Everton have filed an appeal in a bid to overturn the Premier League’s decision to deduct 10 points from the club for breaching the competition’s financial rules.
The deduction was the biggest sporting sanction in the Premier League’s 31-year history, dropping Everton into the relegation zone and threatening its 70-year status in the top division.
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The club was found by an independent commission to have made a loss of 124.5 million pounds ($155m) over three years up to the end of the 2021-22 season. The league’s profit and financial sustainability rules allow clubs to lose a maximum of 105 million pounds ($130m) over a three-year period or face sanctions.
“Everton Football Club has today lodged with the chair of the Premier League’s judicial panel its appeal of the decision by a Premier League commission to impose a 10-point deduction on the club,” Everton said in a brief statement on Friday. “An appeal board will now be appointed to hear the case.”
Everton had earlier said the points deduction was “a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting sanction” and the club “does not recognise the finding that it failed to act with the utmost good faith”.
The Merseyside club are one of England’s most storied teams as a nine-time league champion and a top-division club since 1954.
Everton fans protested the deduction during last week’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United with thousands of supporters holding up bright pink signs at Goodison Park with the Premier League’s lion-head logo on them and the word “Corrupt” under it.
Last week, Everton fan group The 1878s flew a banner that read, “Premier League = Corrupt,” over the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Everton, which are one spot above last-place Burnley on goal difference, play at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
“We were stunned. I think football was stunned by the outcome of the 10 points, so who knows what comes next?” Everton boss Sean Dyche said ahead of Saturday’s trip.
“The way it is sounding from the noise out there it is not just about us. There will be others looked at possibly over time. We will have to wait and see.”
There is scepticism at the severity of such a sanction at the same time that the Premier League is trying to resist the introduction of an independent regulator for football in England.
Manchester Mayor and Everton season-ticket holder Andy Burnham has also raised concerns over the process by which the 10-point penalty was reached.
Burnham criticised the lack of a Premier League sanctions policy before the charges were brought against the club and the attempt to introduce one in August while the Everton case was being held, called it “regulatory malpractice”.
Both Manchester City and reportedly Chelsea have been accused by the league of various breaches of regulations.
City, the defending English and European champions, were accused by the league in February of 115 breaches for allegedly providing misleading information about their finances from 2009 to 2018.