21/03/2024 104comments  |  Jump to last

Leicester City today became the fourth club to be referred to an independent commission by the Premier League for alleged violations of spending limits and failing to submit audited financial records.

The Foxes, currently on course for a return to the top flight as they sit joint top of the Championship with Leeds, follow Everton, Manchester City and Nottingham Forest in being charged with breaching rules around Profitability and Sustainability and financial reporting.

Everton were, of course, handed a 10-point sanction in November, reduced to six on appeal and go before a second League-appointed commission early next week where they porentially face further censure while Forest were docked four points last Monday.

Manchester City are expected to finally go before a commission of their own later this year.

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According to the BBC, "Leicester are yet to make their accounts for their last season in the Premier League publicly available, but in the 12 months up to May 2022 they lost a club-record £92.5m."

They are also at risk of being charged by the English Football League for breaching that league's spending rules and face a points deduction from the Premier League that would take effect at the start of 2024-25 should they gain promotion this season.


Reader Comments (104)

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Mike Hayes
1 Posted 21/03/2024 at 18:16:44
Leicester City have just been charged with the "made up as they go along" rules that is PSR!

The whole lot wants scrapping and this needs to be highlighted by all club fan groups — and VAR needs scrapping along with it, totally destroying the enjoyment of watching a match… neither are fit for purpose.

Brendan McLaughlin
2 Posted 21/03/2024 at 18:57:19
Leicester charged?

What happened to the "Everton only" policy?

Perhaps not everyone got the memo...

Brian Harrison
3 Posted 21/03/2024 at 19:40:29
Looks like Masters is wasting no time to charge as many clubs as possible before the changes to the current P&S rules come into force next season.

Although a majority of clubs voted for these current rules to be implemented, I doubt many of them expected 3 clubs to have been already charged. So I expect when this is next discussed by the Premier League clubs, there will be substantial changes to the existing rules; otherwise, next season could see a further raft of clubs charged.

You only have to see how little money was spent in the January window to see the impact these rules were having. Strange that when Masters was before the Select Committee he said that a date had been set for Man City to appear before the commission but refused to say when.

And despite Chelsea admitting to the Premier League that there had been some financial irregularities when Abramovich was in charge, yet even Chelsea admitting this doesn't seem to constitute them appearing before any commission.

The problem is that football is very insular so to those who so far haven't yet fallen foul of the rules, it's pretty much "nothing to do with me, these clubs have broken the rules".

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 21/03/2024 at 19:45:24
Brendan (2),

It looks like Masters didn't want Everton to have that “honour” of being the only club charged.

By the way, Lyndon, Manchester City are going before the commission in 2025 – not this year.

Lyndon Lloyd
5 Posted 21/03/2024 at 19:49:16
Dave, everything I've read says the case will be heard late this year, with a verdict not likely until 2025.
Rob Halligan
6 Posted 21/03/2024 at 20:04:19
Love it!!
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 21/03/2024 at 20:12:44
Lyndon (5),

Apologies, you read it correctly. I thought they were charged early this year. They were charged last year and the hearing is expected to be later this year with the sentence to be announced in the summer of 2025 as you said.

John Keating
8 Posted 21/03/2024 at 20:16:55
Wasn't Leicester one of the Clubs that wanted us hung drawn and quartered because we didn't get done last season so they went down? Two-faced bastards!

This is an absolute joke. The Premier League are making a mockery out of football with this shit and allowing VAR to be used.

I think the Nottingham MPs and our own FAB may well have a point of calling this charade to be put on the backburner until some definite easy-to-follow processes and deductions are implemented.

Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 21/03/2024 at 20:54:46
Oh no!! not Leicester as well.

I was hoping for a reprise of Kenneth Williams "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!" to join the "conspiracy" and "corruption" leaflets now popular in this locale.

What are the authorities up to getting a grip of shifty football clubs breaking the rules?

What if loads more are roped in?

The impact on this level playing field, spectacle that is pro football could be immense.

Heaven forfend.

Stan Grace
10 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:12:32
'What are the authorities up to getting a grip of shifty football clubs breaking the rules?'

Hardly, considering the Manchester City and Chelsea cases are yet to be assigned a specific date, the initial points deducted from Everton were judged to have been erroneously calculated and Nottingham Forest were deducted two points less than us for cooperating with the Premier League, something which their own rules do not make reference to.

Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:18:17
Stan @10,

Did you think they were going to announce the alleged perps en masse? Not what they've done so far.

Ted Roberts
12 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:29:13
This to me just appears to be the Premier League disassembling the Premier League brick by brick with their utter, totally useless, clueless incompetence, corruptness.

Carry on, I say, just keep digging the hole deeper and deeper until it is the cesspit that everyone has come to see for itself that that is what it is.

Wow! What a difference losing £700M in a transfer window can do to make you show your true colours. Bring it on, I can't wait to see the nuclear fallout from all this.

Brent Stephens
13 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:44:16
Stan #10

"Forest were deducted two points less than us for cooperating with the Premier League, something which their own rules do not make reference to."

Stan, this is covered by the principle of mitigating factors (Forest co-operation and early plea) and aggravating factors (Everton's various aggravations!). Considering mitigating and aggravating factors is what should be standard practice in such cases – and exactly what Everton argued for.

