The Premier League confirmed earlier this week that they had referred Everton and Nottingham Forest to to an independent commission over breaches of profitability and sustainability rules.
Both Everton and Nottingham Forest are now facing fines and/or points deduction. The Toffees were already handed 10 point penalty in November.
So just what is going on?
HITC Football spoke with Leading sports lawyer and partner at Leathes Prior, Dan Chapman, about the situation.
He told us: “I understand that the Premier League’s objective is that an outcome in these two latest cases will be delivered no later than 8 April 2024, so in time for any sanction to be applied in the current season, in line with a commitment that the Premier League have recently made following the controversy and potential legal action that has arisen from Everton receiving a points deduction this season in relation to be breaches, some of which, occurred as far back as the 2019 to 2020 season.
“Given any sanction is subject to an appeal, and one would expect there to be an appeal if a points deduction were imposed, the end of this Premier League season could be very chaotic to say the least.”
Chapman points out that that the Premier League are perhaps showing a hard line to clubs for a reason.
“These latest charges are further evidence that the Premier League are taking a very firm line on any alleged breaches of their profit and sustainability rules.
“These rules are not new – they were introduced for the 2015 season – but there had been a view held by many in the game that the rules were to be more honoured in the breach than the observance.
“Whether that view was fair or very naïve, there can be no doubt following the first Everton charges and now these two latest charges, that the Premier League are taking a hard line – perhaps in doing so, seeking to show Government that they can regulate their own sport effectively.”
Manchester City still waiting
Whilst Everton and Forest are facing hearings, Manchester City are still awaiting a date to face 115 charges despite that case being nearly 12-months old but Chapman does not expert to see an outcome until 2025.
“In the background to these Everton and Forest cases remains the spectre of Manchester City: they were charged in early 2023 with more than 100 offences relating to their spending, and it is thought that it will not be until late 2025 that we see a resolution of those proceedings.
“The fundamental difference with Manchester City is that they contest the charges, which are plentiful and complex and relate to multiple seasons dating back to 2009, whereas Everton and Forest have admitted their charges but seek to rely upon mitigating circumstances.”