]

Next, I wish to look at the period of 21 September 2020, the day after Everton's win against West Brom (Everton 5 – 2 West Brom [SkySports.com 20 September 2020]), and 2 April 2023. A period of 924 days or 2.5 years.

During that time, Everton were the only team in the entirety of the top 4 leagues not to see an opponent sent off, this was despite several dangerous tackles on Everton players during that period. During that time, every other team in the leagues had had at least one opponent sent off. Leicester being the only club I could find on one, the average was 4-5 opponents sent off with some teams seeing as many as 9 opponents sent off in that time period.

During that time period, Everton were not immune to receiving red cards, they did so in line with the averages of other teams in the league.

This period finally came to an end on 3 April 2023 (Everton 1 – 1 Spurs [The Guardian, 3 April 2023]). Everton were themselves already down to 10 men, the game was in the 88th minute and a Spurs player was sent off with Everton losing 0-1 at the time. Not many would have expected Everton to even draw from that point even with parity in numbers restored.

At time of writing today, as reported in the Liverpool Echo [Joe Thomas, 31 January 2024] Everton are the only Premier League team this season not to be awarded a penalty and simultaneously being the team to concede the most penalties.

This follows yet another blatant penalty not awarded to Everton in the Fulham v Everton game as reported in the article where the ball clearly strikes Robinson's outstretched arm and then since VAR and officials have given conflicting reasons as to why the Penalty was not awarded. One even said his arm was close to his body when it was clearly outstretched.

We will talk about more bad refereeing decisions later.
On 21 November 2023 the Daily Mail [Ian Herbert, Daily Mail – The Goalposts Moved in Everton's Case 21 November 2023] released a report outlining how the Premier League assured them that costs attributed to the Stadium Build were exempt from FFP calculations as they had been for other clubs such as Spurs, Liverpool, Man City. These costs specifically centred around the interest on loans as the club as everyone else had been massively affected not only by Covid but the War in Ukraine.

The Premier League then backtracked on this, changed the interpretation of the rules and then told Everton they were in fact in breach this was after the charge of 23 March but before the punishment of 23 October, so it was done mid-process.

The Premier League also changed the rules again requiring clubs with a new fast-track system designed to deal with PSR breaches more expediently. [Martin Ziegler – The Times, 6 September 2023]. This rule change itself was selective, forcing only clubs deemed by the Premier League to be at risk of a beach to submit their accounts 3 months earlier than everyone else.

It also had the secondary effect of ensuring that Everton could be the only club that could ever be charged and punished twice in the same season for a PSR breach. Again, singling out Everton.

Another sidebar to this is that, since this fiasco began, the Premier League have had Everton under special measures having to vet their transfer business to ensure compliance, described by some as an unofficial transfer ban, yet Nottingham Forest who on their promotion to the Premier League some two years ago were never put in similar measures despite buying 25 new players in one window and obviously overspending. Everton singled out again.

Every other major league, even the Championship has a double jeopardy rule to prevent clubs being charged twice for the same period of time with regards to PSR – except the one touted as the world's best league, the Premier League.

However the Premier League and FA aren't alone in their mistreatment of Everton, during the period of the initial alleged PSR breach between 2019-20 – 2021-22 seasons some baffling decisions went against Everton that were at best gross negligence on the part of the referees on the pitch and the monitoring VAR. It's a sad indictment that as a whole the supposed best league in the world has a sub-par referring staff that is well documented.

However this is relevant to Everton's PSR situation because each place in the Premier League is worth in excess of an extra £2 million in prize money. Everton only had to finish an extra 10 places higher in the 3 seasons in question to recoup the £19.5 million they were allegedly in breach.

2019-20 Everton finished comfortably 12th on 49 points. They'd have needed an extra 6 points to climb to 9th and earn an extra £6 million in prize money.

In 2020-21 season, Everton finished 10th just 3 points off 7th place would have likely needed an extra 4 points to finish 7th though given Goal differences.

In 2021-22, Everton just escaped the drop, finishing 17th but were just 5 points off being 3 places higher up the table.
In the game against Brighton, Everton, claiming another first, became the first team to have a penalty awarded against them by the VAR after the on-field referee had deemed it not a foul. Brighton 3 - 2 Everton [BBC Sport – 26 October 2019]

Everton were winning the game 1-2 but, following Brighton equalising from the penalty, the momentum of the game shifted, and Brighton completed the turnaround and won 3-2.
PGMOL and the Premier League later admitted that it was a mistake to award the penalty and the on-field decision should've stood. Not that that admission gave Everton any solace, were they denied a valuable 3 points? We will never know but what is certain is that there was an admitted mistake. [Dominic King – Daily Mail 9thNovember 2019]

1 March 2020 saw Manchester United get a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park; however, Everton had a controversial winning goal disallowed in the dying embers of the game because, despite being on the floor lying down, Sigurdsson was adjudged to be blocking De Gea's view so the VAR ruled the goal offside. Sigurdsson was also denied a penalty in that game by the VAR.

