August 11, 2022

It doesn’t rain but it pours

There are 13 games remaining in the Premier League season and Everton hover one point above the relegation zone. The Toffees have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in recent seasons but appear a broke team, with a mix of inexperienced youngsters, bruised talents with something to prove, and just distinctly average footballers.

It had been hoped that the appointment of Frank Lampard would provide a similar boost to that experienced by Aston Villa after appointing Steven Gerrard, but that has not materialised, and Everton are currently in one of the worst runs of form in the Premier League right now.

Off the field, things are not much better, with a report in the Daily Mail on Wednesday suggesting that the Merseyside club potentially face a points deduction over the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

Much depends on how the club’s accounts for 2020/21 look when they are made public. According to the report, the accounts were due to be filed in December, but the club have delayed their release as they seek clarification over how much of the losses can be offset by measures brought in during the coronavirus pandemic.

Between 2017 and 2020, Everton announced losses of £260 million, and it is expected that the club’s 2020/21 accounts will show another loss made.

The league’s profit and sustainability rules mean that losses over £105 million over a three-year period represent a breach. Due to the pandemic, that period has been stretched to four years, with the two covid-impacted seasons in which fans were not present in stadiums being considered one season and their finances averaged out.

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Everton may be confronted with the eventuality of having to negotiate with the Premier League should they become the first club to breach the rules. While a fine is the more likely punishment in the event of a breach, a points deduction is a possibility.

Knowing Everton fans’ luck over the past while, you wouldn’t rule it out.

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