Everton are in a race against time to prepare their appeal against the Premier League’s 10-point deduction for breaching financial regulations, i can an reveal.
The Merseyside club were stunned to discover they had been handed such a heavy sanction that is applicable immediately and plunged them into the Premier League relegation places.
The club intends to appeal but the updated profit and sustainability rules — previously known as financial fair play regulations — permit club lawyers only 14 days to ready a case for its defence.
Following the ruling of the independent commission against Everton, the appeal process will be relatively swift, meaning any sanctions are expected to be confirmed before the end of this season.
“The club will need to act fast,” Tom Murray, Senior Sports Lawyer at Mishcon de Reya and co-author of the “Financial Regulation” chapter in Football and the Law, said.
“Most surprisingly given the potential impact of the sanction, under the new P&S/FFP Rules Everton only have 14 days to submit its case for the appeal, which, given the amount of work that is involved, is not much time at all. We would then expect a further hearing to take place shortly afterwards and in any event, a final decision received, in advance of the end of the season.
“After that, any further appeals would have to go to a separate arbitrator and would only be permitted on very limited grounds.”
Murray added: “This is almost certainly not the end of the story. We understand Everton has indicated that it will appeal the sanction imposed and also the finding that it failed to act with the utmost good faith.”
This is the first time the Premier League has imposed a points deduction on a club for a breach of financial regulations, first introduced in 2013, and Everton reacted with shock on Friday. Under the regulations, clubs can incur losses of a maximum of £105m over any three-year period.
Legal experts believe the ruling will “cause shockwaves” among executives at Manchester City, who are awaiting the verdict of an independent commission into the 115 charges brought by the Premier League this year, and Chelsea, who are caught in their own financial allegations dating back to Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club.
“This is a landmark moment in the history of the Premier League and one of its most famous clubs, and will cause shockwaves — particularly in the boardrooms of Chelsea and Manchester City,” Simon Leaf, Partner and Head of Sport at Mishcon de Reya, said.