There is a “very real danger” that the situation facing Everton could “soon become even more serious”, according to Dan Roan.
The BBC Sport editor wrote on the broadcaster’s website on 18 November that the threat of further legal repercussions from former relegation rivals has the club facing a “doomsday scenario” where they are ordered to pay more than prospective new owners 777 Partners can afford and the club are sent into administration and ultimately relegated.
Everton have already been hit by a 10-point deduction over a breach of profit and sustainability rules, and Roan suggests the punishment could be set to have “seismic ramifications” at Goodison Park and elsewhere in the Premier League, such as at the Etihad where Manchester City have 115 disputed charges still pending.
Roan wrote: “Stunned Everton fans may take some comfort from the sense they at least now know where they stand.
“But while the severity of the punishment meted out may have dismayed many, there is a very real danger that the situation facing the club could soon become even more serious.”
After noting the already-increased threat to relegation after the 10-point deduction he pointed to the reported threat of legal action from Leeds United, Leicester and Burnley, before adding: “The doomsday scenario for the Toffees is that the club end up being ordered to pay more in compensation than the new owners can afford, and that administration follows, along with a further nine-point deduction, almost certainly condemning the team to relegation.”
The Toffees appeal appears set to carry with it as much threat as hope with the added concern of the claims from former relegation rivals.
Farhad Moshiri is certainly not going to be paying any compensation awards since he isn’t funding the day-to-day running of the club he currently still owns as it is, and with the questions over 777’s takeover ongoing it remains to be seen what the Americans’ stance is if Everton are ordered to pay anything like the £100million those clubs reportedly want.
The current points deduction is thought to have essentially been priced into the deal for the club and hasn’t put the takeover in jeopardy itself, but major new financial burdens could change that.
It is only through a significant upturn in form on the pitch and weak rivals that the original punishment hasn’t itself consigned the club to relegation, and hasn’t even sent them to the bottom of the table.
The improvements under Sean Dyche and the presence of a set of promoted sides who have struggled badly in the top flight so far this season should leave fans relatively confidence of safety even if the punishment isn’t reduced on appeal as some close to the club believe will happen.
That confidence isn’t shared among some experts either way, but a further nine-point penalty for administration would surely be asking too much of the manager and his players.
The galvanising effect of these developments among the fans and the squad could be significant so on the pitch the events of the international might even have a positive impact, but if the danger of the compensation claims is “very real” it might not matter.