Everton FCs 10-point deduction reduced to six by appeal board

Everton FC has had its record 10-point deduction by the Premier League cut to six, after an independent appeal board ruled the club should receive four points back following its appeal over the sanction

The appeal was heard over three days earlier this month, by an appeal board comprising Sir Gary Hickinbottom (Chair), Daniel Alexander KC and Katherine Apps KC.

Everton appealed the original sanction on nine grounds, each of which related to the sanction rather than the fact of the breach, which the club admitted.

Two of those nine grounds were upheld by the appeal board, which has substituted the original points deduction of 10 for six.

This revised sanction has immediate effect and the Premier League table will be updated today to reflect this.

The Premier League Board said it is satisfied with today’s decision and that the independent disciplinary process, clearly set out in its Rules and agreed by all clubs, has been followed throughout.

In a statement, Everton said: “While the club is still digesting the appeal board’s decision, we are satisfied our appeal has resulted in a reduction in the points sanction.

“We understand the appeal board considered the 10-point deduction originally imposed to be inappropriate when assessed against the available benchmarks of which the club made the commission aware, including the position under the relevant EFL regulations, and the nine-point deduction that is imposed under the Premier League’s own rules in the event of insolvency.

“The club is also particularly pleased with the appeal board’s decision to overturn the original commission’s finding that the club failed to act in utmost good faith. That decision, along with reducing the points deduction, was an incredibly important point of principle for the club on appeal. The club, therefore, feels vindicated in pursuing its appeal.

“Notwithstanding the appeal board’s decision, and the positive outcome, the club remains fully committed to cooperating with the Premier League in respect of the ongoing proceedings brought for the accounting period ending in June 2023.

“The club is still considering the wider implications of the decision and will make no further comment at this time other than to place on record its thanks to our Fan Advisory Board and other fan groups throughout this process, and to all Evertonians for their ongoing support and patience.”

Everton argued the 10-point deduction was a disproportionate punishment for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules (PSR).

It was hit by the biggest points sanction in Premier League history on November 17 last year, which dumped the club into the relegation zone.

The Blues had contested the accusation, but during the original hearing had admitted to breaching the guidelines. It was, however, stunned by the severity of the punishment.

No explanation of how the 10 points figure was reached has been given. The Premier League had, beforehand, called for a 12 point deduction.

The club is understood to feel a sporting penalty, involving a points deduction, is the wrong solution for a financial issue.

The appeal board considered whether the original process was fair, or not.

Meanwhile, Everton has been hit, again, with PSR charges over breaching the spending rules following submission of its latest accounts, including alleged breaches from the same period as the original punishment, which has raised claims of ‘double jeopardy’.

The club’s appeal process against the 10-point deduction had to take place before it could face another panel hearing to consider the second alleged breach, which also includes charges against Nottingham Forest.