Everton and Nottingham Forest referred to independent commission over alleged spending breaches

Everton and Nottingham Forest have been referred to an independent commission over alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules by the Premier League. Credit: PA

Everton and Nottingham Forest have been referred to an independent commission over alleged breaches of profit and sustainability rules by the Premier League.

Both clubs, along with each of their top-flight rivals, were required to submit accounts for the financial year that ended last summer by 31 December 2023 in order for the league to review the figures.

Any prosecution could, if found guilty by an independent commission, lead to further punishment including another points deduction.

Everton are already reeling from the unprecedented punishment by an independent commission – against which an appeal has since been submitted – after breaching rules which say clubs can only overspend by £105 million over three seasons. They were ruled to be £19.5 million in excess of that.

The 10 point deduction originally dropped Everton to 19th in the table, five points from safety, but since then the Toffees have won four games in the Premier League and drawn one, leaving them 17th in the table.

An independent commission found the club’s desire to improve their on-pitch performance had resulted in them acting "irresponsibly" and exceeding permitted losses under the league’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

Credit: PA Images

On Monday Everton released a statement and said they'll defend their position, and blamed a 'deficiency' the Premier League's rules.They said: "Everton Football Club acknowledges the Premier League’s decision to refer a breach of Profit & Sustainability rules (PSR) for the assessment period ending with the 2022/23 season to an independent Premier League commission."This relates to a period which covers seasons 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23. It therefore includes financial periods (2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22) for which the Club has already received a 10-point sanction. The Club is currently appealing that sanction."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."Everton can assure its fans that it will continue to defend its position during the ongoing appeal and, should it be required to do so, at any future commission – and that the impact on supporters will be reflected as part of that process."

Former Everton midfielder, who represented the club more than 150 times, says he believes the club would be relegated for the first time, should they suffer another points deduction, claiming his former club would be 'history'.

The City Ground

Meanwhile Nottingham Forest could be hit with a breach for the first time. They delivered a statement on Monday.

They said: "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."

The clubs have 14 days to submit their formal answers to the complaint.

It's not yet clear what punishments could face both teams. Everton are next in action on Wednesday at Goodison Park in an FA Cup replay against Crystal Palace. Forest will travel to Blackpool for their third round replay on the same night.

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