Premier League officials have charged Everton FC and Nottingham Forest for breaking the league’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR), with both teams potentially facing a points deduction.
Both clubs have 14 days from the date of the charges placed against them to appeal. Everton have already been deducted 10 points this season after being charged for breaching financial rules last November whilst a similar points deduction would also place Forest in the relegation places.
The PSR states that Premier League clubs are allowed to lose up to a maximum of £105m over a three season period – or £35m a season. This is only on the provision that the owner(s) of a club has guarantees of up to £90m to cover his/her/their own money.
The rules differ, however, in Forest’s case, as the club spent two seasons in the EFL Championship during the time in question – the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, where its profit loss cap was £61m.
Much of Nottingham’s defence will rely on the delay of summer transfer sale Brennan Johnson to Tottenham Hotspur, in a deal that netted the side £47.5m and which would be considered ‘pure profit’ by league financial regulators as he is a home-grown player.
However, the sale of Johnson happened two months after the PSR cutoff date but Forest believe due to selling the forward on transfer deadline day, the fee was more than what would have been received before the 30 June cutoff date.
The club also invested heavily since returning to the top-flight in 2022, buying up to 40 new players and spending over £200m to actively compete in the Premier League.
Forest have enlisted the services of sports lawyer Nick De Marco for its appeal process which could be determined as early as April.
The club released a statement last night: “Nottingham Forest acknowledges the statement from the Premier League confirming that the club has today been charged with a breach of the league’s profitability and sustainability rules. The club intends to continue to cooperate fully with the Premier League on this matter and are confident of a speedy and fair resolution.”
Everton on the other hand has already been penalised for breaching financial regulations this season – a case that continues as the club has appealed the point deduction penalty – after failing PSR by overspending during the 2021/22 season.
The club have stated that its losses were attributed to interest on loans for its new stadium, which is due to open next season, whilst also citing the loss of funds coming from investor Alisher Usmanov after he was sanctioned by the UK government in 2022.
If the appeal of Everton’s first charge is overturned in their favour, it could prove to play a major role in its bid to appeal the second charge levied against it.
Everton released a statement this week, again criticising the league: “The Premier League does not have guidelines which prevent a club being sanctioned for alleged breaches in financial periods which have already been subject to punishment, unlike other governing bodies, including the EFL.
“As a result – and because of the Premier League’s new commitment to deal with such matters ‘in-season’ – the club is in a position where it has had no option but to submit a PSR calculation which remains subject to change, pending the outcome of the appeal.
“The club must now defend another Premier League complaint which includes the very same financial periods for which it has already been sanctioned, before that appeal has even been heard. The club takes the view that this results from a clear deficiency in the Premier League’s rules.”
Any ruling will play a heavily influential role in the proposed sale of Everton to American investment firm 777 Partners, as outgoing owner Farhad Moshiri looks to offload the club after spending nearly £1bn on player signings during his time at the club.