This decision was absolutely astonishing at the time and the Liverpool Echo did a full report upon it [Adam Jones, 2 March 2020]. Were Everton deprived another 2 valuable points by inept refereeing? It's worth noting that the VAR for this match was Chris Kavanagh.

7 November 2021, Everton hosted Tottenham Hotspur, the game finished in a 0-0 draw but there was controversy after Richarlison was brought down in the box by Hugo Lloris. Chris Kavagnah awarded the penalty, halting the game despite Richarlison staying on his feet and having an open goal to shoot at. After being asked to review the decision by the VAR, he overturned that decision and adjudged that as Lloris had gotten a fingernail to the ball that did not affect the ball in any way, it couldn't be a foul. This was contradictory to penalties that had been awarded earlier in the season and previous seasons where penalties were awarded despite contact by the fouling player on the ball.

28 November 2021, Everton played Brentford away. The game was settled by a single Brentford penalty. Everton were denied a penalty though when Rondon was fouled so voraciously in the Brentford box that his shirt was torn off. Would Everton have scored the penalty and gotten an extra point? Who knows, but it was another refereeing mistake.

However the last and most spectacular one I'll highlight for that period was the Rodri handball at Goodison Park. Everton v Man City, 26 February 2022. This was again Chris Kavanagh as the VAR. Man City won the game 0-1 on the night. It was the dying moments of the game, the ball looped high into the air and, as it came down in the Manchester City penalty area, Rodri handled the ball to bring it under control.
Chris Kavanagh looked at this for over 5 minutes as the VAR and spectacularly somehow didn't adjudge it to be a handball in what can at best be described as criminal ineptitude. Once again, Everton were offered a hollow apology by the powers that be [The Guardian, 1 March 2022] but Everton didn't need apologies – they needed points.

It would be pointless to list an endless account of bad decisions that have gone against Everton but these; however, it was proposed that just 6 points was needed across the 3 seasons for Everton to escape their PSR Breach and stay compliant because of extra revenue from prize money. I think that was a slight underestimation, but these decisions potentially cost Everton prize money, not just in the league but in the Cup Competitions as well as Everton lost out to Manchester United on a Semi Final in the FA Cup where Cavani had his fingers down Yerry Mina's throat yet was not dismissed for Violent Conduct. Everton 0–2 Manchester United [BBC Sport, 23 December 2020]

Did these bad decisions and the terrible state of refereeing have some merit on Everton's breach? Sadly we will never know how those games would've played out with certainty but this is just a surface scratch and it is certainly an avenue that demands investigating as the potential these decisions had some part to play in Everton's breach is certainly a possibility.

Overall though, given all aspects of this letter, there is a worrying trend towards Everton as a club that needs investigating if only to set our minds at ease that this is simply gross negligence and not something of a more worrying design. These concerns are given more credence though when speaking of Everton, Mr Masters uses words like “small club” some would interpret as utter contempt for the clubs that don't make him as much money as the others.

It seems that Everton have had to do battle with all three institutions that run football in this country, we as fans just wish to know that we are being treated fairly.

Yours Sincerely,

John McAteer LLB (Hons)

John Keating
142 Posted 02/02/2024 at 14:22:18
Friday mid-afternoon…

I would imagine the appeals hearing is over. Probably both sides' legal eagles are sitting in the nearest wine bar, throwing bottles of Moet down, laughing, checking their bank accounts…

And hoping they're on call for the next easy-money job for Forest and our second PSR charge.

Kieran Kinsella
143 Posted 02/02/2024 at 14:30:02
Rob Halligan,

Blimey, when I saw the length of that post, I thought Jay Wood (BRZ) was back.

Barry Rathbone
144 Posted 02/02/2024 at 14:39:54
The trouble with long missives is they stand a good chance of not being read by peeps beyond the converted or at best skimmed through – certainly my MO.

“There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.”

Duncan McDine
145 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:13:00
Rob 140 - thanks for posting that brilliant letter. I can't imagine that the fella will get a response though.
Andy Finigan
146 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:23:47
Only an Evertonian would probably read the full letter, Rob 142 but nevertheless a true indictment of how we have been treated for a number of years by an awful Premier (Why do we keep calling it 'Premier'?) League.

Thanks for posting and maybe someone at the head office in London will read it.

Christine Foster
147 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:29:01
Rob, 140# incredible.

We get called bitter blues by the other lot, but reading that letter is akin to paranoia. One wonders why we have an inbuilt sense of injustice, why déjà vu to an Evertonian is commonplace and expected, why anything good or favorable is greeted with silence because of its rarity.

Why being a Blue despite everything, feels the most righteous cause since Christinanity was invented. A modern day crusade whereby one team has its flag unfurled, despite the odds, despite the injustice.

