Everton Football Club is facing a potential points deduction that could jeopardize their Premier League status after being charged with breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. The club, which is currently in a relegation battle under new manager Sean Dyche, posted a loss of £371.8 million over three seasons up until 2021-22, which is £266.8 million over the £105 million limit set by the league. Despite claiming that they would not breach league regulations, Everton could face serious consequences if found guilty of the alleged breaches.
The club has vowed to “robustly defend” themselves against the charge after the Premier League referred the alleged breaches to an independent three-man disciplinary commission. A hearing could take place before the end of the season. If found guilty, punishments could include points deductions, transfer embargos, fines, and a forced wages cap.
Everton is not the only club to face financial scrutiny this season. Manchester City was hit with 101 charges covering a nine-year period for breaching financial rules. The Premier League spokesperson said, “We have referred an alleged breach of our Profitability and Sustainability Rules by Everton. The assessment period for which it is alleged the club is in breach is the period ending season 2021-22. Proceedings before the commission will be confidential and heard in private.”
Last May, Burnley and Leeds threatened a £200m damages claim against then-relegation rivals Everton over alleged FFP breaches. However, the legal action never materialized following financial allowances given to all Premier League clubs due to the Covid pandemic.
In 2022, Everton announced losses of £120.9 million for 2020-21, putting them £371.8 million in the red over three years. EFL bosses have levied a series of points deductions for financial breaches in recent seasons, with Reading facing a six-point penalty in the coming weeks. However, Middlesbrough, who were relegated in 1997 after losing three points for not fulfilling a fixture at Blackburn, remain the only top-flight side to suffer a deduction.
The club has until Friday to lodge their accounts at Companies House and has pledged to do so. These are also expected to show a nine-figure loss, although figures allow a significant discount for the cost of the club’s new 60,000 home at Bramley Moore Dock. Despite the charges, a club statement read, “The club strongly contests the allegation of non-compliance. Everton is prepared to robustly defend its position.”
The potential points deduction could be a huge blow to Everton, who are currently precariously close to the relegation zone. The club is hoping to avoid the same fate as Middlesbrough and remain in the Premier League. However, if found guilty of breaching FFP rules, they could face serious consequences that could affect their future in the league.