As Everton supporters continue to digest the shocking punishment meeted out to the Blues over FFP breaches, have the Premier League created a rod for their own back with this decision?
Yesterday’s announcement from the commission the League set up, has astounded not just Toffees supporters but also many others in football.
It is a hugely excessive response by the Premier League’s commisson for what is I understand is basically a £20 million breach of financial rules essentally around the new stadium build costs and interest payments, which also had mitigating circumstances to them.
During the Covid lockdowns there was no TV or gate money for a time and the Blues continued to pay all their employees in full, unlike many other clubs, during the relevant financial years so running up potentially even more debt.
Meanwhile, the Toffees also decided to self-fund the building of the new ground at Bramley-Moore Dock rather than seek a bank loan to pay for it.
Then in early 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the club had to sever ties with Alisher Usmanov, who’s USM Group were about to provide a huge sponsorship deal for that new ground. So, Everton lost all that additional revenue.
No Evertonian doubts this club has been badly run or that those in charge recently haven’t made serious mistakes. That is plainly obvious by performances and results on the pitch.
However, the circumstances mentioned above were all outside the club’s control.
There are rumours that not just Manchester City but also Chelsea among others may have all broken FFP regulations in recent years.
The only club though that has had its case fast-tracked and independently investigated by the commission and then outrageously punished with a massive points deduction, more than admiistration, rather than a fine or even a transfer ban, are the Blues.
This decision is part of a long saga of situations that has hurt Everton particularly hard over recent years.
Regularly we see dubious refereeing and VAR decisions that adversly impact the Blues, and other clubs too. Recently it felt as though a corner has been turned and now it is all under threat.
Now of course, the question is what will happen to other clubs either being investigated or accused of similar or worse breaches of these rules?
Everton have made clear they will be watching very closely to see how the League behaves in their cases, with the inference being that if other clubs are not punished as harshly, and critically proportionally, then legal action could follow.
Because, does anyone seriously believe City will get a similar punishment anywhere near eqivilent to the number of breaches they are accused of?
Now I’m not saying they are necessarily guilty on any or all counts, but one hundred and fifteen is an awful lot of alledged beaches compared to one!
Even if in the end it is only say twenty counts they are found guilty of, then they should in theory get a points deduction of two hundred. That would be an equivilent punishment.
The Premier League have now put themselves in a bind because they have set a precedent and it will be clear as day what should happen to anyone else found guilty of such breaches.