All that is good and wholesome in football is Blue. There are the forces of darkness, painted red usually, who lie, cheat, do wrong with malice intent. The scum of the earth.

The fight of good over evil, we will never lose, we have an army of supporters unlike any other to stand on the banks of a river with its flag unfurled once more. It is our crusade, our love, for we know what is wrong and what is right. First forever.

ps: Joan of Arc was an Everton supporter.

Jay Harris
148 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:45:17

Thanks for posting that. I hope our lawyer got a copy of it and could make use of it.

Watching the Red Shite the other day when almost every decision went for them, it grieves me to say I am bitter but I am.

It started with Shankly banning any journalist who gave them a bad report so they became the media darlings and despite Heysel (How dare we mention it!), Hillsborough is brought up constantly.

Sporting advantage, don't make me laugh, it is happening in every game thanks to corrupt officials and the VARs.

Mike Gaynes
149 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:47:31
Christine #146, so were the Masada defenders!
Ray Robinson
151 Posted 02/02/2024 at 16:48:25
Rob, I know from your posts that we are of the same opinion on so many issues but I feel compelled to point out that such long diatribes are only of true value if all facts stated are incontrovertible and not subjective.

Niasse is not the only player to have been banned retrospectively for gaining a penalty by “diving”. Manuel Lanzini of West Ham was similarly charged.

The apologies we received for the Brighton penalty and the failure to award a penalty for handball in the Man City game a few years ago are not unique.

Ask Brighton and Wolves what they think about recent VAR decisions. Or ask Burnley about a last-minute 1-0 loss against Arsenal when the winning goal was scored off the hand of an Arsenal player.

Yes, we are discriminated against. So few penalties in the last few seasons. Unfair decisions against us, yes undoubtedly. But in trying to demonstrate the bias against us (and other teams), let's make sure our case is watertight.

For me, we need look no further than the Clattenburg derby. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but clearly something or someone appears to be against us (and others). The “bigger teams”, whoever they are, certainly play by a different set of rules.

For me, we need look no further than the Clattenburg derby. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but clearly something or someone appears to be against us (and others). The “bigger teams”, whoever they are, certainly play by a different set of rules.

Christine Foster
152 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:18:13
Mike 148# indeed!

But I guess it depends on which version you align with, mass suicide rather than give in to the unholy Roman Empire, or mass slaughter by said army!

They say truth is always the first victim in any war, as with Everton v the world... whose truth is true?

Brent Stephens
153 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:31:37
Re the letter in #140.

I think it's unwise to draw attention to allegations unrelated to the matter in hand – viz the 10-point penalty imposed by the independent commission and our appeal against that. Such things can often detract from valid arguments re the current appeal.

Don't muddy the waters. Don't weaken the direct case made in the appeal.

Christine Foster
154 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:36:48
An inconvenient truth, Brent?
Brent Stephens
155 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:40:53
Inconvenient in the context of the appeal, Christine.
Kieran Kinsella
156 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:51:23

I agree with you. The points are all valid but it gives the impression of clutching at straws and really amounts to a charge of conspiracy which would be difficult to prove even if it is real.

I would just focus on the rules and lack thereof, precedents, consistency etc relating specifically to the charge.

Christine Foster
157 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:56:05
Brent, It may be irrelevant in the context of the actual appeal, but highly inconvenient in the context of any sanction.

Truth will always be uncomfortable for those with vested interests and unopposed power to enforce decisions.

Brent Stephens
158 Posted 02/02/2024 at 17:59:08
I agree, Christine – irrelevant in the context of the appeal.
Christine Foster
159 Posted 02/02/2024 at 18:11:12
Kieran, it is the perspective background not specifically relevant to the charges, but nor should it be as they are dealing with facts and interpretation.

But when imposing justice on any transgressors, it should be fair and reasonable in the treatment of all. Clearly the Premier League isn't and never has been.

Does it actually help our case? Water off a duck's back to those receiving it, they cannot give a flying... whatever... but it should still be said.

Christine Foster
160 Posted 02/02/2024 at 18:21:06
Brent, selective use of my comments like so is a bit disingenuous but that's okay, I get your drift.
Brent Stephens
161 Posted 02/02/2024 at 18:30:24

For the avoidance of the doubt, my point was merely that allegations unrelated to the matter in hand are not helpful as they are irrelevant to the appeal, as you agree.

That is all I meant by 'inconvenient' – inappropriate to our appeal.

Kieran Kinsella
162 Posted 02/02/2024 at 18:33:50

I understand your point and I do think this situation is a continuation of a pattern of disparate treatment, to say the least. But, when you get into what amounts to conspiracy theories, people tend to put walls up and think you're just clutching at straws.

Case in point: David Icke with all his weird Satanic cabal, reptillian nonsense back in the early '90s. Everyone thought he was nuts, but some elements of it, eg, BBC child abuse etc, turned out to be true years later.

