Everton have overtaken Nottingham Forest and Brentford in the Premier League table and are back in 15th place after the Premier League appeals board reduced their deduction from 10 points to six, giving them back four.
The Toffees were docked 10 points for breaching spending rules in a period ending in 2021-22, after spending more than £105m in allowable losses on £19.5m.
But the club insisted there were mitigating factors that should be taken into account. These included allowable losses such as stadium costs, loss of investments due to the Russian war and also Covid-related declines.
Everton immediately appealed their 10-point loss as unfair, saying the punishment was “disproportionate.” A three-person appeals panel heard a three-day hearing in late January and early this month.
The Toffees were not allowed to present new evidence at that hearing, but did make several legal representations, led by ‘super silk’ Laurence Rabinowitz KC. against a 10-point penalty imposed for non-compliance with financial rules has been reduced to six points following an appeal.
Everton’s 10-point penalty for breaching Premier League spending rules reduced to six following appeal
The reduction will see Everton leapfrog two teams into 15th place in the Premier League table.
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Everton say they are “satisfied” with the result and a statement from the club said: “
While the Club is still coming to terms with the Appeals Board’s decision, we are pleased that our appeal has resulted in a reduction in penalty points.
“Everton can confirm that an Appeals Board has concluded that the points deduction imposed by an independent Premier League Commission in November will be reduced from 10 points to six points, with immediate effect.
“While the Club is still coming to terms with the Appeals Board’s decision, we are pleased that our appeal has resulted in a reduction in penalty points.
“We understand that the Appeals Board considered that the 10-point deduction originally imposed was inappropriate when assessed against the available benchmarks that the Club reported to the Commission, including the position under the relevant EFL regulations, and the 9-point deduction that is imposed under the Premier League’s own rules in the event of insolvency.
‘The Club is also particularly pleased with the Appeal Board’s decision to overturn the original Commission’s finding that the Club did not act with the utmost good faith. That decision, in addition to reducing the points deduction, was an incredibly important point of principle for the Club on appeal. The Club, therefore, feels justified in pursuing its appeal.
The news should be greeted with gratitude by manager Sean Dyche and owner Farhad Moshiri.
“Despite the Appeal Board’s decision and the positive outcome, the Club remains fully committed to cooperating with the Premier League in respect of the ongoing procedures initiated for the accounting period ending June 2023.
“The Club is still considering the wider implications of the decision and will make no further comment at this time other than to record its thanks to our Fan Advisory Council and other fan groups throughout this process, and to all Evertonians for your continued support and patience.’
The Toffees lodged their appeal hearing before an independent commission earlier this month after the club described the initial 10-point penalty as “wholly disproportionate”.
The outcome of the appeal may also have a direct impact on a second PSR complaint facing the club, which was filed on January 15. That complaint covers an evaluation period that ends with the 2022-23 season.
Under a new fast-track process to address PSR breaches that was agreed by top-tier clubs last summer, an independent commission hearing into the second PSR complaint must conclude no later than 12 weeks after the complaint was made. , which would be at the beginning of April.
The Premier League issued its own statement confirming the reduction.
The Premier League standings before today’s decision had Everton in 17th place with 21 points.
The Toffees have now risen to 15th place, which is a huge boost to their survival hopes.
“An independent appeal board has concluded that the penalty for Everton FC’s failure to comply with the Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR), for the period ending the 2021/22 season, will be an immediate deduction of six points.
“This follows the club’s appeal of an independent commission’s decision in November 2023 to impose a 10-point deduction for the club’s failure to comply with the PSR.
‘The appeal was heard over three days earlier this month by an appeal board comprising Sir Gary Hickinbottom (chairman), Daniel Alexander KC and Katherine Apps KC.
Everton FC appealed the sanction imposed on them on nine grounds, each of which related to the sanction rather than the fact of the offence, which the club admitted.
«Two of these nine reasons were upheld by the Appeals Chamber, which replaced the original deduction of ten points with six.
“This revised sanction takes immediate effect and the Premier League table will be updated today to reflect this.”
Everton have endured a tough season and their original deduction plunged them right into the middle of a relegation fight.
There was huge fan anger after the Premier League’s initial decision, with home fans displaying “corruption” signs during matches.
Everton said at the time of the deduction that they were “shocked and disappointed” by the Premier League’s ruling, which plunged them into the relegation zone.
The responsible committee said that “Everton’s PSR calculation for the relevant period resulted in a loss of £124.5 million, as maintained by the Premier League, which exceeded the £105 million threshold permitted under the PSRs.”
The initial decision sparked widespread anger from Everton fans, who protested against the Premier League and displayed signs reading “corrupt” during home games.
Everton were 14th in the Premier League standings when the punishment came: eight points above the relegation zone.
Before the verdict, Everton were in 18th place, one point from safety, with Luton ahead.
The independent commission’s written reasons stated that the club’s excessive spending “was the result of Everton irresponsibly taking the risk of things turning out positively”.
The breach of the PSR was described as “serious” and warranted “a significant penalty”.
Nottingham Forest were also referred to an independent commission for a PSR breach on 15 January.