Metro Mayor slams Premier League’s ‘culture of secrecy’ as Everton points deduction resolved

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has questioned a “culture of secrecy” around the Premier League as Everton’s points deduction was finally resolved. 

It was confirmed earlier today that after months of agonising waiting, the Toffees’ 10-point penalty for breaching profit and sustainability rules had been reduced to just six on appeal. The amended sanction lifts the Blues five points clear of the relegation places.

Mr Rotheram offered his support to Evertonians when the penalty was confirmed back in November and said the outcome of the appeal proved the initial 10-point deduction was “patently unfair”.

The Blues received the deduction three months ago when the club was found guilty of breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules by a three-person independent commission. The charges were implemented on Everton after they recorded losses in the excess of £105 million over a three-year period, ending in 2022.

Despite admitting the breach, the club were hit with a landmark decision – a point more than Portsmouth received for going into administration in 2010. In a statement, Everton said it was “satisfied our appeal has resulted in a reduction in the points sanction.”

Mayor Rotheram, alongside the Evertonian Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham met with members of the Everton Fan Advisory Board earlier this year to express their concern at the deduction. As the outcome of the club’s appeal was confirmed this afternoon, the Liverpool-supporting Mayor gave the Premier League’s role in the affair short shrift.

He said, “The outcome of Everton’s appeal vindicates what I and many others have been saying from the outset: that the panel’s original sanction was patently unfair. A 40% reduction in penalty shows just how heavy-handed that verdict was, though the club still potentially faces double jeopardy by being punished twice for alleged breaches over a similar period.”

The league has come in for heavy criticism for how it has managed Everton’s case since the points deduction was handed down. Earlier this month, Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive, was in hot water after referring to the Blues as a “small club”.

Mr Masters also refused to hand over minutes of a Premier League board meeting in which the points deduction was decided. This caused further anger, including from the Metro Mayor who questioned how fans could truly support decisions made going forward.

Mr Rotheram said, “Fans and clubs need confidence in the rules and processes that govern our beloved game. The Premier League’s culture of secrecy has done nothing to foster confidence or trust.

“How can any fan, club or player have any confidence in the Premier League sanctions process moving forward without a clear and transparent framework for sanctions? The league should now publish the formula it intends to use when calculating penalties for similar breaches moving forward. 

“This is an urgent issue given the two outstanding cases to be dealt with this season.”

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