Arguably, if a saner person than Icke had come forward and put forth just those allegations, then maybe they'd have been addressed while Saville and Co were still alive.

I see the danger here in being that, if a lot of time is spent highlighting refereeing errors and things over multiple years, then people start thinking "conspiracy theory" and tune out even the most critical and well-supported arguments in our favor.

Now, with that having been said, maybe from a PR perspective the EPL will fold but so far at least they seem to have just become more and more belligerent in standing their corner. I worry that adding more Clattenburg stories etc just makes it easier for them to dismiss our case especially given the number of people who have been involved in those situations down the years.

David McMullen
163 Posted 02/02/2024 at 18:49:50
Just reading through. Great point, Kieran @82.

About the wages situation – what more can the club do?

Again, in context, look at the spending of Everton compared to other clubs (net spend) and you have to say in simple words the Premier League are picking on us. Their whole attitude towards Everton stinks.

Bill Gall
164 Posted 02/02/2024 at 19:40:18
Its all very enlightening to go over something that we as Everton supporters are fully aware of, but do you honestly think anyone at the FA will tale any notice of it, or even read it? It will just be another disgruntled supporter to them that they receive from many quarters.

It is up to the club to get out of this mess, the supporters are doing the best they can to get behind the team at both home and away.

You have to admit, though, it is a well-researched letter that should be taken notice of.

Sean Kelly
165 Posted 02/02/2024 at 19:59:01
I just hope our brief is properly briefed and a snarly fucker. Take no shit until everyone's shit is finalised. Justice should be fair and in context. With Man City kicking their can down the road and out of sight, I hope our brief has his kicking boots on.

With the rules being changed next season, is that not an admission that the current rules are flawed?

This plucky little Everton tag should be binned once and for all and let's show them we are a top club with the necessary balls (apologies to Christine and Co).

There's no point playing the victim – that shower across the park have that title.

Brendan McLaughlin
167 Posted 02/02/2024 at 20:01:57
In terms of our appeal, I would categorise the points raised @140 as "noise".
Tony Abrahams
168 Posted 02/02/2024 at 20:03:36
I was talking to a very good Evertonian in town before and he told me that Everton have drifted from even money to around 3/1 with regards being relegated so maybe the bookies have got wind of something regarding our appeal if this is actually true?
Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 02/02/2024 at 20:21:00
One thing we should have definitely learned from our neighbours is that the squeaking hinge definitely gets the oil, Brendan. Call it noise, but the more noise you can make whilst highlighting injustice will definitely get people running scared in the end.

After a couple of really poor decisions – or where they very, very inconsistent decisions – that were made against Everton by Atwell and Oliver at Spurs in December had happened to our neighbours, then surely you could imagine the screams once they heard the same two officials were in charge of the return fixture tomorrow?

They would scream and they'd be rubbing their hands in glee, and yet when Frank Lampard highlighted this, he was fined £30,000 by the league.

Ray Robinson
170 Posted 02/02/2024 at 20:56:46
I agree with Brendan, Tony.

Kicking up a stink about the VAR and decisions that have gone against us may well make officials more favourably disposed to us in the short term but it has absolutely nothing to do with the appeal where we should stick to the facts and the off-field injustices.

Tony Abrahams
171 Posted 02/02/2024 at 21:10:11
I agree that the appeal is a totally separate entity, Ray, and I also agree that loads of clubs can claim to have been hard done by over the last few years, mate.

When I eventually read that very long-winded letter that I posted to Rob, then I did begin to wonder what the initials at the end of John McAteer's name stood for.

He goes on like someone who could be involved in law, and it got me thinking about how it now possibly won't be long before a club takes legal action against some of these appalling decisions, especially now these referees suddenly have all this technology but are still making so many poor inconsistent and subjective decisions.

I'm watching Leeds winning at Bristol, and would sooner see Goodison go out with a bang at the end of next season if I'm being honest!

Ray Robinson
172 Posted 02/02/2024 at 21:46:01
Tony, it always struck me how magnanimous Bournemouth were towards the Premier League when goal-line technology failed to operate correctly in a match at Villa Park. Villa earned a point in that game which helped them stay up on goal difference at Bournemouth's expense

Imagine that had happened to Everton? We wouldn't have let that lie.

If clubs start suing each other or the Premier League for incorrect refereeing and VAR decisions, the game's finished.

Brendan McLaughlin
173 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:06:13
A Ray of truth on ToffeeWeb...
Tony Abrahams
174 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:13:00
The game as we knew it has been finished for years, imo, Ray, mate, and that's why I can see something like this happening in the very near future.

Bournemouth definitely took it on the chin, but they don't have the power of a lot of clubs, and you only have to see the way Liverpool carried on after their game at Spurs to see why referees are scared to death of the bigger clubs.

There is loads of shite and loads of truth written on ToffeeWeb, Brendan, so which bit of Ray's truth are you referring to?