Stan Grace
14 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:52:28
Barry, there is a clear semantic difference between 'getting a grip of shifty football clubs' and 'announcing the alleged perps en masse'.

I also stated two other ways in which the Premier League 'were not getting a grip' and am interested to hear any counter arguments to those.

Peter Mitchell
15 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:53:05
Brent (13): argued for and were ignored, in respect of our mitigating factors.

In Forest's case, it is notable that whilst their mitigating factors resulted in a reduction in the points deduction, the real aggravating factor (that they deliberately breached the rules by selling Player A after the deadline) was completely ignored, when it should have led to an increase in their points deduction.

No consistency in application of the rules at all that I can see!

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:59:27
Peter, our mitigations weren't ignored. They were argued, listened to, countered in detail and rejected in conclusion (with one exception that was allowed?).

We might not like that but they weren't ignored.

Barry Rathbone
17 Posted 21/03/2024 at 21:59:28
Stan @14,

No idea what you're getting at… you seem to be saying Man City and Chelsea have to be in the frame right now (and presumably anyone else in the crosshairs) but I don't see why.

Peter Mitchell
18 Posted 21/03/2024 at 22:09:19
Brent (16): okay, I accept that they were considered, but they were also (in my view) glossed over at best.

They essentially said that Everton should have anticipated the Russian invasion of Ukraine resulting in a loss of sponsorship as something that any business should have planned for, which is (in my view) a totally ridiculous conclusion.

Contrast that to Forest being given a one-third reduction in punishment for co-operating with the Premier League. Everton were also found to have co-operated to the extent reasonably required by the Premier League in their appeal, but this didn't result in any reduction in the points deduction for us.

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 21/03/2024 at 22:16:30

"Everton were also found to have co-operated to the extent reasonably required by the Premier League in their appeal, but this didn't result in any reduction in the points deduction for us."

I thought our Appeal hearing rejected our argument that we co-operated in the original Commission hearing (Ground 3 in the Appeal report – para 116 "We dismiss this ground of appeal")?

John Raftery
20 Posted 21/03/2024 at 22:34:50
At this rate, we'll soon be able to form a breakaway league of clubs found guilty of PSR breaches.
Rob Dolby
21 Posted 21/03/2024 at 22:38:56
This whole thing is like the school yard bully picking on the little kids. Villa and Newcastle next up.

Meanwhile, the select few will be picking up the others' best players on the cheap.

How come no sign of Chelsea being charged? £1B spent in 18 months. Football is so removed from a sport as it's ever been.

Anyone catch the mess between Georgia and Luxembourg tonight... the game needs a reset. The whole thing is a mess.

Brendan McLaughlin
22 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:16:54
Rob #21,

Multi-million kids... difficult to pick on them.

Stan Grace
23 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:27:08

There is no Premier League documentation that establishes that mitigating factors such as Forest's co-operation and early plea will automatically result in a punishment that is 2 points less than that for a club which did not cooperate in the same way.


The point I'm making is that the Premier League is clearly not getting to grips with certain clubs. They refuse to even discuss when these clubs will be dealt with.

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:36:57

"There is no Premier League documentation that establishes that mitigating factors such as Forest's co-operation and early plea will automatically result in a punishment that is 2 points less than that for a club which did not cooperate in the same way."

I didn't say there was, Stan. Not at all. I was just repeating what the hearings had said. And that's the whole point – that the Premier League hasn't set any precise regulations on these specific points – it has left it to the hearings to establish what in effect is case law – a point made by, I think, Brendan on another thread.

Brendan McLaughlin
25 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:38:42
Stan #23

The club's voted to give the Independent Commissions "carte blanche".

So the fact that the detail isn't written down is irrelevant.

Stan Grace
26 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:54:19

I have been questioning the idea that the Premier League are 'getting a grip' on clubs. I have not made reference to the independent commission.


I never said you did. Just wanted to suggest that in the same way the Premier League were said to have miscalculated with our initial 10-point deduction, then there exists the possibility that they have also miscalculated in Forest's case too.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 21/03/2024 at 23:58:01
Stan, my apologies if I misunderstood your point was about the Premier League itself, not getting a grip on clubs.
Brendan McLaughlin
28 Posted 22/03/2024 at 00:22:49
Stan #26,

The Premier League are getting to grips with clubs by bringing an Independent Commission, an Appeal mechanism and the option to go to arbitration.

Police state... for fuck's sake!

Ernie Baywood
29 Posted 22/03/2024 at 00:24:29
Stan, it's not really miscalculating. They form a view, the club forms a view, and then the Commission enforces a view.

We were a test case. The first cab off the rank. We were also the second cab off the rank with our Appeal.

First came third, by which time there were some established principles that could be applied.

We're next and will use every bit of those prior hearings.

Forest may well appeal. And they may end up having grounds for the punishment to be changed. Every hearing is bringing something new to the fore.

That's just how these things work. The Commissions didn't write the rules - they've just interpreted them as best they can.

There's an easy way to not fall into all of this. Don't break the rules. They were the one part of all this that was pretty clear from the outset. Both Forest and ourselves have said we don't like the rules... that's just tough. For the time being, they are what they are and we signed up to them.

Rob Dolby
30 Posted 22/03/2024 at 07:57:45
Ernie - Just don't break the rules is a cop out. Nobody has any idea of the consequences of breaking the rules.

We sold our best players to try and comply with the league, have 3 relegations fights and got docked 10 points.

