The club, its supporters, and other Premier League teams facing similar issues as Everton are expressing their disbelief over the recent sanction of 10 points for breaking profitability and sustainability rules. The club has admitted to the breach, citing mitigating factors such as the stadium construction, accounting treatment of interest costs, the effects of Covid-19 on the market, and the economic impact of player X’s treatment. The strong reaction to this punishment is evident.
Evertonians will freely admit that for much of Farhad Moshiri’s tenure, money had been plentiful but common sense, good strategy and execution much less so. His desire to build a team capable of competing at the higher levels of the Premier League and his commitment to a new stadium was never at odds with the expansionist policies beloved and rewarded so handsomely by the Premier League. In a sense, Moshiri’s ambition was the embodiment of the Premier League.
Nevertheless, Everton’s performance was subpar; “dreadful” may be a better description – this is fully recognized. However, should a team face penalties for inadequate management and leadership rather than intentional cheating or deceit? The ruling explicitly states that there was no evidence of dishonesty.
The procedures and workings of the commission have been shrouded in secrecy, leaving it up to the Premier League to address. This was a new experience for them. The specific accusations against Everton were not revealed until the final ruling. The process and the people involved remained unidentified. Is this truly the ideal approach for the most lucrative and popular football league in the world?
There are three points that I would like to bring up:
Bias – the media’s coverage of a possible 12-point deduction during the hearing. How is that not biased? The report was factual, that was the penalty requested by the Premier League.
Can you explain the extent to which a 10-point penalty is appropriate, considering that some mitigating factors were acknowledged but the case was complex? The hearing bundle contained over 28,000 documents, indicating that this was not a straightforward situation of fraud or a deliberate attempt to deceive Everton’s competitors.
Could the automatic implementation of a 10-point penalty as a form of punishment be considered presumptive? If a subsequent commission rules in favor of Everton upon appeal, would this not impact the integrity of the sport?
Each individual point is substantial enough to cast doubt on the commission’s ruling. When considered together, they present a strong argument for severe repercussions, or even a miscarriage of justice.
There has been significant discussion about how the Premier League handled the situation with the breakaway clubs and the proposed European Super League. These clubs posed a threat to the Premier League and the entire football pyramid. However, some have questioned whether the punishment of £3.3 million for each club was fair in comparison to the potential consequences of their actions. Their plans were solely focused on benefiting themselves and went against Premier League rule B15, which requires clubs to act in good faith.
Can you explain how this compares to the impact of Everton’s violation and the resulting punishment? Specifically, paragraph 135 in the decision addresses the unsuitability of imposing a monetary penalty on a team that has a wealthy owner. So, why was this same standard not used for the breakaway clubs, all of which also have wealthy owners? Where is the consistency in how punishment is handled?
Everton have been penalised for poor decision-making – poor governance playing a huge part. How ironic if the Premier League was, in turn, damaged, its reputation and integrity brought into question due to the poor decision and poor governance of this commission?
Paul Quinn is an Everton fan, writer and podcaster and a contributor to the Observer’s fans’ network. TheEsk.org; @TheEsk