Neil Copeland
175 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:16:05
Tony #170,

LLB is Latin and basically means he has a qualifying law degree (meaning that he probably practises law).

Tony Abrahams
176 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:20:33
Thanks, Neil.

The way it was worded, made me think about the road that certain clubs might start going down and this might even be encouraged by the television paymasters because football has definitely become a circus, imo.

Paul Tran
177 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:23:07
Tony #167, the Betfair Sportsbook has us 10/3 to be relegated, and still drifting. A significant drift that can only be down to plenty of money on another club to be relegated.

Forest's price has unsurprisingly shortened. Could be down to something someone knows, or the odds compilers taking a strong view.

Either way, if anyone is one of the many here certain we're going down, I'd pile the money on at those odds.

Sam Hoare
178 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:25:48
Having read a bit more around the independent commission case, I'm not feeling too optimistic.

Sadly, it seems we accepted at the original case that we were guilty of a breach that conferred a sporting advantage. As such, we can't expect to find much joy re-running mitigation. The independent commission were handed pretty wide powers of discretion by the Premier League so it's difficult to argue that they exceeded the range of those powers.

My bet at this point is that we might get 1 or 2 points handed back to show good faith and a little softer PR… but even that could be optimistic. I fear those (like myself) hoping the whole thing will be overturned are due to be disappointed.

Brendan McLaughlin
179 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:34:52
Seriously, Tony #173,

The bit that isn't shite...

Tony Abrahams
180 Posted 02/02/2024 at 22:38:59
Thanks, Brendan, at least you kept it brief!
Brendan McLaughlin
181 Posted 02/02/2024 at 23:03:20
Tony #180,

Self-explanatory... no reason for waffle!

Rob Halligan
184 Posted 03/02/2024 at 07:37:15
Tony # 171…..

LLB after John McAteer's name, as Neil # 175 says, means Bachelor of Law, meaning he certainly studied law at university, gaining his honours degree. So I would say he most definitely practices law.

John Keating
185 Posted 03/02/2024 at 08:42:59
I must admit I'm surprised, with the appeal finishing yesterday, we haven't heard anything from “usually reliable sources”.

There seemed to be more than enough comments – from Masters – during the initial hearing, and results prior to completion of the hearing. This time nothing.

Fingers crossed. We need those points back!

Michael Kenrick
186 Posted 03/02/2024 at 09:40:18
Not sure I can quite agree with your characterization there, John @185.

The 'leak', such as it was (if that's the one you mean), claimed that the Premier League asked for a maximum of 12-points deducted – which was taken up by most others as the Premier League wanting 12 points. Not much of a leak really because the commission apparently ignored this request, if it was ever made.

Certainly no mention of Masters at the time.

I would suggest that few could even name him before the select committee showing where he went on to embarrass himself.

The only thing in the record is the sancton policy 'formula' which indicated a 10-point deduction, so did the Premier League ever request 12 points? But everyone swallowed that Telegraph article as a genuine leak.

Mike Doyle
187 Posted 03/02/2024 at 09:50:47
Tony #171, ref your last para.

One of my colleagues is a Leeds fan. Though he wants them back in the Premier League, he says that watching football without the VAR is a far more enjoyable experience (even if/when the officials make an error).

Mike Connolly
188 Posted 03/02/2024 at 10:02:21
Mike @187,

Must be a Leeds thing. I know a couple of Leeds fans and it seems to confirm what you said. They said games are great to watch and the refs appear not be as biassed to any team.

Anyway, most of the Premier League teams are just cannon fodder to the Sky 6. The rest of the teams just don't relise that yet or they would have backed us from the start. UTFT

Brent Stephens
189 Posted 05/02/2024 at 12:36:33
Are we almost there yet?
Alex Whitehead
190 Posted 05/02/2024 at 13:06:01
Heard a whisper - the appeal went very well ?
We will see shortly !!!!!
Dave Abrahams
191 Posted 05/02/2024 at 13:20:21
Arguing about the ins and outs of our appeal? The result will be out in roughly 10 days, have a bit of patience. Nobody knows the outcome yet, the commission are still considering their verdict, aren't they?

Just hope for the best, in Everton's favour!

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 05/02/2024 at 13:28:44
If we win the appeal, I'm buying you your first ever kit, Dave.

Number 10 — with the name SUPERSILK! 🤞

Ian Bennett
193 Posted 05/02/2024 at 13:29:19
It will be leaked way before that.

In the same way no doubt about Everton's desperation to sell players on their list. No doubt the Premier League made sure they tipped off their favourites...

Dave Abrahams
194 Posted 05/02/2024 at 14:19:43
Tony (192), If we win the appeal? 'When' you mean, fuck the kit, just give me the money!

Ian (193) Looks like you've made your mind up. Sounds like a thumbs down to me!

