With the fallout continuing from Friday’s announcement of a ten point deduction for FFP breaches, Everton are now potentially facing legal action from some of last season’s relegated clubs.
As if it isn’t enough for Toffees supporters to have to deal with this dreadful penalty being imposed, now several former Premier League clubs want to try and sue following their relegation.
Everton, as I understand it, are being basically penalised for going over the debt threashold for their finances related to building the new ground at Bramley Moore Dock, not directly for any transfer spending.
So this breach doesn’t relate to sporting issues (which is precisley why this punishment is so excessive) and therefore has had no direct impact on the pitch.
This news of potential action for the outcome of last season when Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton were relegated, is something that we have been braced for since at least last summer.
Now according to fresh media reports, one or two of those clubs might well be likely to go ahead with that compensation action.
Well it seems to me that in truth these clubs don’t really have a leg to stand on.
First of all, regardless of any mitigating circumstances, if my analysis of the reason for the breach is generally correct, then the overrun was for essentially a capital project cost rather than one directly related to transfers or anything on the pitch.
In addition to other circumstances, the Toffees had to essentially write off a player who was under investigation for an alledged crime and so they couldn’t sell that player (potentially one of their most valuable) to raise critical additional resources and therefore potentially recover that breach.
This is what they did with another player (not accused of anything of course) when they sold Richarlison later to Spurs to help balance the books.
Secondly, the commission’s report I understand, states that in their opinion the Blues gained no clear sporting advantage from this situation and the breach.
So I really don’t see where those clubs would be able to claim in any case for compensation because of their relegation.
In any case, Everton have to maintain the determination and willingness they have shown to fight this deduction and will need to do more of it in the future as the fallout from this decision continues to reverberate, probably for weeks to come.