English football has been rocked today after Everton was deducted 10 points by the Premier League as legal experts predicted Manchester City and Chelsea could be relegated if they are also found guilty of flouting financial rules.

A lawyer who has previously advised Man City on its said that the ruling may ‘reinforce’ that sanctions will be ‘potentially relegation inducing’, if claims are proven against City and Chelsea.

The Merseyside club has been plunged into the relegation zone for breaching profitability and sustainability regulations after making a loss of £372million over three-years – £122million more than the £250million permitted.

And now fuming members of Everton fan club The 1878s have raised more than £12,000 to protest the ‘disgraceful and nonsensical’ to deduct 10 points. A GoFundMe page said that they had ‘plans in motion regarding banners and flags’.

The fan club added: ‘We won’t take this lying down. F*** the Premier League.’

The Toffees were 14th in the Premier League last night but are now 19th – only above bottom club Burnley on goal difference. And in more bad news, Burnley, Leeds and Leicester have this afternoon confirmed they will sue them for £300million. They claim Everton breached financial rules when they were relegated from the Premier League in the past two seasons and want compensation.  

The Premier League could have fined Everton or imposed a transfer ban but has instead plumped for a points deduction. Everton, managed by Sean Dyche, have said they will appeal, calling the punishment, the most severe in Premier League history, ‘wholly disproportionate and unjust’. 

But Everton’s legendary former goalkeeper Neville Southall said today: ‘It sounds harsh but if you broke the rules – just suck it up. If they [the Premier League] are doing Everton – they are doing other clubs as well. Otherwise it is discrimination’. He added that the club’s players must use their anger as fuel to beat relegation.

Sean Dyche's Everton have been plunged into the relegation zone today after  has had the verdict looming over him and the players for some time

Sean Dyche’s Everton have been plunged into the relegation zone today after  has had the verdict looming over him and the players for some time

Pep Guardiola's Man City and Mauricio Pochettino's could be relegated given today's punishment, experts have predicted

Pep Guardiola's Man City and Mauricio Pochettino's could be relegated given today's punishment, experts have predicted

Pep Guardiola’s Man City and Mauricio Pochettino’s could be relegated given today’s punishment is Man City and Chelsea are , experts have predicted

The Toffees, currently owned by Farhad Moshiri (right), are selling the club to Josh Wander (left) who is leading the 777 takeover, which still needs to be approved. It is

The Toffees, currently owned by Farhad Moshiri (right), are selling the club to Josh Wander (left) who is leading the 777 takeover, which still needs to be approved. It is 

Everton have suffered the hammer blow of a 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules

Everton have suffered the hammer blow of a 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules

Football finance expert Stefan Borson tweeted that Man City - and potentially Chelsea - could face heavy sanctions, including relegation from the Premier League following the Everton points deduction precedent

Football finance expert Stefan Borson tweeted that Man City – and potentially Chelsea – could face heavy sanctions, including relegation from the Premier League following the Everton points deduction precedent

Everton are also currently pouring £550million into a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock (pictured) to replace Goodison Park - but it won't be finished before late 2024

Everton are also currently pouring £550million into a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock (pictured) to replace Goodison Park – but it won’t be finished before late 2024 

Today’s ruling – and the severity of the punishment – has sparked panic amongst fans of Chelsea and Man City whose clubs also face questions about their finances. They both could face being stripped of previous league titles, relegation, points deductions and transfer bans if found to have flouted financial rules – but irate Everton fans doubt the Premier League has the ‘bottle’ to do it to billion-pound behemoths like City and Chelsea.

City were hit with more than 100 financial fair play charges last season with the result of the investigation still pending.  And Chelsea’s new American owners went to the Premier League recently to admit they have incomplete financial information related to some transactions under Roman Abramovich, between 2012 and 2019.

Premier League table after points penalty

Premier League table after points penalty

Stefan Borson, a lawyer who has advised Manchester City on its finances in the past, tweeted: ‘-10 points for Everton feels harsh for a straightforward FFP [Financial Fair Play] breach to me. But reinforces that sanctions against City [if proven] and now Chelsea [if charged and admitted on the off-books payments] will be potentially relegation inducing.’ 

Everton’s is the most severe Premier League points deduction in history. Middlesbrough were deducted three points in 1996/97, Portsmouth lost nine points in 2010 and Spurs were were handed a 12-point deduction before the 1994/95 season – reduced to six points and then revoked on appeal.

But in European countries, such as Italy, punishments for clubs breaking financial rules have been far more severe. 

Former Liverpool defender and Childhood Everton fan Jamie Carragher, now a Sky Sports pundit, described the deduction as excessive – especially in the light of the Premier League’s treatment of the six clubs who threatened to join a breakaway European Super League.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham agreed to make a combined contribution of 22 million pounds for their actions and were threatened with 30-point deductions if they joined unsanctioned leagues in the future.

‘No doubt relegated clubs will have put big pressure on the Premier League to deal with Everton, but when you consider six clubs tried to leave the Premier League and there was no sanction at all it doesn’t feel right,’ Carragher posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘With Everton being docked 10 points, it will be very interesting to see if the other clubs are sanctioned.’ 