Danny Baily
195 Posted 05/02/2024 at 14:39:48
I was hoping for the announcement early this week, or at least some rumours regarding the outcome.
Brian Williams
196 Posted 05/02/2024 at 14:43:37
Danny. Word was it would be mid-February when we hear.
Jay Harris
197 Posted 05/02/2024 at 14:47:32
It is difficult to know which way the appeal will go until we get the notification.

The worry I have is that the same KC who gathered the first three so-called independent panel chose this panel.

With all the furore over the original decision they may well bow to public opinion on the other hand it may force them to put up even more of a wall.

I only hope our legal representative has found some proper legal challenges to the original decision.

As they say, the only thing that is certain is nothing is certain.

Anthony Hawkins
198 Posted 05/02/2024 at 18:20:16
It depends how blinkered, I mean black and white they are with the appeal. If the mitigating circumstances are dismissed out of hand, the points will remain.
Nicholas Ryan
199 Posted 05/02/2024 at 19:26:21
A friend of mine quoted me these figures: I haven't checked, but they sound about right.

This Premier League season:

207 matches;... 53 penalties awarded... none of them to Everton... Chelsea 8... Liverpool 7.

Ian Jones
200 Posted 05/02/2024 at 20:01:20
Nicholas, the thing about those stats is that both Chelsea and Liverpool have players who run at speed into the box which is hard to defend and runs the risk of giving penalties.

We don't generally do that. We tend to put crosses in.

Ricky Oak
201 Posted 05/02/2024 at 20:56:26
Absolutely felt shivers down my backbone Christine 147, thank you.
Also in reference to the 'letter', Niassie is the only player to suffer that punishment when actually fouled.
For what it's worth, he who couldn't be named was a huge loss in many ways, Everton acted honourably as per, yet the fella never even had a charge to answer. Mitigating factor for mistakes in accounting,?
Felt like David vs Goliath ever since Everton grabbed me 33years ago. Love love love em.
Paul Hewitt
202 Posted 06/02/2024 at 07:56:59
The Esk seems to think it could be April before we hear anything on the appeal. That's going to be one long wait.
Brendan McLaughlin
203 Posted 06/02/2024 at 08:15:59
Paul #202,

The Esk has been on a bit of a roll calling things incorrectly. I'd be very surprised if this drags on much past mid-February.

Rob Halligan
204 Posted 06/02/2024 at 08:31:27
In that case Paul, we will probably find out tomorrow.
Rob Halligan
205 Posted 06/02/2024 at 11:32:54
Well, I know that this is only a rumour but I've been informed that the appeal went very well for us, and that the club are very confident of getting all the points back.

The KC put up a very robust case on the club's behalf, citing four major areas that the independent commission couldn't present mitigation. The club are confident that either a large fine or a suspended points deduction will be put in place. KC also argued that the scale of the deduction was unprecedented. Hopefully, this will cancel out the second charge.

As I say, this is only a rumour, but the person who sent it to me is very much in the know, so here's hoping!!

Christine Foster
206 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:01:02

I really have my fingers crossed you're right and, if so, our learned counsel will have been worth every penny.

I still think that Masters and crew will be twisting arms to ensure we still get done no matter what. It's hard to equate fairness with Masters or an independent panel.

Ian Wilkins
207 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:05:11
Rob @202,

I admire your optimism and I hope it is well founded. I would think the return of all points would be highly unlikely, I think most of us would be delighted with a sizeable reduction.
Interesting the complete radio silence during and post hearing.

Our KC obviously insisted on a professional hearing, and stopped the Premier League drip-feeding journalists akin to their PR strategy during the initial commission hearing.

The timing of the proposed changes to the P & S rules (this summer) is infuriating. Confirms how out of date they are. We will be the first and last club held to account under them.

I think we will hear our fate in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed.

Andrew Ellams
208 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:17:41
Rob, I hope you're right but I don't see how the Premier League gives us all 10 back without their reputation being terminally tarnished. It would probably cost Masters his job.
Rob Halligan
209 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:49:10
Andrew, I'm only passing on what I've been told, which, as I've said, is only a rumour at the moment. But if our KC has indeed put up a robust case, and has proven that the Premier League were wrong to deduct 10 points, then why shouldn't we get all 10 back?

Sod the Premier League's reputation, and sod Richard Masters. We've all seen how poor he was at the DCMS hearing when he was like a rabbit in headlights. Even the chairwoman of the meeting said as much, when she, albeit tongue in cheek said to Masters, to coin a fans' chant, “You don't know what you're doing!“

Andrew Ellams
210 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:50:26
He knows where the bodies are buried though, Rob.
Eric Haworth
211 Posted 06/02/2024 at 13:52:55
Andrew @208,

Irrespective of the outcome of our appeal, my reading of the whole situation is that Masters is “toast”.

It has all the hallmarks of the old corporate two-step & he was assigned some time ago as the Premier League sacrificial lamb to carry the can for this whole debacle, which goes way beyond us.

