Thursday, May 23, 2024

EFL says Leicester will not face points deduction over PSR charge this season

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Apr 2024

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Leicester will definitely not face a points deduction in this season’s Championship over the Premier League charge they face for allegedly breaching top-flight financial rules, the EFL has confirmed.

The EFL said its rules as currently written do not give it the power to apply any points penalty that may be ordered by an independent commission formed under Premier League auspices.

Leicester, who are involved in a three-way automatic promotion battle with Leeds and Ipswich, had sought an interim injunction to prevent any sporting sanction such as a points deduction being applied this season, but that application has been dismissed after the EFL’s confirmation it had no power to apply the penalty in any event.

A legal decision related to the injunction application published on Friday evening shows the Premier League initially sought an expedited process, and that its lawyers wrote to the chair of its independent judicial panel to say it was imperative the whole case – including any appeal – was concluded before the end of the Championship regular season on May 4.

The Premier League letter to its judicial panel came after a letter from EFL chief executive Trevor Birch to his Premier League counterpart Richard Masters, prior to the charge being issued, saying the EFL would “seek to respect” any decision ordering a points penalty and apply it to the Championship standings.

According to the written decision, in the same letter Birch urged the Premier League that, in the event it sought a points deduction in the current season, it should do so urgently to ensure it could be applied before the end of the Championship regular season on May 4.

The legal decision states that the Premier League wrote to the club’s lawyers on March 26 to say it would no longer seek to expedite the proceedings, because the EFL no longer maintained its position that it would seek to apply any points deduction in the Championship.

That means the case is extremely unlikely to be concluded until next season, and that any points penalty will only apply immediately if, by the point the hearing concludes, Leicester are a Premier League club again.

The decision reveals that Leicester had accused the EFL of “conspiring with the Premier League to use unlawful means and to procure or induce a breach of contract by the Premier League”.

The club are understood to remain extremely disappointed with the way they feel the EFL has acted.

The Foxes were charged with breaching the top flight’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) on March 21 in relation to the assessment period ending with the 2022-23 season, when they were still a Premier League club.

The club issued “urgent legal proceedings” on March 22 against that charge, and against an EFL transfer embargo.

Earlier this month, Leicester announced a loss of £89.7million for the 2022-23 season.

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