Gary Lineker and Jamie Carragher have had their say

Gary Lineker and Jamie Carragher have had their say

City face 115 alleged breaches of the Premier League's financial rules and Chelsea could face scrutiny over alleged payments connected to former owner Roman Abramovich

City face 115 alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules and Chelsea could face scrutiny over alleged payments connected to former owner Roman Abramovich  

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour watching his side face Inter Milan in the Champions League final

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour watching his side face Inter Milan in the Champions League final 

Burnley, Leeds and Leicester have confirmed their intention to sue Everton for a total of £300million after the club were found guilty of breaching financial fair play rules.

MailSport has learned that senior figures at the three clubs held talks this afternoon to reaffirm their plans to sue after the Premier League confirmed Everton’s guilty verdict and 10-point deduction, the biggest in the competition’s history.

Everton are also currently pouring £550million into a new stadium on Liverpool’s famous waterfront to replace Goodison Park – but it won’t be finished before late 2024. 

The Toffees were referred to an independent commission in March for alleged breaches which related to the 2021-22 season and a hearing took place last month.

The Premier League pushed for a sizable points deduction to set a precedent after the club were charged with breaching financial rules back in 2021-22. The Toffees posted staggering financial losses of almost £372million over a three-year period.

That is more than £250m above what the Premier League’s guidelines permits clubs to lose over a three-year rolling time frame. The technical alleged breaches related to accounting treatments, with the League arguing Everton breached profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

A Premier League statement this afternoon read: ‘An independent Commission has imposed an immediate deduction of 10 points on Everton FC for a breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs).

‘The Premier League issued a complaint against the club and referred the case to an independent commission earlier this year.

‘During the proceedings, the club admitted it was in breach of the PSRs for the period ending Season 2021-22 but the extent of the breach remained in dispute.

‘Following a five-day hearing last month, the commission determined that Everton FC’s PSR calculation for the relevant period resulted in a loss of £124.5million, as contended by the Premier League, which exceeded the threshold of £105million permitted under the PSRs.

‘The commission concluded that a sporting sanction in the form of a 10-point deduction should be imposed. That sanction has immediate effect.’

Everton will appeal the verdict in the strongest possible way. They strongly deny they did not breach PSR and their financial losses were due to the building of a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock and whether the interest payments on that development were permissible.

Everton are now in 19th place in the table but will be appealing the verdict

Everton are now in 19th place in the table but will be appealing the verdict 

777 have contingency plans in light of Everton's points deduction (pictured - Wander (right centre with cap) and co-founder Steven Pasko (left centre with cap)

777 have contingency plans in light of Everton’s points deduction (pictured – Wander (right centre with cap) and co-founder Steven Pasko (left centre with cap)

The Toffees believe a sporting sanction is wholly disproportionate and completely inappropriate. Everton will point to previous cases such as when six Premier League clubs were given a meagre fine for trying to break the football pyramid with the European Super League.

The punishment brightens the spotlight on both Manchester City and Chelsea and a former advisor to City tweeted that the precedent set could later result in relegation for both Premier League heavyweights. 

City face 115 alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules and Chelsea could face scrutiny over alleged payments connected to former owner Roman Abramovich.

Portsmouth were the last Premier League team to be docked points when they entered administration in 2010 and were given a 10-point penalty, ultimately relegating them. 

Everton will point out that entering administration is a more serious breach than their alleged doings.

Financial rules were loosened by the Premier League during Covid with all clubs suffering from the pandemic in terms of lost gate receipts and commercial opportunities. But Covid hit Everton harder than most, while they also point to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a mitigating factor.

That had a direct impact on finances due to suspended commercial agreements but also a pre-agreement for a significant naming rights’ deal on Bramley Moore Dock with Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s USM which never came to fruition due to sanctions.

Everton also insist they have been open and transparent during the process. They were in an imposed agreement with the League since 2021 to work within strict financial guidelines – essentially a salary cap meaning they had to sell to buy with players.

That has been evident in the last four transfer windows with Everton’s net spend during that period being -£28million, better than nearly all Premier League clubs in the time. The Toffees insist this is evidence of the club’s efforts to comply.

Mail Sport understands Burnley and especially Leeds – who were all been narrowly relegated in the last two seasons, with Everton escaping the drop – had pressured the Premier League to issue a strong punishment.

An Everton statement read: ‘Everton Football Club is both shocked and disappointed by the ruling of the Premier League’s Commission.

‘The Club believes that the Commission has imposed a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction. The Club has already communicated its intention to appeal the decision to the Premier League. The appeal process will now commence and the Club’s case will be heard by an Appeal Board appointed pursuant to the Premier League’s rules in due course.

‘Everton maintains that it has been open and transparent in the information it has provided to the Premier League and that it has always respected the integrity of the process. The Club does not recognise the finding that it failed to act with the utmost good faith and it does not understand this to have been an allegation made by the Premier League during the course of proceedings.

‘Both the harshness and severity of the sanction imposed by the Commission are neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection of the evidence submitted. The Club will also monitor with great interest the decisions made in any other cases concerning the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.

‘Everton cannot comment on this matter any further until the appeal process has concluded.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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