It may surprise some, but it's a faceless CEO called Alison Brittain who calls the shots at the Premier League and she's been meticulous in maintaining a clear distance from these proceedings. Ensuring that Richard Masters has been front and centre at all times, allowing him enough rope to hang himself, and he's been more than obliging with his handling of the whole farce, capping it off with his curtain call in front of the government's all-party committee.

There have been reports for some time (well before our case) that the government felt that the Premier League needed to clean house, and with her senior executive financial background, Alison Brittain was part of this process.

Because she was only brought in at the start of last year, and has spent that time evaluating what she's inherited, (Masters and all).

She's well regarded in government circles having sat on a number of their “independent” commissions, and has form for being a “political animal” and a ruthless operator, so Masters's days are numbered, irrespective of us, because she's got far greater fish to fry.

For starters, there's the restrictions and financial implications of PSR on the likes of the “sneaky-six” and their loss by the Premier League to the European Super Leage. Also, its effect on their media bedfellows, Sky, demonstrated recently by the total lack of transfer activity in the January window, and the ensuing feeding frenzy that Sky benefit from with their broadcasts from every ground around the country.

We've even had the irony of all ironies where Chelsea, one of the “sneaky-six” can't sack their manager and his staff due to their failing results and drop down the table, as the cost of paying them off would exceed PSR limits.

Adding to all this is the tax revenue enjoyed by the government in all these transfers, then it's plain to see the irony now being realised that PSR is having the reverse effect on the game's money-grabbers from what was intended, and we can't have that, can we, so things have to change and goodbye, Mr Masters!

Michael Kenrick
212 Posted 06/02/2024 at 14:38:54

Nice rant about Premier League governance.

Unfortnately, I don't share your insight into how all this plays out but I do know that Alison Brittain is the Chair of the Premier League Board — not the CEO.

Richard Masters is the CEO. As such, I believe they have different roles within the organization and probably have to work together, rather than against each other, as members of a pretty small board that includes them and three independent non-executive directors.

Seeing Masters become "toast" may indeed transpire but I would hope it's not some Pyrrhic victory to be celebrated by Evertonians who end up watching the team going down fighting under multiple points deductions that are not rescinded.

I hope not… but we shall only know in the fullness of time.

Mark Taylor
213 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:01:26
I tend to share Michael's perspective on this, namely that the real threat is less the points appeal, more the continued reluctance of the Premier League to approve our prospective buyer.

Given our current hand-to-mouth circumstances, they literally are holding Damocles's sword over us and that can't be healthy. In fact, I regard it as an abuse of power and would not be surprised to see further lawsuits ensue.

Brent Stephens
214 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:24:16
Rob #205 - I trust you implicitly. So when you say you have a good contact inside, I believe you. I hope the info that the tristed source is giving you is reliable. I'd be over the moon if our two cases ended up with a suspended sentence.

The approval of 777 Partners is an additional concern. I'm concerned at the Premier League slowness in giving a decision on this. And I'm also concerned if they are approved and buy the club, given their reputation (Premier League do us a favour and refuse to approve 777 — and we can then play the victim card again!).

Alan J Thompson
215 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:37:45
I suppose they may reconsider and say that as it is a first offence then they will reinstate the points but a little later will let Forest off for their first offence and then do us the points for a second offence.
Brian Williams
216 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:38:57

Rob I hope whoever gave you that info is right.

But it's you that's put it on here and if it aint right you're gonna get pelters for a long time.

As I say I hope it's right but I have to question how the club can be confident of "anything" from the appeal. The appeal board are hardly likely to share anything with the club and the "new" punishment IMHO can only be guesswork by someone on "our" side as I couldn't see your ITK being on the appeal comitee's side.

I really WANT to believe it but I'm calling "bullshit" on this.

If I'm wrong and it's correct I'll buy your ale for the rest of the season.

Oh and if your ITK is wrong tell him to fuck right off and keep his trap shut and give him a good kicking.

Dave Lynch
217 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:43:53
"Premier League reputation tarnished"

For fuck’s sake, that happened when they let the 6 defectors off with no more than a good telling off.

Masters is, as one of the panel stated "making it up as he goes along."

Dale Self
218 Posted 06/02/2024 at 15:58:45
I'm not sure the PL can afford a long wait for their decision. They will be so embarrassed by April and then would be seen as directly affecting relegation too late in the season.

They played the waiting game until now and, if rumors are true, they have lost whatever advantage that gave to their position.

Terry Aylward
219 Posted 06/02/2024 at 16:13:47
Does anyone think that the presence of Mr Rabinowitz at the Spurs game could indicate that the appeal went well?

Surely if it hadn't he wouldn't want to be anywhere near Goodison considering the amount of interrogation that he'd be subject to…

Possibly just me grabbing at straws.

