Further FFP charges could be catastrophic for Everton as announcement made

Today the Premier League has announced that in their view the Toffees again breached the FFP spending rules and the club will be referred once more to the independent commission.
Everton v Burnley - Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Everton v Burnley - Carabao Cup Fourth Round / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

This news really is like a hole-in-the-head for Everton supporters and the last thing the team needs after a tulmultuous season which has already featured a hugely controversial ten point penalty deduction in November, after a review of the first case by the commission.

That of course was the consequence of the Blues having breached the rules by around £20 million for the previous financial cycle, something the club admitted to.

Without going into all the details again, that has been done to death over the last few months, it was a massive punishment for a relatively small overspend, largely it seems for the new stadium costs, which the club kept in-house rather than borrow to pay for.

Ten points represented more than any other club has ever been punished for financial problems in the history of English football, even those who have gone into adminstration.

Following this decision, which led to them being joint-bottom and a frustrating three nil loss to Manchester United at Goodison, the Toffees went on a four game winning streak before they started to run out of steam and lost three on bounce to close out 2023.

So once more, Everton find themselves back looking over their shoulders just a point above the drop zone after yesterday's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

Should the commission decide the Toffees have again breached these rules, then the prospect of another substantial points deduction is truly too awful to contemplate and would surely put Premier League survival in near-terminal jepardy.

I can't see how the Blues could recover if they were deducted another eight, nine or ten points for example, especially given the improvement in form by others around them in particular Luton Town. Even a smaller number could prove impossible to overcome given the dogfight they are in.

And of course the problem is it is likely to be that sort of points total that will be applied again because the commission have set such a harsh precedent with their last punishment.

Nottingham Forest are also in the League's crosshair's this time round and they could be facing something similar in nature, if found guilty.

All this though just reinforces the wider problem with the process. Despite the fact that other clubs have faced similar accusations, so far only Everton and now Forest are, it seems, being investigated by the commisson.

Concerns have also been expressed over the lack of transparancy regarding the process and punishments that result.

Furthermore, these rules are set to be revised in the summer, meaning any club not charged and found guilty this season, might well have a different punishment to the Toffees.

Everton are already fighting the previous points deduction and could now face another, which were it to be applied this season would be almost impossible to overcome.

This is especially so because of the timeframe to consider. The decision would be made in April, meaning an immediate points deduction couldn't be more badly timed.

Following the announcement, the Blues have issued a statement once again robustly defending their position and making the point that the period involved in this charge appears to overlap with the timeframe for which they have already been punished.

In all honestly though the real problem at the heart of all this is the fact the club was so badly run over the last four of five years.

Farhad Moshiri came in with high hopes surrounding his takeover and proceeded to spend freely on players and a succession of managers duirng the subsequent seasons in the hope this would enable Everton to compete at the top table again. It didn't and now the chickens are coming home to roost.