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Everton have Premier League points deduction reduced after FFP appeal: Simon Leaf for LBC

Posted on 28 February 2024

Head of Sport and Partner Simon Leaf spoke with radio station LBC, following news that Everton Football Club's Premier League points deduction had been reduced on appeal.

The club were originally handed a 10-point penalty in November for breaking the league's profit and sustainability rules between the 2019/20 and 2021/22 seasons.

Simon explained: "This issue really dates back several years, with Everton having a history of overspending beyond what they were permitted under the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules. Typically, these rules apply over a three-year period. However, in this instance, it was extended to four years due to the impact of COVID-19. During this time, Everton exceeded the allowed losses, which are capped at just over £100 million over three years. They breached this limit by more than £20 million.

"Today's focus was on determining whether the initial commission's decision and the sanctions they imposed were appropriate. The Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules operate on a rolling three-year cycle. Everton was found to be in breach for the cycle ending the season before last. The current charges, which will be heard in the coming weeks, relate to the subsequent three-year period. We already know that for a significant portion of this period, Everton was in breach. What remains unclear is the impact of the final season's results on the extent of their losses.

"Given today's appeal decision, if Everton is found to be in breach again, it is likely that they will face a further points deduction. The restrained spending in January, with fewer significant transfers compared to previous windows, indicates that other Premier League clubs are taking the regulations seriously to avoid similar breaches.

"Additionally, there are other clubs, both current and former Premier League members, considering legal action against Everton. They argue that Everton gained a sporting advantage by breaching the rules, potentially finishing higher in the league than they would have otherwise.

"It's the club's owners and management who have violated the rules, but it's the fans who may suffer the consequences if further points deductions lead to relegation. A six-point deduction has already been imposed on Everton, but the outcome of the second charge, to be heard soon, is still uncertain. There is also speculation about potential actions from clubs like Burnley, Southampton, and Leeds, who were relegated during the period in question, in response to this latest appeal."

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