May 17, 2024

Simon Stone says there is “potential for chaos” on the final day of the season after Everton and Nottingham Forest were charged by the Premier League.

The Premier League announced on Monday (15 January) that both sides had breached their profit and sustainability rules in their accounts for 2022-23.

Everton and Forest have been referred to an independent commission and now risk a possible fine or a points deduction, which the Toffees have already been hit with this season.



A decision will be made by early April, while an appeal decision may not be returned until a week after the season concludes.

Writing on BBC Sport’s live blog [15 January, 5:09pm], chief football news reporter Stone said: “These new Premier League cases have to be heard by 8 April, although given that is a Monday, they are likely to be concluded the previous week.

“But Everton’s case can’t be heard until their appeal against a 10-point deduction by a previous commission has been determined. That is likely to be the end of February or beginning of March.

“On 8 April, there will still be six full Premier League match rounds to play, with the possibility of some re-arranged games, meaning it’s highly likely the relegation places will not have been decided.

“So any decision that ends in a points deduction is virtually certain to be subject to an appeal, even as a pre-emptive strike by the clubs. And that brings the potential for chaos as there is no guarantee any appeal would be heard before the final games of the campaign on 19 May.

“Those final day fixtures… Luton v Forest and Sheffield United v Everton.

Ifs and buts

The Premier League’s grand plan was to get every club to submit their latest accounts very early – by 31 December – in order for any teams guilty of breaching rules to have points deducted this season.

That is in wake of the Toffees being docked 10 points already this campaign as a punishment for an offence committed last season.



While that sounds fine on the face of it, the case will not be closed until after the season concludes when the various appeals are factored in.

Further complicating matters is the fact that Everton are already appealing that previous 10-point deduction, so who knows what position they will be in come the final round of fixtures.

The hope, of course, is that Everton are well clear of the bottom three come the trip to Sheffield United. Realistically, though, there could easily be just a few points in it – regardless of any future sanctions.

If a final-day decider was not nerve-wracking enough, these ‘ifs and buts’ that are totally out of the fans’ and players’ control just makes things that whole lot worse.



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