Everton prepare ‘double jeopardy’ defence to fight latest Premier League charge

Everton borrowed money to fund their move from Goodison Park to Bramley-Moore Dock  (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Everton borrowed money to fund their move from Goodison Park to Bramley-Moore Dock (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Everton are likely to use the argument that they should not be punished twice for the same set of accounts when they face their next Premier League charge for breaching Profitability and Sustainability Rules after seeing their case bolstered by the written reasons an appeal board gave on Monday.

The Merseyside club had a 10-point deduction for failing Financial Fair Play over a period from 2018-2022 reduced to six points on appeal.

However, they have been referred to a second independent commission by the Premier League for their accounts from 2019-2023, with the league yet to tell Everton the scale of their breach.

They look set to face a second points deduction in the same season but Everton intend to base some of their case on double jeopardy and say they should not be penalised again for the same offence.

The appeal board described Everton’s breach as “substantial” after recording a loss of £124.5m over the 2018-22 period, £19.5m above the permitted threshold, which it determined gave them “a significant sporting advantage” that required a deduction “to be fair to other Premier League clubs”.

But they also noted in their written reasons that Everton moved in the right direction in their financial figures for 2021-22, while still making a loss, and that it continued as “the PSR picture in FY23 showed an upturn”.

In the 2022-23 financial year, Everton sold players and reduced the wage bill, albeit while loans to fund the construction of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock contributed to their costs.

The appeal board also said that “it is important that there is no double counting in the sense of treating the excess loss over £105m more than once”.

Everton are expected to say they have already been sanctioned for 75 per cent of the accounting period for the second charge and that the EFL rules, which the appeal board cited in its verdict on Monday, ensure clubs cannot be punished twice for the same transgression.