Forest bought 40 players and still have most of them on their books but got a more lenient deduction.

Leicester got relegated, sold their best players, and face a deduction even before they get promotion.

Don't break the rules isn't an option for any club that wants to compete or even stay in the Premier League. Would you agree that the rules aren't fit for purpose?

I honestly don't know why the other 14 agreed to the rules in the first place. PSR has protected the elite and created a glass ceiling that can't be broken.

What's the point in a sport if we have no competition?

Ted Roberts
31 Posted 22/03/2024 at 08:07:02
Football Insider now quoting “sources information that we are to receive another 4 point deduction”.

I thought we hadn't had our hearing yet?

Ray Robinson
32 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:07:05
If we were to be deducted more points, the double jeopardy argument regarding overlapping seasons notwithstanding, how can two punishments be levied in the same season? Yet more double jeopardy.

I realise that, but for a change of account reporting periods, we would have gone down last season but do the Premier League realise that applying sanctions for multiple seasons' offences simultaneously would see Chelsea and Man City instantly relegated to the Championship or even further down the pyramid? If they ever get punished that is.

You surely cannot apply separate offences in the same season?

Barry Rathbone
33 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:28:37
Rob 30,

It ain't a cop out to "not break rules"; the reason the game has become so dreadfully predictable is clubs have driven a coach and horses through the rules.

Regardless of what happens to us (even though we are bang to rights), I'm glad the authorities are doing something about it.

Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:41:15
I'm no expert, but the issue is that the "rules" are ambiguous and open to interpretation, which has allowed clubs to go rogue as there has been no defined guidelines or rules.

The clubs shouldn't be punished. The authorities should be regulated and held to account. Then we can allow follow the rules. Not made up ones.

Bobby Mallon
35 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:43:23
Dave @4 and Lyndon @5,

Man City are not in front of the commission for PSR breaches – it's for their wrong doings within Uefa.

Their hearing is this year and verdict in 2025. but they have broken PSR 7 times and the Premier League know this but still haven't charged them.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:44:47
They will or should be subject to both, Bobby.
Bobby Mallon
37 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:47:40
Barry @17,

Because Man City have broken PSR 7 times.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:58:39
Bobby (35),

It's really very hard to see how the Premier League are running these rules and how the commissions are dealing out punishments; it really is a circus… but, where Everton are concerned, who knows what the end will be?

The only consistent thing is the smell of it all, it is rotten and stinks to high heaven.

Jerome Shields
39 Posted 22/03/2024 at 09:59:26
I agree that the Premier League clubs, including Everton, Forest and Leicester, agreed to the Premier League Rules regarding Profitability and Sustainability Rules. Everton's own Chief Executive was on the Premier League Committee.

The figures regarding Everton being bandied are Everton's own figures which they presented to the Commission and Appeal Committee. They are not the Premier League figures. The Premier League has commented on Everton's figures, questioning in some instances their validity, but from reports not all instances publicly.

The Premier League have never presented the figures that they have come up with. We were told prior to the Commission these would not be revealed. I suppose this is to prevent involvement in tax implications. The Forest figures seem to be more accurate than the Everton figures, since the Commission commented on their cooperation.

There is no doubt the application of sanctions has been a hatchet job regarding Everton as they have been the first sanctioned as the appeal proved. The second Commission should be less points than Forest since there is an overlap in periods. Hopefully this counts in interpretation by the Premier League . It will also be dependent on what figures Everton present, hopefully they tally with the Premier League figures.

The other forgotten factor is compensation which is to be decided by a Commission, which is complicated by Leicester's inclusion, if they made a submission before the required date. Whilst the stadium naming rights and Finch Farm payment from USM appears in the accounts, further payments don't. Everton's loss of sponsorship as a result of Usmanov connections I would query.

Chelsea got a transfer ban and the new owners came clean to the government and authorities after they took over regarding what they found. It will be interesting to see if Man City are able to repeat the overturning of their 2020 FFP sanctions, which were only a reduced monetary sanction on appeal to Court for Arbitration in Sport, on being outside time limits.

Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 22/03/2024 at 10:00:33
So Leicester are part of the Premier League who are going to look a little bit silly if the Football League decide on a points penalty that sees Leicester miss promotion.

Somebody needs to make somebody pull their head in.

Wayne Dinkelman
41 Posted 22/03/2024 at 10:19:50
Will be something like Everton -10 points on appeal to -6, Forest -4 on appeal to -2, Leicester -2 on appeal to 0 and finally Man City 0 points and on appeal given +10 points.
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 22/03/2024 at 11:08:58
I've heard that the Premier League have been saving up, to try and punish City. They haven't got anywhere near enough money to begin prosecutions yet though, so I've heard they are just going to concentrate on the relegation battle instead because it's a lot cheaper.
Charles Ward
43 Posted 22/03/2024 at 11:27:23
With regards to Chelsea, there is a nongoing criminal case involving an agent and the ex director of Chelsea, Marina Granovskaia.

The agent is being prosecuted for malicious communications, I presume to Marina Granovskaia. As part of his defence he's asked for disclosure of transfer dealings in the Abramovich era.

Watch this space.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 22/03/2024 at 12:04:36
Tony #42,

There could be a lot to what you say.

