20/03/2024 22comments  |  Jump to last

Andy Burnham has been speaking to Mark Chapman on The Sports Agents podcast about Nottingham Forest's 4-point deduction for breaching the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules:

“I feel so frustrated about it. They’ve ruined this season, the second to last season at Goodison Park, they have ruined it.

“The fact that this grand old ground is just shrouded constantly in protest and frustration and anger, it isn’t right to me. But not just to us, look at the whole bottom of the table.

“Nobody knows where they are, nobody knows what is going on. Nobody knows what the next deduction will be… And you look at the process they’ve got Forest and ourselves in now.

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“Have they used the formula that they sent to the original commission that looked at Everton, to the commission looking at Forest? I don’t know the answer to that question…

“Will they use the same formula with Everton? Will Everton and Forest be the only clubs ever to be charged under this opaque... I won’t even call it a regime... because I think they’ve been making it up as they go along.

“And this is the point, I think they took this action against Everton and targeted us in the way that they have done to try and prove that they could regulate to push back the idea of a government regulator.

“I think what they’ve done is the precise opposite, they’ve proved they can’t regulate. They’ve proved they cannot do it fairly, openly, and transparently and this is the situation that we are in.”

“I think the Premier League has made the case for one, it’s just not like any form of regulation that I’ve ever seen, where you just don’t know where you stand.

“You just don’t know the framework that they’re using to make judgements on the sanction that should be applied. And then you’ve got the whole effect on football, there was barely a transfer window this time round.

“Everyone’s kind of standing back. I was at Rochdale FC the other night, a club that is struggling at the top of National League now. And they were saying to me that they were hoping to sell a player and it all fell through because the club that was going to buy said, 'oh no, we can’t', because of the whole nervousness around this.

“I think it’s killed this season; I honestly think this whole thing has made this season a bit of a nightmare and the Premier League need to step back and take a proper look at this. There can be no complacency that English football always stays up there.

“We’ve got to a point where you can’t celebrate a goal because you think some faceless person somewhere in an industrial park is going to rule it out and we’re going to have this situation on the final day of the Premier League where we won’t know who is staying up and who is going down.

“There is a conflict of interests, absolutely bound up in this whole thing and I don’t think that the promoter of a product can also be the regulator of a product, particularly given the amount of money that is circulating in the game.

“But I just come back to that this is a founding member of the Football League, a founding member of the Premier League that is trying to build a new stadium to enhance the Premier League, that was doing that through Covid and a war in Ukraine and opened its books to say we might have a problem.

“And I’m not saying that this club was being particularly well run by the owner in the period concerned, but if you add all of that together and then you say, 'woah, we’re deducting 10 points', well, obviously they got that wrong anyway because it has been reduced, but it was disproportionate, and it was because of something else.

“They were chasing something else when they went for Everton, and they were trying to make the government back off. But for me it’s just proven we need an independent regulator for football.

“Somebody that is not doing two things, promoting, and regulating at the same time. The regulator should be the regulator and nothing else. And by the way, they should be putting in place a deal for the Football League and football beneath the Football League.

“The fact that the Premier League can’t do that, that the clubs can’t do that, I think speaks volumes about a game that has been left to regulate itself and can’t regulate itself and now needs to see a strong independent regulator do the job for them.”

» Read the full article at The Sports Agents podcast

Reader Comments (22)

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Pat Kelly
1 Posted 20/03/2024 at 19:18:26
Spot on. This should end now. The Premier League's actions against Everton and Forest should be rescinded.

The new independent regulator should start with a clean slate and a transparent set of rules.

Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 20/03/2024 at 19:34:14
For the sake of football, this chaos that has taken over the Premier League must be halted. The government must surely see Masters & Co have no idea on running the Premier League fairly.

The treatment of Everton is despicable and stinks the place out.

There is no place for Masters and the sooner he and his cronies are removed and banned from football management and governance, the better.

My contempt for the Premier League management team is total. Man City have done 15 years of taking the piss. They should be serving a ban from first-class football for decades.

