April 13, 2024

Everton’s players could reportedly seek legal action against the club if they are relegated following their 10-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules. The Toffees are currently two points adrift of safety after receiving the biggest sporting punishment in Premier League history last month.

The deduction saw Everton reduced to just four points, but they now sit on seven after earning a narrow victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Some players are concerned about the prospect of having their wages slashed by 50 per cent if they are relegated and have instructed their legal teams to find out if there is a case to seek compensation, according to The Sun.

It is claimed that some players feel they have been responsible for earning the points, with the actions of the club and the decision by the independent panel costing them their hard work. Legal action could reportedly be sought as a result, but this would prove difficult because contracts are legally binding and any new pay deals would have to be agreed.

Most of Everton’s highest earners are said to have wage drop clauses written into their contracts, with a number of players on more than £100,000 per week. It seems likely that in the event of relegation, at least some of the players in question would seek moves away rather than staying at the club on reduced salaries.

The Merseyside club submitted a formal appeal against their deduction earlier this week, with their case set to be heard before the end of the season. They initially admitted breaching financial rules but said that they were ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the severity of their punishment when it was confirmed last month.

A club statement on Friday read: “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. An appeal board will now be appointed to hear the case.”

Thousands of fans protested at Goodison Park by holding up banners and cards during Everton’s defeat at the hands of Manchester United last weekend. More protests took place before kick-off against Forest on Saturday, with many supporters displaying pink leaflets with ‘corrupt’ written on them.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Everton could be punished again if their next set of accounts show further breaches. Clubs can be sanctioned for breaching profit and sustainability rules in consecutive seasons, according to The Times, with accounts for the year ending June 2023 needing to be submitted by the end of March.

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