Christine Foster
45 Posted 22/03/2024 at 12:16:06
You know, look at what's happening, 2 teams in the relegation mire, one was relegated but faces sanctions if they come up.. if I didn't know better, I would say the Premier League are picking its battles. Realistically, the three clubs are guilty of aspiring to compete. Aspiration.

No Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, City or Man Utd or Spurs.. because they get the lion's share of revenue, soon to be more. Because of the income gap, they are immune to PSR. And the new rules that replace PSR will increase that gap between them and lower teams. No longer a presence of fairness, the 6 clubs are reaping the rewards of an unfair and biased Premier League who protect the few and trample the many.

Christine Foster
46 Posted 22/03/2024 at 12:22:18
If Everton are done again, I would ask then to publish transcripts of meetings of the Premier League, no holding back. Because, if we are to be relegated, then blow this corrupt and vindictive organisation apart.

I dare say we would be kicked out of the league but chances are it will already happen anyway. Enough, we need to know what and who are behind all this.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 22/03/2024 at 12:32:42
Every meeting we are subject to and signed off on records of discussion. We used to call them minutes.

Hold them to their decisions, how they got to them, what the basis was, and what their rationale was. And was it applied impartially.

I doubt they can answer those questions.

Brendan McLaughlin
48 Posted 22/03/2024 at 13:32:35
Premier League minutes... less smoking gun more clutchable straw methinks.
Rob Dolby
49 Posted 22/03/2024 at 13:48:13
Barry 30.

How can you be glad the Premier League are doing something about PSR breaches when it just looks like they are picking on clubs outside of the elite?

How can you be happy with our 10 points but Forest's 4 points or Leicester's impending deduction?

Man City smashed through the glass ceiling and other clubs have tried but failed so why punish them for trying? Nobody has gone bust.

The impact of teams being relegated is massive. In our case, local jobs will be lost, revenue cut and team weakened further.

Maybe you didn't mean 'happy'?

I would love a level playing field approach to this but, as we have seen a couple of weeks ago, the likes of Luton and Bournemouth not voting to cascade money into the EFL stinks to high heaven.

Barry Rathbone
50 Posted 22/03/2024 at 14:34:08
Rob @49,

My guess (and it is only a guess) is taking on Man City and maybe Chelsea with their colossal wealth needs a cast iron, copper bottomed case.

It's one thing getting clubs like us and Forest to toe the line – we are of no consequence or influence in the modern game; a few points returned on appeal or mitigation is a parlour game compared to taking on clubs that might chew them up and spit them out.

We, and others like us, are on the undercard; the main bout is on its way that's why Man City et al are not yet in the dock. But they will be.

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 22/03/2024 at 14:38:09
I may be wrong but didn't the Select Committee ask Masters for the minutes of the meeting the Premier League had in August 2023 discussing these matters?

Masters said he would provide the Select Committiee with the minutes of the meeting, but a week later wrote to the Select Committee saying basically they are a private members club and said they felt that meant they didn't have to release the minutes of the meeting.

Look, let's be perfectly honest: if the 3 different rulings that the Premier League have come up with had been involving any of the Top 6, journalists would have been all over Masters asking why the various committees have come to 3 very different sanctions.

But it doesn't involve a Top 6 side, it just affects a club with no owner at present and no board, another club that has only just joined the Premier League, and a team recently relegated.

So this is no big story and, come the summer, clubs will make sure that the rules are relaxed in such a way that these problems will go away.

The rules were devised so that a club finishing in the Top 6 with European money and money from the Premier League for finishing so high, were guaranteed they would really have to have spent like Chelsea nearly £1B to come anywhere close to being called before an independent commission.

So, as it stands at present, the only clubs liable to fall foul of these rules are newly promoted clubs trying to spend to stay in the Premier League, or clubs who have escaped relegation and are desperately spending to avoid being back in a relegation battle.

Andy Crooks
52 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:10:22

I think it's less to do with colossal wealth, I think even we can afford a decent defence, than political expediency. If Man City are punished, it will be a well-thought-out deal. Their owners are too powerful to be annoyed. So they will be mildly irritated but act like they have been dealt with like Rangers.

It will all go back to how it was but, for the first time ever, I believe that this is going to implode.

Bring on a super league in empty Saudi stadiums and let the rest of us watch football with Bovril and a pie.

Paul Kossoff
53 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:20:02
Andy 53, well put, you have actually cheered me up. Just imagine a league without the Big 6, Heaven indeed.
Charles Ward
54 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:25:39
Paul, be careful what you wish for!

There are none of the Top 6 in the Championship.

Paul Kossoff
55 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:45:04
Charles, I would rather be in the Championship than this fucked-up pile of corruption we are in now. It's not football as I grew up watching or playing, even a goal can't be celebrated until some Ponce says it's okay… and yes, 'Ponce' with a capital P.
Andy Crooks
56 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:48:28
Charles, I think it is fundamentally about why we are supporters. We are stuck with Everton, therefore, the Championship is unthinkable, our bar is higher.

But, imagine you had been, somehow, chosen to support Mansfield? How good would life seem now? It would be better than the anxiety that being a Blue is costing me right now.

Charles Ward
57 Posted 22/03/2024 at 15:58:59
Andy, there are plenty of lower league clubs who have worse owners than us – possibly.

Those who the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.
Never mind points deductions… financially we are in a mess with huge debts and interest payments. I don't fully understand all the accountancy talk but I know Man Utd have large debts but an equally large income to service those debts.

