Everton are facing the prospect of a potential points deduction amid ongoing uncertainty over their financial accounts.
The Blues, who are already facing the looming threat of a nervous relegation battle this season, were due to publish their latest accounts last December, but are still yet to formally submit the figures as they seek clarification from authorities over how much of their expected losses, estimated to be in excess of £100 million this term, can be offset by the impact of the pandemic.
The Premier League are yet to find any of their member clubs guilty of breaching financial rules, but any side who are deemed to have contravened the regulations can be fined or docked points.
Why are Everton facing a points deduction?
At this stage, it is worth reiterating that the Toffees are not facing a definite points deduction, but could be docked if they are found to have breached the Premier League financial regulations.
Top flight profit and sustainability rules state that clubs can only record losses of £105 million over a given three-year period. Between 2017 and 2020, Everton recorded combined losses of £260 million, with further losses in excess of £100 million expected this time around.
Ordinarily, that would be enough to guarantee that they would be in breach of divisional regulations, but the impact of the pandemic has led to some alterations in the way that the Premier League calculate their final figures.
The usual three-year assessment period has been extended to four, with the two recent Covid-affected seasons pushed together to find an average. That average is then factored in alongside the two most recent unaffected campaign to produce an effective three-year total.
Even taking the Premier League’s more lenient approach into consideration, however, the Toffees could still be at risk of falling foul of spending regulations.
Financial matters at Goodison Park have also been made worse in recent days after the Blues were forced to sever links with major sponsor Alisher Usmanov following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is estimated that the abandonment of the Usmanov deal could cost the club around £300 million over the next 20 years.
The Premier League have set a deadline of later this month for all clubs to submit up-to-date accounts, as well as their forecasts for the rest of the season.
The process of vetting accounts is set to take several months, with any clubs found to be in breach facing charges at the end of the season.
What has been said about a potential Everton points deduction?
The general consensus seems to be that while a points deduction is possible, it is fairly unlikely.
Addressing the matter on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday, football finance expert Kieran Maguire wrote: “They would not have signed [Nathan] Patterson in January if [they were] about to exceed the limit but [they] are pretty close to it.
“There are some unusual transactions in the past which have helped Everton stay within the limit.”
Likewise, when asked whether Everton’s possible breach of financial regulations could lead to an eventual points deduction, Sky Sports News Editor Alan Myers wrote on Twitter: “I’d doubt it very much”.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.