Everton have suffered an enormous blow after being found guilty of breaking Premier League financial rules and punished with a deduction of 10 points.
The verdict had been looming over the Toffees and casting a shadow over what has been a positive few weeks for Sean Dyche‘s side, who have now been dragged right back down into a relegation dogfight – moving from 14th to second bottom in 19th.
An independent commission made the judgement after Everton posted staggering financial losses of almost £372million over a three-year period, more than £250m above what the Premier League‘s guidelines permits in their profit and sustainability rules.
Both parties have a right to appeal the verdict and it remains to be seen whether that option will be taken up.
A points deduction of 12 points was the most punitive option on the table and the timing of when the penalty should occur was also at the discretion of the committee.
Everton have suffered the hammer blow of a points deduction for breaching FFP rules
Manager Sean Dyche has had the verdict looming over him and the players for some time
As Mail Sport previously reported, Burnley and especially Leeds – who were all been narrowly relegated in the last two seasons, with Everton escaping the drop – pressured the Premier League to issue a strong punishment.
American investment company 777 Partners are still waiting for Premier League approval to replace current much-maligned owner Farhad Moshiri at the helm at Goodison Park.
The US investment firm – who are led by American entrepreneur Josh Wander – agreed a £500million deal to acquire owner Farhad Moshiri’s 94.1 per cent controlling stake in September but could now pay a reduced price in light of the points penalty.
Everton have gone almost a month unbeaten since losing the Merseyside derby.
Dyche had led them away from the relegation zone with impressive victories over West Ham and Crystal Palace either side of a draw with Brighton.
Those results had seen the Toffees put an inauspicious start behind them and rise to 14th in the table, a comfortable eight points above the relegation zone.
With games against Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea coming up in their next four fixtures, supporters will be bracing themselves for a tough period against the backdrop of the chaos off the pitch.
The club are also mourning the loss of chairman Bill Kenwright, who died aged 78 last month.
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
777 had contingency plans in light of Everton’s points deduction (pictured – Wander (right centre with cap) and co-founder Steven Pasko (left centre with cap)
Supporters, many of whom are wary of 777 taking over, will be desperate for some certainty over the club’s future.
Now that the punishment has been confirmed, there is expected to be movement in the takeover.
Wander has faced criticism for his background in the insurance industry and there are perceptions that his multi-club ownership group – which includes the likes of Standard Liege and Hertha Berlin – prioritise profit over teams’ identity and traditions.
Concerns over their purchase of the club were amplified even more in September after it emerged that Brazilian team Vasco De Gama – who are among the company’s portfolio of football clubs – missed scheduled transfer payments.
According to reports in South America, Vasco are late in paying a number of clubs – French side Lille among them – money they are owed.
But the agreement to acquire Moshiri’s 94.1 per cent has been reached. Whether the Premier League, Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority approve the takeover remains to be seen.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail