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Leicester issue ‘urgent legal proceedings’ against Premier League and EFL

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Mar 2024


Leicester say they have issued “urgent legal proceedings” against the Premier League and the EFL.

The Foxes, who sit second in the Sky Bet Championship on goal difference, were charged by the Premier League on Thursday for an alleged breach of that competition’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

The club were then placed under a transfer embargo by the EFL at 4pm on Friday afternoon in relation to its financial rules.

Leicester said in a statement: “Leicester have been compelled today to issue two urgent legal proceedings against the Premier League and the EFL.

“Leicester will be seeking that each of these proceedings is determined by an appropriate and fully independent legal panel.”

The Premier League said the charge it had laid related to an alleged breach in the PSR assessment period ending 2022-23, while the EFL embargo is understood to be in relation to a March 1 submission forecasting the club’s financial results for 2023-24.

Previous Premier League PSR charges against Everton and Nottingham Forest have resulted in points deductions being imposed on those clubs.

Leicester’s statement continued: “The club are committed to ensure that any charges against us are properly and proportionately determined, in accordance with the applicable rules, by the right bodies, and at the right time.

“While Leicester would prefer the proceedings to be in public, so their supporters and the wider world can be informed about the important issues of football governance that will be considered, the relevant rules require that these proceedings are conducted confidentially, and Leicester will therefore not be able to comment further about them at this stage.

“We reaffirm the club’s position that we will continue to fight for the right of Leicester and all clubs to pursue our ambitions, particularly where these have been reasonably and fairly established through sustained sporting achievement.

“The club further note that at 4pm today the EFL issued a public notification that Leicester have been placed under a registration embargo pursuant to its P&S rules.

“The EFL is aware that Leicester have disputed the EFL’s entitlement to impose this constraint, which is both restrictive and premature, with more than a quarter of the club’s 2023-24 reporting period remaining.”

The Premier League declined to comment, while an EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL notes today’s statement by Leicester City, issued shortly after the club’s registration embargo under Profitability and Sustainability Rule 2.10.1 was made public in accordance with EFL regulations. The league will not be making any comment on the proceedings issued by the club.”

It is not yet clear what the nature of the proceedings confirmed by Leicester will be.

Leicester’s statement on Thursday – after the Premier League charge had been announced – mentioned the club were continuing to “take careful advice about its position” and that “if necessary, will continue to defend itself from any unlawful acts by the football authorities should they seek to exercise jurisdiction where they cannot do so, as occurred earlier this year”.

The final part of that statement referred to an independent panel finding published on March 6 that an EFL rule requiring the submission of a business plan did not apply to Leicester, and that the independent Club Financial Reporting Unit (CFRU) therefore had no right to ask for one.

Leicester’s Premier League PSR charge will not be dealt with under the league’s ‘standard directions’ process which is designed to ensure cases are dealt with in the same season as charges are laid. Forest’s case and Everton’s ongoing second PSR case are under standard directions.

Leicester’s cannot be, because the club had been relegated before the standard directions were adopted at the Premier League’s annual general meeting last June.

The Premier League is understood to want to proceed at pace with the Leicester PSR case, a position shared by the EFL. The Premier League pushed for an expedited process when Everton were charged for the first time with a PSR breach just under a year ago, before the standard directions were in place.

That was rejected by the commission, with the Everton hearing only taking place last October and the initial 10-point sanction imposed the following month. The issuing of proceedings by Leicester makes it even less likely that the matter will be resolved this season.


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