Everton Football Club have been hit with the harshest penalty related to financial matters in Premier League history, with the league announcing a 10-point deduction for the Merseyside club today. This may yet be followed by additional mandatory financial compensation to Leeds United, Leicester City, Burnley, and Southampton, who were relegated from the Premier League during the time period that concerns Everton’s violations of the league’s financial fair play rules.
Essentially, Everton posted losses well in excess of the maximum allowed by those rules — specific details and numbers here, if you’re curious — and while they argue that certain mitigating factors should be considered, or considered more impactfully (such as the pandemic, or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), the league have come down quite strongly on them.
The deduction puts Everton firmly into the relegation zone, though they obviously will appeal and also do have plenty of season left to recover.
There isn’t much precedent to this in Premier League history, if any. Manchester City were hit with FFP violations by UEFA back in 2020, but they successfully appealed and effectively rendered those FFP rules toothless. (They had previously settled with UEFA for FFP violations in 2014, and escaped with a fine in 2019 for FIFA Article 19 violations — for which we got a two-window transfer ban.) City are also currently under investigation by the Premier League for (over 100) FFP violations, but so far nothing has come of those.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are under investigation as well, though mostly just by the dramatic tones of newspaper columns — at least so far. The Premier League are already looking into the Willian and Samuel Eto’o transfers that we recently flagged up (and settled for a fine with UEFA), but other leaked documents seem to suggest that off the books payments may have been made to various agents and intermediaries for multiple transfers during the Abramovich Era. I know, I know, absolutely inconceivable. (And given this Everton case, it’s doubly important that we get our calculations correct after our record spending sprees in the transfer market...)
I’m sure there is plenty of such dirt at every club, if we care to look. And we probably wouldn’t have to look too hard. Obviously, that’s no excuse, but it is what it is. So I guess we just wait to see who cares to look and how hard.