Brian Williams
220 Posted 06/02/2024 at 17:31:08
Paul Quinn's come out and stated "I suspect it's probably going to be early April."

This regarding the result of our appeal hearing.

Anthony Hawkins
221 Posted 06/02/2024 at 17:31:56
I don't think it's possible to guess the outcome of the appeal as it's so politically motivated. If the Premier League maintain the 10 points for appearances sake, then apply further penalties for a second offence, the Premier League look good. If they then revise the rules that other clubs are going to be charged against, they have significant egg on their faces.

If the Premier League rescind points, they look foolish for how they've behaved thus far. If they then charge Everton on the second count, they look good, but then have the challenge of the changing of rules.

In my view, the Premier League may choose the best of a worse outcome for them, which won't be pretty for us. Or they will go full tilt on Everton, change the rules then claim immunity about the changing of the rules. They've protected their brand and saved face, knowing the government will step in with their own regulatory process, which is after the fact. Thus saving face as they ‘applied the rules' and the government wanted their way.

Points back? May be 2, at best before the second charge.

Rob Halligan
222 Posted 06/02/2024 at 17:57:44
Brian # 216…

Wouldn't be the first time I've posted something which turned out not to be true, but I did say at the very beginning, and the end, that it's only a rumour, so fingers crossed that it's true! 🤞🤞🤞

Brian Williams
223 Posted 06/02/2024 at 18:13:56
Rob @222

It'd be wonderful if it was. We need something good to happen to us, it's been a long time!

Iain Crawford
224 Posted 06/02/2024 at 18:25:29
Rob, I read a rumour on Twitter which is very similar to the description you have given. So when two rumours are saying similar things, the credibility goes up a tiny bit.

I suppose last time we were confident too but the Premier League has different ideas to our interpretations.

Can't get my head around Paul The Esk saying the date for the appeal ruling is April. Why would it take 2 months to deliberate and publish their findings? It's an awful long time and I fear the independent commission's findings will get interference from the Premier League in the interim.

Or the Premier League will get a preview of the findings by the back door and hire more legal help to try to get those findings altered before publishing. All trust has gone out of the window for me.

Nicholas Ryan
225 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:09:08
Ian [200],

In anticipation of that argument, my pal quoted an 'Opta' League table of 'touches in the opposition box'... in which we were 10th.

John Chambers
226 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:12:57
Brian #220.

I think Paul must be wrong about that date. I'm pretty certain it's been said that April is the timescale for the second charge as this will give time for any appeal to be heard and adjudicated on before the end of May.

Ray Roche
227 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:16:02
I haven't read all the previous posts, my life is too short, and I'm on the outside of two G+Ts either of which would make good fist of re floating the Titanic, but maybe this a Get Out Of Jail Free card for the Premier League.

If our penalty is considerably reduced, then the possibility of Man City et al being battered, dragged out screaming and shot before dawn are reduced. Just a thought.🤷🏼‍♂️

Brian Williams
228 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:17:56
John #226.

I thought that myself, tbh.

Brendan McLaughlin
229 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:48:57
It makes no sense for the Premier League to delay announcing the outcome. They are likely to be criticised no matter the decision and any undue delay will only provide further ammunition for their critics.

Mid-February sounds about right.

John Keating
230 Posted 07/02/2024 at 12:40:44
Might be wrong but I think tomorrow Masters had to give Caroline Dinenage answer to her questions raised.

She asked Masters to enlarge on his “small club” comments.
More importantly, she has asked for the minutes of the board meeting the Premier League apparently had where a sanctions policy was discussed and agreed prior to the “independent” commission sitting.

Based on the apparent meeting and agreement, I find it strange that a possible decision by the “independent” appeal commission could be announced.

Fair enough if Masters can prove this meeting and agreement took place. However, can you imagine the shit that would hit the fan if his submission to Dinenage was less than 100%?

Mal van Schaick
231 Posted 08/02/2024 at 10:47:45
There is an interesting report on Sky Sports website, regarding a pivotal month of February for Everton,with our appeal hearing result due and our takeover.

I hope that at the conclusion of it all, the original panel who dealt us swift injustice are held to account, in particular Masters, who presided over the ‘Kangaroo court‘.

Anthony Hawkins
232 Posted 08/02/2024 at 13:00:41
@Mal #231, the SkySports article is written very positively however the pivotal nature of the month could also outcome in zero points back, second offense for breaching and 777 declined - which would be extremely damning.
Stephen Davies
233 Posted 08/02/2024 at 13:03:33
Very interesting
Tom Bowers
234 Posted 08/02/2024 at 13:04:46
Don't hold your breath. This isn't Liverpool, Man Utd or Man City were talking about.

If we got one point back it would be a miracle considering the clowns running the Premier League.

Ray Roche
235 Posted 08/02/2024 at 14:02:29
Stephen @23,

Thanks for that, Stephen, very informative. 👍🏻

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