Geologists know that sometimes what appears to be an earthquake is only a prelude to an even greater seismic event. That is worth remembering amid the tremors of the decision to dock Everton 10 points for breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR). Because for Manchester City and Chelsea a quake of a far larger magnitude is potentially looming.
City, after all, have been charged with more than 100 breaches of Premier League rules over multiple years. Chelsea are under investigation for alleged financial wrongdoing between 2012 and 2019 – and, as the Guardian revealed this week, secret payments worth tens of millions of pounds appear to have been made by companies owned by Roman Abramovich.
Everton are the first club to be punished by the league for breaking financial fair play rules, and the leading sports lawyer Catherine Forshaw believes that City and Chelsea will be fearing much more severe punishments – including potential relegation.
“If you are a lawyer at these clubs, you will be more nervous after this verdict,” says Forshaw, who has significant experience in advising national governing bodies and football clubs. “There’s precedent in place now. And compared to Chelsea and Manchester City, Everton are likely to be at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of severity. So I think relegation is certainly not out of the question.” Another prominent sports lawyer, Nii Anteson, points to section 107 and 108 of the 41-page Everton verdict as potentially being relevant to future cases.
It was not just that the commission stressed to Everton that the “obligation to act in utmost good faith is high”, and told the club that the information supplied was “materially inaccurate” and “less thanRead on irishexaminer.com