When Moshiri (and don't forget he supposedly had experience at Arsenal) came in, I was glibly taking the mickey out of my RS mates who were crowing that they'd been able to entice Klopp.

How the last seven years have changed things.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 22/03/2024 at 16:21:45
Totally agree, Brian, and you only have to consider that when Liverpool were hard done by, it wasn't long before they released the VAR transcript, which must mean that the smoking gun definitely holds a lot of power sometimes!
Rob Dolby
59 Posted 22/03/2024 at 16:46:17
Barry @50,

I understand where you're coming from but personally I don't want Man City being punished. I don't want anyone punished, I want them to get away with it, like I want Newcastle to be next in line to break in.

Man Utd are £1B in debt, have license to continually spend, and nothing is said.

Chelsea bought for £1 35 years ago are now untouchable and can spend billions without any punishment. Their new owners also spent £1B and are now trying to hang out the previous owner to curry favour.

The very nature of PSR in the current guise just protects the rich.

Moving under ideal rules won't make any difference to the big boys.

We need an American-style draft system to level the playing field.

Andrew Merrick
60 Posted 22/03/2024 at 17:50:16
Leicester taking legal action against the Premier League and EFL...

I applaud them.

Could be a good time for some action from other clubs too...

Andrew Merrick
61 Posted 22/03/2024 at 18:11:46
Leicester fighting back...
Kevin Edward
62 Posted 22/03/2024 at 18:38:28
Leicester City have some cahoonas. Makes me think of the Rebels vs the Death Star. Hopefully will have the same result.

I hope our lawyers are watching closely, and not sat in the pub.

Ernie Baywood
63 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:06:28
So is Leicester's play simply to delay punishment?

Because that delay probably gets them promoted and all of the financial benefit that comes with it.

The same as the delay in our case kept us up with all of the financial benefit that came with it.

Timing is probably the most farcical part of all this. Especially when you consider that some part of Leicester's overspend will be because they were relegated instead of us... due to the timing of punishments!

Danny Baily
64 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:08:20
I wish we'd come out swinging like Leicester have.
Charles Ward
65 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:19:06
Ernie, your post sounds like a rerun of ‘Back to the Future'.
Barry Rathbone
66 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:20:36
Leicester City haven't posted the requisite accounts for their last Premier League season yet lost £125M over the previous 2 seasons, ergo breached the £105M PSR limit.

I bet those last season accounts are being cooked big time; otherwise, why on earth are they trying a lawsuit?

John Chambers
67 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:32:52

PSR numbers are not the same as their loss in the statutory accounts. I think we lost about £400M in the first period we were charged for. There are a bunch of things, covid adjustment (if it's still valid), investment in women's football, community work etc that can be used to reduce the PSR number.

John Chambers
68 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:36:49

On a positive note, it means Leicester should be at least 6 points behind us at the start of the season if they come up and we stay up!

Paul Hewitt
69 Posted 22/03/2024 at 19:51:04
I actually hope Leicester sue the pants off the Premier League. What they're doing, they have no grounds for.
Brent Stephens
70 Posted 22/03/2024 at 20:03:22

"I actually hope Leicester sue the pants off the Premier League. What they're doing, they have no grounds for."

Yes, it might force the Premier League to draft some rules about spending limits and sanctions. Of course, you'd then need a few cases brought against clubs under those rules to establish some sort of case law to flesh out the rules. That might just work.

Ray Robinson
71 Posted 22/03/2024 at 20:16:34
If Leicester are found guilty by the Premier League but they don’t get promoted, what happens then?
Ian Bennett
72 Posted 22/03/2024 at 20:30:54
Points deduction next season.

the Premier League can't sanction the EFL. However, the EFL have their own charges pending on Leicester.

Ray Robinson
73 Posted 22/03/2024 at 20:34:36
But if the EFL impose the points deduction, does that mean the Premier League’s charge lapses?
Brent Stephens
74 Posted 22/03/2024 at 20:46:44

Ben Fisher in The Guardian today says "it is thought that" any penalty imposed by the Premier League could be administered by the EFL if Leicester don't gain promotion at the first attempt.

I got the impression that there were big tensions between the Premier League and EFL over things like the distribution of monies coming into the Premier League, so I don't know if the EFL would play ball.

It would also leave the EFL, as well as the Premier League, open to a court case brought by Leicester.

Dennis Stevens
75 Posted 22/03/2024 at 21:15:37
I'd have thought that the Premier League and EFL can only administer punishments for breaches of their own rules, respectively. One of the consequences from the top flight breaking away from the Football League in the first place, I suppose.
Brent Stephens
76 Posted 22/03/2024 at 21:30:25
I agree, Dennis. Imagine the EPL and EFL agreed that the EFL would apply the EPL's sanctions while Leicester were still in the EFL! Unless Leicester were willing to take their medicine (and it sounds very much as if they're not), then Leicester would surely say that the EPL cannot impose a sanction on Leicester in a league other than the EPL; and that the EFL would have no right to dock Leicester points when Leicester had not broken any EFL rules.

Unless there was a rule allowing that? And I guess there isn't, so Leicester would oppose a new rule to cover a previous incident.

