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Andros Townsend criticises uncertainty over Everton & Nottingham Forest points deductions

Luton Town winger Andros Townsend

Luton winger Andros Townsend says the uncertainty created by other Premier League teams' points deductions for breaching financial rules "makes a mockery" of the top flight.

Everton have been docked six points - down from 10 after an appeal - while Nottingham Forest have appealed against their own four-point deduction.

Forest's points loss meant they replaced Luton in the relegation zone.

Townsend said clubs battling the drop "don't know what's going to happen".

Luton are now 17th in the table - one point and one place above Forest. But the top-flight standings are potentially still subject to change given Forest's decision to appeal, while a hearing into a second alleged breach by Everton is taking place this week.

The league's rules state any appeals process should "conclude no later than and if possible some time before 24 May" - five days after the season finishes - although Forest's case is set to be concluded before then.

Townsend said: "We don't know what's going to happen. Everton have got points back, Forest are appealing and may get points back, Everton may get more points [deducted] - who knows...

"It all may get wrapped up the week before the end of the season. It's all nonsense to be honest.

"Psychologically, if you're above the relegation zone, you're thinking a point is enough to keep you above the relegation zone.

"Then a week later you're back in the relegation zone because teams have got their points back.

"For me, it makes a mockery of the Premier League [and] what is the best league in the world."

Everton were initially deducted 10 points in November - the biggest punishment in Premier League history - dropping from 14th to 19th in the table.

However, their sanction was reduced to six points on appeal, which lifted them up to 15th.

The Premier League table before (-10 points) and after Everton's appeal (-6 points)
The Premier League table before (-10 points) and after Everton's appeal (-6 points)

Luton drew 1-1 with relegation rivals Forest two days before the latter's four-point deduction was announced.

Forest said they were "extremely disappointed" with the decision, which "raises issues of concern for all aspirant clubs".

An independent commission found the club's losses to 2022-23 had breached the threshold of £61m by £34.5m.

The Premier League table before and after Forest's points deduction (-4 points)
The Premier League table before and after Forest's points deduction (-4 points)

Timeline guide to ongoing Forest and Everton cases

15 January: Everton and Nottingham Forest are charged for breaches of the league's profit and sustainability rules. The hearing has to be concluded within 12 weeks of this date, which is 8 April

8 March (approximate): Forest's hearing takes place

18 March: Forest are docked four points and drop into relegation zone

25 March: Forest appeal is submitted

25 March: Everton's hearing is taking place this week

1 April (UK Bank Holiday): The seven-day deadline for a response to Forest's appeal

8 April (approximate): 'Directions hearing' to set a date for an appeal hearing, which will last between one and three days and conclude no later than 24 May. It is likely to be much earlier in Forest's case

19 May: The final day of the Premier League season, when Forest travel to Burnley and Everton visit Arsenal (16:00 BST)

24 May: The latest possible date for an appeal hearing into either the Everton or Forest cases to be concluded