I hope Everton can get through this season and start afresh in the summer. Hopefully with a genuine CEO and new owner.

Hope eternal.

Barry Rathbone
3 Posted 20/03/2024 at 19:48:20
Populist politico speak preaching to the choir.

Something had to be done about the game and someone had to be guinea pigs as no defacto process appeared to exist; it just so happened to be us.

However inadvertent, the joint venture betwixt the powers that be and Everton have now come up with a model to be applied to all guilty parties, Forest being the first.

"Conspiracy" will only apply if other guilty parties are not treated the same way but, until then, peeps are just howling at the moon.

Charles Ward
4 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:15:58
I'm surprised Andy Burnham has the time — what with him agitating for Man Utd to get public money for the ‘National Stadium North'.

Jim Ratcliffe, the tax exile strike breaker, is a strange bedfellow for a man of the people.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:21:20
I thought the model is getting abolished very soon, Barry!
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:21:49
It's good that Andy Burnham is speaking out and, in my view, he's on the money. This needs regulating, not regulating itself. They've been called out and the time is coming now that the scrutiny is on.

As for national stadium. I'd disagree on that. I've commented many times that the national team should be taken around the country at different stadiums as they do in Germany.

If there is going to be a national stadium of the north, then it would be the new Everton Stadium.

Charles Ward
7 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:25:04
And FA Cup semi-finals shouldn't be held at Wembley either.

This is one of the steps that have degraded the FA Cup, starting with Man Utd dropping out in 2000? to play in the World Championship.

Brendan McLaughlin
8 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:25:56
"I don't know the answer to that question"

Strange that Andy who has been so outspoken on the Premier League's approach in Everton's case, didn't take the time to read the Forest judgement in order to allow him to form a view on that very question.

Or perhaps it isn't that strange?

Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:34:44
Tony @5,

If they deviate much from the present set-up and clubs unfairly escape similar punishment, they will be open to almost indefensible lawsuits from us and Forest plus anyone else caught in the cross-fire.

I just don't see the massive makeover some are predicting.

Les Callan
10 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:48:39
Barry, do you really think that our set of dimwits have got the bottle to take out lawsuits, ‘ cos I don’t.
Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:49:40
The real issue is there is no solid, concrete, written rule clarifying the points deduction process.

Somewhere, I have to believe in the Premier League Rules and Regulations (or whatever they call it), it must empirically state that if a club goes into Administration it is a 9 point deduction?

So, here's an idea.

Actually write down what the point penalty is for breach of FFP! Have a concrete formula in which the points deduction is automatically applied if a club is in breach.

Instead we have poo-flinging 10 points… "Oops, we stepped in it – make 'er 6 points; now another team – let's do 6 points for the appearance of continuity but then take 2 off for "good behavior".

What... the... fuck...?

It's an actual and legitimate circus! All the while, the circus is carrying an AR-15 and mowing down founding member clubs of its own league.

I don't know if an independent regulator is the way to go? But Burnham sure gets one thing right – the Premier League has absolutely no idea what it's doing, they're retroactively trying to make decisions to create the appearance of continuity and a "system", and they look like ass-clowns while fucking with the life of their own member clubs.

You can't make this shit up. Idiots.

And what's really scary is these idiots are idiots who think they're smart! God help us. God help football in England.

Jamie Crowley
12 Posted 20/03/2024 at 20:58:24
BY the way, one more thing to add.

Has anyone contemplated that 2 points off the 6-point deduction for good behavior Forest received?

What kind of precedent does that set with an independent regulator? Call me nuts but I see Man City passing brown envelopes all over the place to receive 20 points off a 22-point deduction for "good behavior" [hyperbole, exaggeration to make the point].

The corruption element you're setting up with deductions for "good behavior" is off the freaking charts! And that's a real thing, folks. Private phone call to offer to fund some EPL "cause" or building project if the club in breach can receive a "good behavior discount"??

I've seen stranger things…

Brendan McLaughlin
13 Posted 20/03/2024 at 21:11:10
Jamie #12

I think there were precedents quoted for the "good behaviour" reduction along the lines of a maximum of 1/3rd being common.

