Everton and Nottingham Forest have been charged with breaching Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules; both clubs can appeal and can face anything from fines to a points deduction; Man City have also faced charges, while Chelsea are under investigation
Sky Sports chief news reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains the process behind charges brought against Everton and Nottingham Forest by the Premier League for breaching Profit and Sustainability rules and what could happen next
What is the time frame for appeals after Everton and Nottingham Forest were charged by the Premier League for breaching their financial rules? Could there be a points deduction? With the help of Sky Sport News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol, we answer the key questions…
- Everton and Forest charged with breaching Premier League finance rules
- PSR explained: What limits clubs spending more?
How did we get here?
The Premier League released a statement and the wording of it was very interesting. It starts off by saying that the two clubs, Everton and Nottingham Forest, have admitted to breaking the Premier League’s financial rules.
So we’re going to have two separate, independent commissions. They are going to act pretty quickly because these rules are new and streamlined.
This is all part of a fast-track process because the Premier League want to make sure that if there are any fines or any points deductions, they are in season.
How fast will the process be? Can the clubs appeal?
The commission will hear the case and it will last between one and five days, but we should have a decision within 12 weeks so early April.
The clubs will have the chance to appeal if they want to. It has to be heard and concluded and have the final decision by May 24, which is five days after the season has ended.
Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz explains what the Premier League’s profit & sustainability rules are and how they affect clubs’ ability to spend
How have both teams reacted?
Looking at the statements from Everton and Nottingham Forest, it is interesting how they have responded.
Understandably, Everton are very upset. Their statement was very strongly worded, whereas Nottingham Forest was far more conciliatory in tone.
Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo said on Tuesday: “We are all concerned in the club but me as a coach, my job is to prepare the team we have a match tomorrow and this is what we are focused on.”
Nottingham Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo says everyone at the club is concerned after they were charged with breaching Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules.
When asked if he was aware of potential charges when he was appointed, Santo replied: “All the conversations we have in meetings are private. I understand this is the news but at the same time it is not my concern. I have to focus, everyone has to wait for the decision to come and when it comes we have to deal with that.
“The players know the situation but I’ll tell them exactly what I’m telling to you. Let’s forget about this and focus on our job.”
- Why Forest and the Premier League disagree over ‘complicated’ PSR charge
- Everton need help, not punishment in ongoing drama series
How can Everton be charged again?
What the Premier League’s rules say is that over a three-year cycle, you must not lose more than £105m.
In November, Everton were deducted 10 points for losing more than that over a three-year cycle.
On December 31, they submitted their accounts for last season, so we’re into a new three-year cycle. Of course, some of the seasons overlap with the previous three-year cycle that they’ve already been deducted ten points for.
Image: Everton have already been deducted ten points this season after a previous breach of the Premier League's financial rules
You could look at it as being punished twice for the same offence, but the Premier League would say ‘look at our rules, look at the wording of the rules’ and it makes it clear that you have to be compliant with the rules over a three-year cycle.
It looks like Everton haven’t been compliant over two of those cycles and unfortunately, some of those seasons overlap.
The good news is that they have the opportunity to fight their case. There will be an appeal for the ten-point deduction and a new independent commission as well.
What are the best and worst-case scenarios?
The best case scenario is fines, because what you don’t want is a points deduction.
With that being said, The Sun reported on Tuesday that a minimum of a six-point deduction could be waiting both Everton and Nottingham Forest – arguably the worst-case scenario.
Did Forest really gain an unfair advantage?
Image: Nottingham Forest have been charged for their first two seasons back in the Premier League
Their permitted losses were lower than £105m over a three-year cycle because they were in the EFL for part of that.
Nottingham Forest will be wondering if they have done that much wrong, have their gained an unfair advantage over other teams in the Premier League?
They were promoted through the play-offs and spent a lot of money in the transfer market because they wanted to make sure that they stay in the Premier League.
They haven’t made very much money from selling players, they haven’t recouped that much. Nottingham Forest sold Brennan Johnson, but that was after this accounting period closed.
So they will have some strong arguments to make to the commission as well and will be hoping if they are found guilty, they will be hit with a fine and not a points deduction.
- Live Premier League table | Fixtures | Results
- Watch Premier League highlights for free on Sky Sports
- Get Sky Sports | Download the Sky Sports App
What are the views of other Premier League clubs?
There is some sympathy for Everton and Forest among other Premier League clubs, Sky Sports News understands.
But there is a general feeling of it’s ‘dog eats dog’ and ‘rules are rules’. It’s understood there would be more sympathy if it emerges that the breaches were only a few million pounds.
Clubs are only allowed to lose a maximum of £105m over three seasons but there are so many variables that it can be difficult to stick to the letter of the law.
TV games, league position, cup runs, qualifying for Europe, injuries to key players forcing a club to sign replacements, transfer deals falling through are just some of the variables.
However, clubs feel they all signed up to the rules and there has to be a level playing field for everyone.
Why has this been so much quicker than Man City’s case?
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains the possible repercussions following Manchester City’s alleged financial breaches (first published in February 2023)
They are completely different cases. Man City deny any wrongdoing.
They were hit with 115 charges and will defend themselves against them. There is not evidence out in the public domain that Man City would say ‘this proves that we are guilty’ – far from it.
It is a hugely complex case and it feels like there’s not a lot going on, but there is a lot happening behind closed doors.
But the charges go all the way back to 2009 so it’s unfair to compare Man City’s case to Everton and Nottingham Forest.
- Man City charges explained
And what about the Chelsea investigation?
Chelsea have spent a lot of money, maybe close to €1bn over three transfer windows, but people also forget that Chelsea have recouped a lot of money from selling players. They have raised something £500m from selling players as well.
But the bottom line is all these clubs had to submit their accounts for the last cycle and they all passed, apart from – on the face of it – Everton and Nottingham Forest.
PSR explained: What limits clubs spending more?
Sky Sports chief news reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains the Premier League’s process for Profit and Sustainability – when penalties may be handed out and why the process is being fast-tracked this season
In the simplest terms, when every Premier League team tots up their annual accounts, they can have made a loss no greater than £105m across the previous three seasons.
Clubs can only lose £15m of their own money across those three years. So that’s no more than £15m extra on outgoings like transfer fees, player wages and, in a lot of clubs’ cases, paying off former managers compared to their income from TV payments, season tickets, selling players and so on.
The other £90m of any £105m must be guaranteed by their owners buying up shares, known as ‘secure funding’, and essentially means bankrolling the club.