Ray Robinson
77 Posted 22/03/2024 at 21:47:22
I'm none the wiser. It seems to me that the EFL may well impose their own sanctions for any 3-year period when Leicester break the rules while they are in the Championship but that the Premier League would have to wait until Leicester are next promoted to apply their own sanctions.

If Leicester do a Leeds and remain in the second flight for many years, any Premier League points deduction might not apply for quite some time! It's a minefield.

Nick Page
78 Posted 22/03/2024 at 22:19:49
Hahaha. Just seen this. Leicester getting their balls out and taking the Premier League to court. Good. Forest owner not happy. Everton — “Ooooh, thanks for giving us 4 points back!”

Fuck off, Everton. You bring all this on yourselves you shower of piss-weak twats. Kenwright's withering Toffees. Just leave them in the fecking packet to go out of date. Done.

I used to love this football club. Saw us win trophies. The lot. And now just an utter… no UTTER embarrassment. Rollover FC.

Brian Harrison
83 Posted 23/03/2024 at 09:49:56
Leicester taking civil action against the Premier League and the EFL, I bet this was the last thing the Premier League expected or wanted.

The Premier League have left themselves wide open to a club bringing a civil action, given that they didn't agree how any transgressions of the rules would be punished. As we have seen so far, 3 different Premier League commissions have come up with 3 different judgements.

Given the difference in points deductions that Everton got compared to Forest considering Forest broke the P&S rules by somewhere in the region of £15M more than Everton, surely there is a case for Everton also taking civil action against the Premier League?

Maybe now that Leicester have taken civil action, Everton will wait to see what further sanctions we get from the 2nd commission hearing before deciding whether to appeal or go down Leicester's route.

Charles Ward
84 Posted 23/03/2024 at 10:35:25
I think Leicester's argument is that two ‘jurisdictions' are attempting to sanction them for the same offence which appears to breach natural justice.

In our and Forest's case we breached the rules of one organisation.

Peter Mitchell
85 Posted 23/03/2024 at 10:39:35
Charles - I am sure that is what they will be arguing. We should definitely be arguing double jeopardy if we get done a second time, as well.

Unless any points deduction is either very low (1-2 points) or zero, I personally think it is "see you in court" time for us as well! We shall see

Les Callan
86 Posted 23/03/2024 at 10:43:03
Good on yer Leicester. Can’t believe we are taking this lying down. For god sake Everton do something. m
Mark Murphy
87 Posted 23/03/2024 at 10:53:23
I’m just a simple soul - what’s an ad hominem?
Charles Ward
88 Posted 23/03/2024 at 11:02:09

I'm sure we can't be punished for a period we've already been punished for but a lot depends on our overall breach taking into account any purchases and sales during that period.

Yes, we may have sold Gordon but were those players we signed on bigger contracts?

Who knows what went on with the two clowns running the club?

Brent Stephens
89 Posted 23/03/2024 at 12:15:10
Brian #83,

"Given the difference in points deductions that Everton got compared to Forest considering Forest broke the P&S rules by somewhere in the region of £15M more than Everton, surely there is a case for Everton also taking civil action against the Premier League."

Re "£15M more than Everton", I think it's worth keeping two things in mind. The first is that the Forest Commission were consistent with the Everton Appeal body in its approach to arriving at the initial 6-points penalty. They both adopted the idea of three levels of breach of threshold ("minor" breach, "significant" breach and "major" breach); they thought, respectively, that Everton's and Forest's breaches were both "significant" (entry point for significant breach = 3 points); and they both imposed a further 3 points for "scale of breach" (= 6 points). So, consistency there.

The second thing to keep in mind is that the agreed penalty framework also allows for deduction of 2 points for mitigation. Like it or not, the mitigation Forest were allowed then reduced their initial 6-point penalty to 4 points. Our mitigations, like it or not, were not allowed. So, again, consistency with the application of the adopted framework for points penalty (-2 points for mitigation).

We might not like the reason for Forest's penalty being less than Everton's but I think it's worth considering the whole process of calculating penalties so we don't give the impression that the two Commissions were in some way being inconsistent in this respect.

More specifically, the two reports set out the detailed rationale for using the above idea of three levels of breach (minor, significant and major), and the approach to docking points specifically in the case of "significant" breach (3 points for "significant" breach; plus another 3 points for scale of breach; minus 2 points for mitigation).

See para 10.4 of the Forest Commission report for the explanation as to why a simple mathematical exercise can't be applied to arrive at a sanction in the case of a club like Forest who were in the EFL for 2 of the 3 years. You can't easily calculate a penalty in a linear way, for every £1M over the threshold.

See para 207 on, in the report on Everton's appeal; and para 10.4 in the Commission report on Forest's case. These justify the adoption of three bands of breach of the threshold ("minor" breach, "significant" breach and "major" breach). They thought Everton's and Forest's breaches were both "significant", so consistency there.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
90 Posted 23/03/2024 at 12:27:34
I did smile at the suggestion of an American-style draft system. But as pointed out, it will not work as it just means lousy teams get better players from ???????? Oh I get it, after 10+ years at an academy, all players at the age of 18 are then selected so the team at the bottom of the league can pick a Rooney or a Foden.

What would be more interesting would be a Salary Cap. Except of course, where else can you play US sports and earn anywhere near the money you can achieve in the US? Say we had a cap of £130m = 25 players on £100,000 per week. How long before the moans from the Sly 6 that they cannot compete with Real Madrid and Paris St Germain who would not be governed by the same rules? Or not being able to get the best players will mean they cannot compete in Europe.

