Tuesday, June 25

Everton Faces Second Points Deduction Over New Financial Case

Everton, which tumbled down the Premier League standings after receiving a record 10-point deduction in November, faces the prospect of a second points penalty for new violations of the competition’s financial regulations.

Everton confirmed the new case in a statement on Monday, as did a second team, Nottingham Forest, that was charged with its own violations of the league’s so-called profit and sustainability regulations. The rules were drawn up to keep teams from overspending and risking their financial futures to maintain their places in the Premier League, one of the world’s richest domestic sporting competitions.

The Premier League said the cases would be heard by separate, closed-door commissions operating independent of the league. Those commissions, it said, would determine any penalties, which could include fines, points deductions or other restrictions.

For Everton, a founding member of the Premier League now teetering on the brink of financial collapse, the new charges could not come at a worse time. A deal to sell the club to the American private investment company 777 Partners remains in doubt months after the club’s current owner, the British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, announced the sale last year.

Any penalty also significantly increases the risk that Everton and Forest could face a financially ruinous relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season, when each year the bottom three teams are demoted to the second-tier Championship. Forest currently sits in 15th place in the 20-team Premier League, two spots above Everton. A serious points penalty, if assessed, would immediately drop both into the bottom three places.

Everton, in a statement, acknowledged the new charges but criticized the Premier League’s process, which it said threatened to punish the team a second time before its appeal of the first points deduction was heard. “The club takes the view that this results from a clear deficiency in the Premier League’s rules,” the club said.

“Everton can assure its fans that it will continue to defend its position during the ongoing appeal and, should it be required to do so, at any future commission — and that the impact on supporters will be reflected as part of that process,” Everton said.

The cases against Everton, a founding member of the Premier League that was last relegated in 1951, and Forest, a former two-time European champion, are part of the league’s new regulations over how to handle financial cases. An expedited process was created last year amid longstanding complaints about the sometimes glacial pace at which the league concludes investigations into its teams, which include some of the world’s richest clubs.

Under the revised rules, the league requires its 20 teams to supply up-to-date financial data by Dec. 31, and then has 14 days to consider any breaches. The cases against Everton and Forest must be concluded, including any appeals, by the end of May, allowing any penalties to be enforced on the teams’ points tallies for the current season.

Everton was previously assessed a 10-point penalty — the largest in the Premier League’s history — in November, which produced fury from many of the club’s fans, who claim it has been unfairly targeted. The league remains under pressure to conclude a yearslong case involving serial champion Manchester City, which was accused last year of 115 rule breaches, and a newer one against Chelsea, which last year self-reported payments related to transfers made by its previous owner, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

The new fast-tracked financial investigation process is solely for breaches of the financial stability regulations. Under those rules, clubs must keep losses below a maximum of a 105 million pounds (about $133 million) across a three-year period.

Forest’s permitted losses were capped at 61 million pounds (about $77 million) because for the first two seasons of the assessment period the team was playing in the Championship.

In a brief statement, Nottingham Forest said that “the club intends to continue to cooperate fully with the Premier League on this matter and are confident of a speedy and fair resolution.”