Everton receives heaviest financial fair play penalty ever

A corner flag in the colors of the Everton club, at Goodison Park stadium in Liverpool, January 3, 2023.

“Disproportionate. » “Unfair. » The Everton club did not have harsh enough words on Friday, November 17, in reaction to its condemnation to a withdrawal of 10 points in the Premier League standings, for not having respected the financial rules of football. This sanction, the harshest ever taken in a case of this type, drops Everton to 19e place in the ranking.

“This is unprecedented, analysis on Sky Sports Kieran Maguire, professor of football finance at Liverpool Management School. We rather expected a sanction between three and eight points. I can understand the anger Everton feels. »

THE “rules of profitability and sustainability” of English football, equivalent to those of European “financial fair play”, aim to prevent billionaires (or oil states) from buying victory on the field too easily by spending lavishly . Concretely, a club must normally balance its accounts but a loss of a maximum of 105 million pounds (120 million euros) over three years is tolerated. However, according to the calculations of the Premier League committee, the independent tribunal which judged the case, Everton was in the red to the tune of 124.5 million pounds between 2019 and 2022 – the average is exceptionally taken over four years in order to take into account the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Potential cascading consequences

The affair could have cascading consequences in the world of English football. It is first of all a warning shot for Manchester City and Chelsea, who are also awaiting trial for similar facts. In February, the Premier League accused Manchester City of violating financial rules more than a hundred times. Then, Leeds, Leicester, Burnley and Southampton, four clubs relegated to the Championship (the second division) in recent seasons, could now seek compensation.

In May, the same Premier League committee ruled that if Everton were convicted of financial excess, then it meant they had enjoyed an unfair advantage on the pitch. Therefore, these clubs may have been relegated unfairly. They have twenty-eight days to launch an appeal.

Read the analysis: Article reserved for our subscribers Football: Financial Fair Play in poor shape after defeat against Manchester City

The story of Everton is a concentrate of the excesses of English football: a huge sporting and financial gamble that did not work. In March 2016, Anglo-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri took a first stake in the club located in Liverpool – and rival of the Reds. He will eventually take complete control.

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