Nice ideas, but just won't work and just won't happen.

Michael Kenrick
91 Posted 23/03/2024 at 13:41:05
I'm intrigued by this announcement that Leicester City have "issued legal proceedings against" the two leagues (in the words of The Athletic story).

What does that actually mean? It sounds like they are taking them to court over this… or more likely, threatening to take them to court.

But I suspect all it really means is that Leicester City have had their lawyers draw up a legal document in response to the charges brought against them. I don't know what that document says obviously, but there are some revealing comments in the rest of The Athletic piece.

That the proceedings will not take place in a public environment goes against the idea that this is a threat of court action, which Premier League clubs appear to be precluded from pursuing under the implicit Agreement to Arbitrate — "to submit all disputes … to final and binding arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 and this Section X of these Rules."

Section X.2.4. goes on to state more clearly "that no other system or mode of arbitration will be invoked to resolve any such dispute."

Further, the reference to 'confidentiality' sounds very much like the independent commission process which is the Premier League's Disciplinary and Dispute Resolution pathway with which we have all become only too familiar.

Dave Abrahams
92 Posted 23/03/2024 at 13:53:51
Brent (89),

Surely Forest and their defenders at their commission trial were helped very much by the details of Everton's appeal case, paid for by Everton.

Forest didn't even have to go to appeal, which of course may come, to get their sentence reduced.

Every club in the future will be helped by Everton's appearance at their appeal in which we were the guinea pigs and looking like the scapegoats unless of course we receive no further reductions when we face our second charge – in the same season!!

Michael Kenrick
93 Posted 23/03/2024 at 14:09:17
Good summary, Brent @89.

I would slightly re-phrase thus:

3-point deduction for a breach
3 points more deducted if it's a significant breach
2 points given back if mitigation is accepted.

The difference everyone is up in arms about seems abundantly clear: Forest copped a plea and bent over backwards to cooperate, earning their mitigation reward.

Everton didn't. As is well documented.

Ernie Baywood
94 Posted 23/03/2024 at 14:16:06

I agree with what you quote, but I'm not sure any contract can be completely disconnected with the law of the land.

Michael Kenrick
95 Posted 23/03/2024 at 14:29:39
I'm sure you're right, Ernie.

I needed to read further to Rule X.37:

Subject to the provisions of sections 67 to 71 of the Act, the award shall be final and binding on the parties and there shall be no right of appeal. There shall be no right of appeal on a point of law under section 69 of the Act. In the event that a party to arbitration under this Section X challenges the award, whether in the English High Court or any other forum, it shall ensure that the League is provided with a copy of any written pleadings filed and/or evidence adduced as soon as reasonably practicable after their/its filing.

I think that prevents them going to the English High Court (or CAS?) until they have completed arbitration. I can find nothing that says they cannot sue, or that they cannot take it to CAS but I'm sure they would have to exhaust the internal disciplinary process first.

Brent Stephens
96 Posted 23/03/2024 at 14:31:21
Dave #92 "Every club in the future will be helped by Everton's appearance at their appeal in which we were the guinea pigs!!

Dave, I think that's the way case law develops - the first case has to be the guinea pig. If Forest appeal and win on a particular point, then that will become part of the case law - and then, as you say, every club will be helped by their appeal.

"and looking like the scapegoats unless of course we receive no further reductions when we face our second charge – in the same season".

I'm not sure what you mean by "scapegoats". Somebody has to go first when a new piece of legislation comes into place.

Michael, #93 yes a tidier way of expressing my attempted summary.

Surely Forest and their defenders at their commission trial were helped very much by the details of Everton's appeal case, paid for by Everton.

That's the way these things work.

Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 23/03/2024 at 15:06:54
Brent (96),

There were other clubs accused of offences long before Everton, why were we chosen as the guinea pigs?

That's the way the law works? Yes, I think law people can look back and quote previous cases from years before. In Everton's and Forest's cases, they are linked together in the same business, accused by the same people, all in the same time frame, while bigger and richer clubs are allowed to dodge becoming the guinea pigs.

All law cases are governed with proper rules in place, did any club know how the rules were going to affect offenders or even how they were going to be applied?

These breaches and points lost for them are being applied or made up as they come up.

Brent Stephens
100 Posted 23/03/2024 at 15:29:34
Dave #98 "There were other clubs accused of offences long before Everton, why were we chosen as the Guinea Pigs?"

I don't disagree, Dave but that's a different point. Once we were the first to be picked on, then we're the guinea pigs, and that's when the case law starts to be established.

Re your second para, again I don't disagree. We were the first guinea pigs... (see above).

"All law cases are governed with proper rules in place, did any club know how the rules were going to affect offenders or even how they were going to be applied".

If there rules weren't good enough, we shouldn't have agreed to them when they were initially voted on (I assume we did vote for them - if we voted against, they were still passed so we were bound by them). All clubs knew about the rules that were clear and explicit when they voted for them. What wasn't explicit... back to the case law point.

"These breaches and points lost for them are being applied or made up as they come up."

Case law again.

We signed up for all of this, as far as I understand it.

Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 23/03/2024 at 16:38:45
Brent (100),

“We signed up for all of this, as far as I understand it.”

