Monday, April 22, 2024

Football finance expert concerned over Premier League´s credibility

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Mar 2024


The Premier League risks losing credibility in the face of points deductions for financial breaches, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

Everton and Nottingham Forest have received points deductions of six and four respectively this season for breaches of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

Forest received a deduction on Monday, which left them in the relegation zone, a point behind 17th-placed Luton Town, after they admitted a breach of the rules.

Everton, meanwhile, were initially deducted 10 points in November for a breach of the rules in the 2021-22 reporting period, before that was reduced to six on appeal. The Toffees sit 16th, having not won in 11 league matches, though Sean Dyche’s team might yet have to grapple with another deduction, with the club having been charged with a breach in the 2022-23 financial reporting period.

Maguire fears for the Premier League’s reputation in response to the deductions, with Championship side Leicester City also charged by the league on Thursday for PSR breaches during their time in the top flight, while Manchester City are facing 115 charges for potential financial discrepancies. Chelsea are under investigation for potential off-book dealings, while the Blues could be under pressure to sell players before the end of June in order to come under the threshold in their next set of accounts.

“I think the credibility of the Premier League as an organisation which is capable of governing itself has taken quite a few knocks recently,” Maguire told Stats Perform.

“There is now news coming out that the independent regulator bill, the football governance bill, will be placed before parliament. That’s a further blow to the Premier League in terms of its ability to be seen as a self-governing organisation.

“The Premier League hasn’t come out of these cases particularly well. You wait years and years for a PSR judgement and then you get two in two months. Then we’ve got the Manchester City case which is probably going to take another 12 months.”

Maguire joked: “You’ve got people outside the stadium that won’t be selling programs and shirts, they’ll be selling asterisks because there is so much uncertainty.”

Maguire also explained that perceived superior cooperation with the Premier League from Forest is the reason for their smaller deduction compared to Everton, despite the midlands club having overspent by £34.5million, compared to the Toffees’ breach of £19.5m.

He said: “Forest have been given a three-point penalty for breaking the rules, and another three points for going so far over the limit.

“But because Forest has cooperated and made the life of the commission relatively straightforward, we’re going to effectively knock off two points for good behaviour. So that’s why we’ve ended up with this final deduction of four points compared to Everton’s six.”

Maguire also pointed out that Forest did have other circumstances to contend with.

“Anybody that follows football knows that Forest were promoted with effectively six or seven players remaining in the squad because players were out of contract, a lot of players on loan. Therefore, they had to spend a lot of money on recruitment,” he said.

“Their argument also is that if you want to survive in the Premier League, and survival was just as hard as getting there in the first place, then you’ve got to spend money. They’ve done that.”

When asked if Forest could see their penalty reduced in the same way Everton’s has been, Maguire replied: “I think if we have a look at the Everton appeal, that was reduced from 10 points to six on points of law.

“The second commission said that the initial commission brought accounted for tariff factors, which weren’t actually in the Premier League rules, and therefore the initial penalty was too harsh. Whether Forest can do the same, I’m uncertain.

“Forest have got seven days to have an appeal and we could be left in the pretty awful scenario that the appeal is heard in late April, then the verdict is announced four or five days after the end of the season. I think the integrity of the game would be tarnished if we do end up in that situation.”


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