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Everton’s copped a 10 point deduction, so why haven’t Man City and Chelsea?

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Merseyside club, Everton, have become just the third side in Premier League history to receive a points deduction. 

Following a breach of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR), the club were docked 10 points by the League, dropping them into the relegation zone.

It raises concerns about the side’s future and opens the door for potential lawsuits, by recently relegated sides such as Leeds United and Leicester City. 

What are the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules?

Essentially, they are the Premier League’s financial fair play rules, permitting sides to report maximum losses of £105 million over a three year period. All Premier League clubs are assessed for their compliance with the profitability and sustainability rules each year. 

It is important to note that clubs are allowed to make deductions, such as good spending / good losses; including expenditure on the women’s team, on community initiatives, on infrastructure, and youth development.

What are the charges against Everton?

Having been referred to an independent commission in March over their alleged financial breaches, the club were found to have breached the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules.

According to the findings of the commission, Everton FC’s PSR calculation for the three years to the end of the 2021-22 Premier League season resulted in a loss of £124.5 million, as opposed to the £105 million allowed under the regulations. However, it is reported these losses come as part of wider losses totalling £370 million between 2018 and 2021.

Everton accepted they were in breach of the Premier League’s PSR, albeit by a smaller sum of £9.7 million. This claim was washed away by the Commission’s conclusions.

Their breach of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules could become a whole lot more costly, with the Commission imposing an immediate 10 point deduction on the club, which sent them tumbling into the relegation zone.

Why hasn’t something similar happened to Manchester City?

Earlier this year, Manchester City were charged with over 100 alleged financial breaches by the Premier League, who also referred them to an independent commission. 

According to the Premier League, the breaches occurred between 2009 and 2018 — when City’s dominance of English football began to foster. 

For many fans of clubs other than City, the Premier League’s handling of the Everton situation and the independent commission’s ruling against the Merseyside club has set a strong precedence for their dealings with City.

While some fans are chomping at the bit for punishment to be delivered to the reigning treble winners, there is a strong reason why this is yet to be the case. That is largely due to both the number of charges handed out against the Mancunians, which exceed 100, as opposed to the one laid against Everton, and the nature of the charges.

Naturally, the deliberation period for 100-plus charges will exceed the amount of time needed to reach a conclusion in the Everton case, meaning a decision is probably unlikely this year. Additionally, the Premier League is accusing Manchester City of lying, a fact which is tricky to prove.

This does not mean City will get off lightly, with the Premier League’s handling of Everton’s case a clear and strong indication of its commitment to enforcing its financial regulations.

According to the league’s rules, penalties could include a suspension, a fine ‘unlimited in amount’, a points deduction, or even a ban from the Premier League itself.

It’s impossible to predict which direction the Premier League and Independent Commission will head down, but it is hard to imagine a world where they receive 10 points deducted per charge, as with Everton, as this would equate to an almost immeasurable 1000-plus points deduction.

manchester city, psr
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And what about Chelsea?

Another Premier League club potentially in financial hot water is Chelsea. Recently leaked documents appear to show several payments made by companies owned by former owner Roman Abramovich to entities linked to deals that benefitted the club.

This is on top of self-reported incomplete financial information, submitted by Chelsea’s current Todd Boehly-led ownership consortium, related to transactions that took place during the Abramovich era, specifically between 2012 and 2019. This incomplete information was submitted to the Premier League, the FA, as well as UEFA.

UEFA have already fined the London club £8.6 million in July for historical breaches of FFP and will take no further action on the matter.

Much like the situation with City, Chelsea’s financial wrongdoings are far larger and more complex than Everton’s, meaning a deeper and longer deliberation process will be needed to be undertaken before a decision can be made.

Todd Boehly, Chelsea
Is Todd Boehly’s Chelsea next on the Premier League’s hit list?

Where does this leave Everton?

The Toffees have become just the third side to be hit with a Premier League points deduction.

The first side to have this fate thrust upon them was Middlesborough, who incurred a three-point deduction in the 1996-97, after they failed to field a side against Blackburn Rovers and forced the game to be rescheduled. 

More recently, south-coast club Portsmouth fell victim of a nine point deduction in the 2009-10 season, after the club entered administration.

Unfortunately for Everton, both sides that succumbed to previous Premier League points deduction were relegated by two points (Middlesbrough) and 16 points (Portsmouth).

That’s not to suggest all is doom and gloom on the blue side of Merseyside. For the first time in a long time, Everton have functioned like an adequate football side this season under the guidance of Sean Dyche. 

Jordan Pickford, Everton
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been key to Everton’s strong season

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin remembered how to score goals, Abdoulaye Doucoure is effectively popping up in the box from midfield, their wingers have been effective, and the defence, marshalled by James Tarkowski, Jordan Pickford, and Jarrad Branthwaite, is the equal-sixth best in the division.

In Dyche they have a manager capable of rescuing sides from relegation plights, having gained such experience during his Burnley reign, while a typically fervent and hostile fanbase will be even more backs-against-the-wall for the remainder of the season. 

Another key factor playing into Everton’s favour is the competition around them. Unlike years gone by, when they’ve been relegation favourites, they are a clear and worthwhile member of the Premier League’s mid-table contingent. 

They can still benefit from the poor form of promoted trio Burnley, Luton Town, and Sheffield United, all of whom have looked lacklustre at best to start the season, while Bournemouth has also looked a shadow of itself.

Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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