Well, that's a good point, Brent, because who understands it, the Commission judging Forest's joint case and appeal said they had no idea how Everton had 3 points taken off them as part of the first 6 points that went towards the 10 they were originally punished with.

Brent, you seem a liberal sort of person: are you happy with the way Everton have been treated over these charges? Do you think we have been judged fairly?

I think Manchester City and Chelsea voted for “All of this”. I don't think they agree with it now…

Paul Tran
102 Posted 23/03/2024 at 17:04:24

I think all the clubs officially agreed to these rules.

I suspect some clubs didn't pay attention to them, because they didn't think they would ever apply to them. I suspect our club didn't pay any attention to them, because the 'directors' didn't pay any attention to anything.

The topic of 'fairness' is always a subjective one, especially here, where it seems clear that the penalties are whimsical and arbitrary.

As long as the Premier League is accountable only to itself, it will get away with doing what it likes, until its 'brand' is sufficiently tarnished worldwide.

Our KC has plenty of evidence of inconsistency and dubiously unequal charges, wording and sanctions to blow them apart. Let's see how well he skewers them and how the commission responds.

Dave Abrahams
103 Posted 23/03/2024 at 17:43:30
Paul (102),

I agree with all of that, and I hope your last paragraph reveals that our KC went to town on these charges and we never received any more loss of points and we go again in the Premier League next season.

Paul Tran
104 Posted 23/03/2024 at 17:53:14
Yes Dave, and I think we'll stay regardless of what they do to us!
Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 23/03/2024 at 18:02:02
Paul (104),

Well, you are a gambling man so I'll go with your judgement!

Brent Stephens
106 Posted 23/03/2024 at 18:22:34
Dave #101,

"The Commission judging Forest's joint case and appeal said they had no idea how Everton had 3 points taken off them as part of the first 6 points that went towards the 10 they were originally punished with."

Dave, you were selective in what the Forest Commission said there. The rest of what they said is important. And it was up to the Everton Appeal Body to decide whether further points should be taken off Everton, and they decided on that extra 3.

Brent, you seem a liberal sort of person: are you happy with the way Everton have been treated over these charges? Do you think we have been judged fairly?

I see no major problem with the logic and conclusions within our Appeal Board report (unlike within the original Commission report). I don't like them as we lose points but I can't argue with them. I do see problems in the wider context of the way the Premier League has handled all this.

I think Manchester City and Chelsea voted for “All of this”; I don't think they agree with it now.

Exactly, Dave! Just like Everton voted for all this – and don't agree with it now. I wonder why?

Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 23/03/2024 at 20:13:03
Brent (106),

Well, I'm very glad you do see problems in the wider way the Premier League has handled all this because they are the reason we are in this mess, along with the way Kenwright and his board who were left in charge of the club ran away from a relegation battle and left it to others and us fans who saved us, for now.

As for the arguments with the commission, I hope our KC has another good look at the whole scene and helps us further regarding losing points.

Thanks for the debate, Brent, you've inspired me to go to night school to learn more about Law. I know it's not about getting justice but results, no matter how they get them!! Best wishes, Brent, as always.

Brent Stephens
109 Posted 23/03/2024 at 20:48:39
Dave #108

Yes, we can blame Kenwright, and Moshiri for the way he handled the Commission hearing, and of course the Premier League for their handling of the whole process. We seem agreed in not finding any flaws in the logic and conclusions of our Appeal Board.

Best wishes as ever, Dave.

Ernie Baywood
110 Posted 23/03/2024 at 21:05:56
Brent, saying there are no flaws is probably a bit too far. As you say, the principles are developing so something that looks reasonable now might not in the future.

Personally, I do think the Forest Commission looked to find ways to be lenient. My theory is that they thought (as I do) that the limitation on spending for promoted clubs was particularly unfair. They officially dismissed Forest's arguments in that area, basically saying that the Commission isn't there to decide whether the rules are fair or not, but I reckon it factored.

Banding Forest and ourselves as "significant" was a pretty subjective and arbitrary call. They could have considered that the breach was twice the size of Everton's and therefore worth twice the points... being 3 for a breach, 3 * 2 = 6 for the significance, and –2 for the early plea. (By the way, I'm just rounding numbers, I know it probably ends up being 5 with the right numbers.)

There were lots of ways that they could have approached that. They chose one they believed was right and justified it. That justification could still be challenged, just as our original commission's penalty was challenged.

And we still don't know where "major" would kick in. Was it at £35M and Forest dodged a bullet? Or is it £50M and they were quite a way short?

Brent Stephens
111 Posted 23/03/2024 at 21:32:00
Ernie, yes, banding us both as "significant" is arbitrary – as it has to be when they decided not to use a mathematical approach (for the reasonable reasons they stated).

And within that "significant" banding, it's then arbitrary as to what level of penalty to apply to first us and then to Forest, in the absence of a formula, given that extra points for "circumstances and scale" seem to be applied differentially: for "circumstances" in our case ("incorrect information" from us) and for "scale" in Forest's case (overspend "bigger than Everton's"). As ever, this is all assuming I'm reading the report correctly.

That arbitrariness applies to both us and Forest so I don't see any unfairness across the two cases. For me, there's this distinction between internal fairness (across the two cases, ours and Forest) and external fairness (the nature of the League's rules, the feeling of lack of independence of the panels, etc).

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