Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has slammed the “excessive and grossly unfair punishment” handed out to Everton and has vowed to support their appeal against a 10 point deduction.
It was confirmed earlier today that the club had been found guilty of a breach of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) after a lengthy case.
In March, Everton were made the subject of an independent commission by the Premier League over an alleged breach of rules but the club denied any wrongdoing and said they were “prepared to robustly defend” their position.
With a 10 point sanction confirmed by the league this morning, the club has vowed to appeal, with strong support coming from the Liverpool-supporting Mayor of the city region.
In financial accounts published on 31 March, Everton recorded a deficit of £44.7m in 2021/22, taking their total losses over the past five years to £430m. Clubs are permitted to lose £105m over a three-year period.
In a statement, Everton said, “The club believes that the commission has imposed a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction. The club has already communicated its intention to appeal the decision to the Premier League. The appeal process will now commence and the club’s case will be heard by an Appeal Board appointed pursuant to the Premier League’s rules in due course.”
Reacting to the sanction imposed this morning, Mayor Rotheram said he would be putting aside club loyalties to back Everton’s appeal.
Posting on social media, the Metro Mayor said, “This is an excessive and grossly unfair punishment for a single charge – and makes a rod for the Premier League’s back in future. I’ll be supporting the club in their appeal and writing to the Premier League to ask them to rescind it.
“This is about fairness, not partisan rivalry.”
The only previous occurrence of a Premier League club being deducted points for a non-football matter came in 2009/10 when Portsmouth were docked nine points for entering administration during the season. This was a fact not lost on Mayor Rotheram.
He said, “Portsmouth were given a points deduction for twice entering administration. Given that the club were cooperating with the Premier League, this feels wholly disproportionate.”
The immediate points deduction puts Everton in 19th in the Premier League on four points, despite winning four matches this season. In a statement of its own, the league said, “The Premier League issued a complaint against the club and referred the case to an independent Commission earlier this year.
“During the proceedings, the club admitted it was in breach of the PSRs for the period ending season 2021/22 but the extent of the breach remained in dispute.”