How does Everton's Financial Fair Play Sanction impact the club's future?

Published on 21 November 2023 at 13:00

The surprisingly optimistic atmosphere lingering around Goodison Park appeared prodigiously unfamiliar for Evertonian's this season, as Sean Dyche guided the Toffees to their third win in five games. There was always an underlying scent of paranoia from fans, that impending doom was on the brink of their calm shores and on Friday it came in the appearance of an unprecedented 10 point deduction.


Fans believed the club was entering a promising new dawn, with the turbulent ownership of Farhad Moshiri on the brink of ending after American investors 777 agreed to buy his 94% stake in the club. In addition, Everton were eight points clear of the relegation zone and are one game away from reaching their first semi-final in eight seasons, if they defeat Fulham in the Carabao Cup Quarter Finals.

However, on Friday it was ruled that they had breached financial fair play rules. Premier League clubs are permitted to lose £105m over three years but in 2021-22 Everton's total losses amounted to £124.5m which violated the profit and sustainability laws. As a result a 10 point deduction was imposed by the Premier League, the highest sporting sanction in the competitions history, which leaves the Merseyside club two points adrift of safety in 19th place.

It epitomises the despair and turmoil Evertonian's have had to suffer in recent years having endured consecutive relegation battles, the death of former owner Bill Kenwright and the tyrannical chaos under Farhad Moshiri. 

It was in March, when Everton were referred to an independent commission and after an ongoing nine month investigation the club have finally learnt their fate. The club strenuously contests the allegations and have vowed to take further action, however its unlikely the commission will change their verdict given they rejected Everton's numerous mitigating circumstances.

Everton stated the arrest of an unnamed player, COVID-19 pandemic, War in Ukraine and increased cost of living expenses had all affected the club's transfer sales and financial incomings. Although, these were all deemed dubious claims by the commission and it was found the club were guilty of illegitimate accountancy of their finances.


No club in Premier League history has been sanctioned more severely, with Middlesbrough deducted two points in 1995-96 and Portsmouth deducted nine points in 2010 after going into liquidation.

Since the sanction, a host of Premier League clubs; Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Leeds United, Southampton and Leicester City have all filed for compensation applications and it is believed these clubs were the driving force for Everton being penalised.

It has completely de-railed Everton's bright start to the season; leaving them with just four points from their first 12 games. The only enlightening fact is that on the previous three occasions when a Premier League club had four points from 12 games only Everton in 1994-95 survived. Sean Dyche's team still have a really strong chance of survival given the extent of how poor the newly promoted clubs have been this season.

The overwhelming concern is the financial implications if the club were to get relegated this season, after building their new £760m stadium at Bramley Moor Docks which is expected to open in late 2024. It would be a travesty if the Toffees unveiled their new stadium while in the Championship and it could lead the club into liquidation if new potential investors 777 decide to pull out of the takeover. Their ownership of Everton is still in process and they are yet to comment on the club's breaches, which is concerning as if they didn't buy Everton the club's future would be in doubt.


The Premier League's strict policy for Everton's single breach has set a worrying precedent for the rest of the league and it has put increased pressure on Manchester City and Chelsea to be sanctioned.

Manchester City were charged in February with over 100 breaches of financial fair play between 2009 - 2019, but are yet to face implications with the case still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have recently been in the spotlight for illegitimate payments connected to Romain Abramovich during his 19 year ownership of the West London club.

Many pundits and media journalists have raised a pertinent point regarding Everton's unjust treatment, when six clubs threatened to destroy football integrity and join the European Super League no severe sanctions were imposed. This suggests a unfair treatment on the smaller clubs in the Premier League, while the behemoths at the top remain untouchable.

On the field, all the players can do is continue their fine form this season, where they face a tough home game against Manchester United this weekend with a win potentially taking them out of the relegation zone. 


Written by Lewis Eadie

Instagram: @the_Beautgame1

Twitter: @The_beautgame1

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