The Premier League has reportedly recommended that Everton should be hit with a 12-point deduction if found guilty of breaching its financial fair play rules.
Everton were referred by the Premier League to an independent commission in March following an audit of all top-flight clubs’ financial records for the 2021-22 season. The details of the charge have not been disclosed but are believed to relate to a tax issue connected to loans for Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore dock. The disciplinary hearing began last week and a verdict is expected later this year.
The league’s profitability and sustainability rules allow clubs to lose a maximum of £105m over a three-year period or face sanctions; Everton had recorded losses of £371.8m over the the previous three years and annual losses for five consecutive years – more than £430m in total over the period.
Everton could be fined or hit with a transfer embargo if found guilty but, according to the Daily Telegraph, the Premier League has recommended a points deduction up to a maximum of 12 points. As things stand, a 12-point deduction would leave Everton bottom with minus-five points and well and truly facing a third battle in three years to avoid relegation to the Championship.
In a statement regarding the Telegraph’s report, the Premier League said: “We never comment on cases until they are finished And it was a private hearing.” Everton are also not commenting on the hearing but have long insisted they have not broken the rules in question. In a statement issued on the day the referral was confirmed, the club said: “(We) strongly contests the allegation of non-compliance and together with its independent team of experts is entirely confident that it remains compliant with all financial rules and regulations.
“Everton is prepared to robustly defend its position to the commission. The club has, over several years, provided information to the Premier League in an open and transparent manner and has consciously chosen to act with the utmost good faith at all times.”
The club have known from the outset of this case that no punishment is off the table. However, Goodison officials are annoyed by the timing of this latest story, should it be true, given it comes less than 24 hours after the death of long-serving chairman Bill Kenwright was announced.
Meanwhile, Everton continue to be the subject of a takeover bid by American private investment firm 777 Partners. On the pitch, Sean Dyche’s side have also lost six of their opening nine league games of the season, the most recent of which was Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.