Everton have been docked 10 points for breaching the Premier League’s spending rules in an unprecedented punishment for a top-flight club.
An independent commission set up to examine the club’s losses during the era of Farhad Moshiri has found them guilty.
It means Sean Dyche’s side drop into the bottom three of the Premier League with immediate effect, second from bottom.
Everton are reeling after the decision and have vowed to appeal to the Premier League board.
Club officials are shocked and bewildered that their mitigation was rejected.
The Premier League had recommended a 12-point deduction for the Merseyside club, as reported by Telegraph Sport.
They brought the case for breaking profit and sustainability rules against Everton in March 2022 after they recorded financial losses of £304 million over a three-year period, which is well over the permitted amount of £105 million set out by the Premier League.
Everton argued there were mitigating factors in these losses, citing stadium expenses, the impact of the war in Ukraine which affected their sponsorship deal with USM, and also the loss of value in players due to the Covid pandemic.
One area of particular contention regarded the interest charges on the cost of the stadium. Prior to 2022 the rate hikes were permissible. That changed in the last set of accounts and contributed to the latest breach.
Having complied with the Premier League in consecutive years, Everton feel they have been treated harshly – especially when compared to the Manchester City case which is dragging on despite 114 more charges and accusations of a far less transparent process.
Everton’s financial difficulties are well-documented following a period of overspending by Moshiri. Over the past five years of accounts the club has announced losses of £44.7 million in 2022, £121.3 million in 2021, £139.9 million in 2020, £111.8 million in 2019 and £13.1 million in 2018.
Moshiri is in the process of selling the club to Miami-based investment company 777 Partners. The price of the club will depend on Everton’s Premier League status, which is now under serious threat despite a promising period on-field led by Dyche.
That takeover is currently being ratified by the Premier League and Financial Conduct Authority.
Everton also cited the loss of potential earnings regarding one high-profile and saleable player, due to extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances. That cost the club at least £20 million.
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.