A reduction of 20 points off a 22-point deduction might raise a few eyebrows… unless it's the Shite of course.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 20/03/2024 at 21:11:50
So why are they supposedly going to be changing to the European model Barry?

I’m genuinely more interested in our takeover to be honest, but another thing that is hardly getting a mention, is that these commissions cost a lot of money, so I don’t think it’s something the league will want to continue doing, and it’s also possible this is why City, with their bottomless pit of cash, have yet to be called upon?

Michael Kenrick
15 Posted 20/03/2024 at 21:59:07
I think you're right, Barry @9.

The fact that Everton and then Forest (much more so) have cooperated with the Premier League process and accepted their punishment without calling a halt to it means the precedent is well and truly in place, and will surely apply to at least the accounts for the current season, whatever new system of rules (if any) may come in starting next season at the earliest.

As I think Brent pointed out elsewhere, the time it will take to get this Independent Football Regulator in place and given any powers whatsoever rules out anything changing from the Government side for 2 or 3 years at least.

And then the powers that they will have are extremely unlikely to include the kind of interference people seem to be crying out for. In fact, the irony of so many good honest working-class people putting their trust in an elitist Government body to bring a level playing field to the rampant market capitalism that is top-flight football in the Premier League seems utterly deluded to me.

John Keating
16 Posted 20/03/2024 at 22:35:01
Barry @3,

I think you're right that there has to be a “model” that will determine how all clubs are treated equally by. However, it seems to me that the model should have been the first decision, our Commission's decision.That initial model appears to have been adjusted in the Forest Commission.

It will be extremely interesting to see what model is used in our second Commission. Will it be our model, the Forest model, or, more than likely and one I expect, a third model?

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 20/03/2024 at 22:43:42
John #16

"It seems to me that the model should have been the first decision, our Commission's decision. That initial model appears to have been adjusted in the Forest Commission."

John, the model used by the Commission hearing our case was, I think, adjusted by our Appeal Board. The model used in the Forest case is, I believe, consistent with that.

Si Cooper
18 Posted 20/03/2024 at 00:18:31
“Jim Ratcliffe, the tax exile strike-breaker, is a strange bedfellow for a man of the people.”

Depends on your take of the overall picture, Charles.

He also took over various moribund chemical sites and forged them into a massive corporation that has given thousands of people a steady job.

I was told by the son of one of the Grangemouth tanker drivers that the deal Ratcliffe wanted to expunge was indeed ridiculously generous, gifted to them by weak management who ultimately hadn't run the site profitably. That deal was an anachronism that Ratcliffe needed to be rid of so that his company wasn't at risk of being financially crucified by a small group of workers.

There are plenty of golden handcuff deals in existence that your average worker should be very happy about if they eventually get binned. Pay inequality isn't necessarily restricted to vertical stratification in a business.

Anthony Hawkins
19 Posted 21/03/2024 at 12:17:40
If the formula applied to Everton's case was used for other charges, Forest would have been deducted more than 3 points. We already know the same formula isn't being applied. In part because there isn't one. It appears to be on 'feel' and incidental at the time.

Man City's situation is a farce. I sort of get why it's taking so long but, if they don't make a start, they'll never get anywhere. The financial irregularities and accounting treatment will feed into the PSR calculations.

I still can't believe only Everton and Forest have been charged. Only two teams have breached, according to the Premier League?

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 21/03/2024 at 12:42:17
Anthony #19,

What did the Commission report into Forest's case say about the level of penalties that could be applied?

Matt Traynor
21 Posted 21/03/2024 at 14:56:46
Chelsea are supposedly £900M over existing PSR. Of course the new rules will see them okay.
Ian Wilkins
22 Posted 21/03/2024 at 15:38:53
Matt, the new rules won't save them, the current season is judged under current rules.

They are looking to do multiple inflated deals with the Saudis in June before the cut-off at the end of June. Another crooked way of solving the problem, like Salah going there for £100M.

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