Everton fans protest over points deduction as Andy Burnham writes 'complaint' to Premier League

Andy Burnham, who is an Everton season-ticket holder, accused the Premier League of an "abuse of process" Credit: PA Images

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has accused the Premier League of an "abuse of process" over the 10-point penalty handed to Everton last week, and called on the organisation to declare the sanction null and void.

Burnham, who is an Everton season-ticket-holder, spoke out on the day Toffees fans protested en masse prior to Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United at Goodison Park.

A large group of supporters gathered outside The Brick pub close to stadium before kick-off and marched via County Road and Spellow Lane to the ground.

A huge banner draped across the front of the pub read: “Where there is power, greed and money…There is corruption.”

Fans marched to Goodison Park ahead of the match Credit: PA Images

Similar banners were unfurled inside the stadium and most fans waved mini purple “Corrupt” placards that had been handed out by fans’ group The1878s prior to kick-off.

In an open letter to the Premier League, which the Greater Manchester mayor described as a "formal complaint", Burham argued that its failure to have a sanctions policy in place prior to commencing the process, and subsequent introduction of one once the process was under way, amounted to an "abuse of process".

Burnham wrote: "It could be argued that the Premier League handing a new penalty regime to the Commission in this way is akin to the Government handing new sentencing guidelines to a judge in the middle of a particular trial.

"Any right-minded person would see that as an inappropriate attempt to influence due process. From my experience of regulation, introducing new rules in the late stages of a process would be regarded as regulatory malpractice."

Everton, who exceeded losses permitted by £19.5million in the three seasons ending in 2021-22, are expected to appeal against the punishment.

Burnham acknowledged that the club have a case to answer, but added: "The only fair course of action that I can see from this point is for the panel’s ruling to be declared null and void.

"I cannot see how any appeal process would result in anything other than a similarly arbitrary judgement as that made by the Commission and, for that reason, I do not believe that an appeal will resolve this matter."

Andy Burnham speaking to journalists at the Everton match against Manchester United Credit: PA Images

It is understood that the Premier League contests most of the allegations made against it by Burnham, believing he has a fundamental misunderstanding of the processes involved.

Everton manager Sean Dyche has expressed his shock at the league's "disproportionate" penalty and on Friday, 24 November, fans gathered outside the Premier League’s offices in Paddington, west London, in protest.

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