EVERTON HIT WITH LARGEST PENALTY IN PREMIER LEAGUE HISTORY

2023-11-27 · 1 min read · Premier League/Soccer
Everton FC

Tony McArdle/EvertonFC

Everton, a Premier League mainstay that has spent nearly its entire 145-year existence in English soccer's top flight, has been hit with a 10-point penalty for breaking financial rules — an unprecedented punishment that will drag the club down into the EPL's relegation zone.
The points will be deducted immediately, pending appeal, and leave Everton on 4 points, in 19th place, after 12 matches this season.
Shortly after the Premier League announced its decision, Everton responded with a statement, saying it was "shocked and disappointed by the ruling." It plans to appeal what it called "a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction."
What did Everton do?
Everton broke the Premier League's so-called "Profitability and Sustainability Rules," which essentially state that a club must not lose more than £105 million ($130 million) over a given three-year period. Everton, over three years beginning with 2019-20 and ending with 2021-22, lost £124.5 million ($155 million) in relevant areas, according to an independent Premier League commission that ruled on the case.
It initially used fishy accounting to try to cover up that loss and avoid punishment. The Premier League cited that "misleading information," and argued that the real reasons for the losses were "that Everton overspent on players, and that it failed to take steps to reduce expenditure."
What is Everton's defense?
Everton eventually admitted to exceeding the £105 million limit, but, by the end of a five-day hearing last month, the club still argued that its losses were only £9.7 million beyond what's allowed, not £19.5 million.
And all along, it essentially argued that stadium costs and losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic were mitigating factors that the Premier League, in its calculations, wasn't fully taking into account.
Where did Everton go wrong?
Everton, under owner Farhad Moshiri, spent huge sums on players that, it hoped, would propel it into the Premier League's top six. It aspired to play in the Europa League or even the Champions League, which, in turn, would have yielded record revenues and helped pay for stars. But it picked the wrong players to invest in — overrated players, aging players — and plummeted toward the bottom of the league instead. That is the root of its problems.
Why is Everton's punishment so severe?
The Premier League sought a 12-point deduction. It argued that other potential sanctions — a fine, or a transfer ban — would be insufficient, because Everton's illegal spending gave it an advantage over competitors. The commission agreed.
"We have no doubt that the circumstances of this case are such that only a sporting sanction in the form of a points deduction would be appropriate," the three-person panel of lawyers wrote in their decision. "A financial penalty for a club that enjoys the support of a wealthy owner is not a sufficient penalty. We agree with the Premier League that the requirements of punishment, deterrence, vindication of compliant clubs, and the protection of the integrity of the sport demand a sporting sanction in the form of a points deduction. The issue is not the form of sanction, but its extent."
In determining extent, they acknowledged that "there is no fixed formula to be applied," only their discretion and precedent. They decided on 10 points.
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By: Aaron Cantin

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