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Furious Leicester facing hefty points deduction next season after PSR breach confirmed

Leicester City's stadium
Leicester are 'extremely disappointed' with the Premier League's decision - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

Leicester City have angrily hit back at the Premier League after becoming the fourth club charged with breaching the profitability and sustainability rules.

‌Title winners under Claudio Ranieri in 2016, Leicester say they are “extremely disappointed” with the League’s decision to refer them to an independent commission, which raises the prospect of a hefty points deduction next season.

‌In a punchy statement issued shortly after the charge, Leicester have insisted they will continue to defend themselves “from any unlawful acts by the football authorities”.

‌They also added that the Premier League does not have the power to impose any sanctions this season.

‌Leicester are believed to be deeply unhappy with the timing of the statement and determined to ensure it does not destabilise their promotion bid.

‌Telegraph Sport reported on March 8 that Leicester would be charged this month and it was confirmed at 6pm on Thursday night, with the Premier League also claiming the club failed to submit their audited financial accounts.

‌The charge relates to the monitoring period up to and including the 2022-23 season, which ended in Leicester’s relegation.

‘Extremely disappointed’

‌Currently second in the Championship under Enzo Maresca, Leicester are expected to publish their official accounts for 2022-23 next week, with further losses expected to take them over the permitted amount of £105 million over a three-year rolling period.

‌Last year they announced record losses of £92.5 million for 2021-22.

‌Regardless of the possible punishment in the event of promotion, Leicester will come under pressure to raise funds with the sales of players before the end of the financial year on June 30.

‌Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Mads Hermansen, James Justin and Harry Winks are likely to emerge as targets for rival clubs.

‌Leicester’s statement read: “Leicester City is surprised at the actions the Premier League has taken today.

‌“The club is extremely disappointed that the Premier League has chosen to charge LCFC now, despite the club’s efforts to engage constructively with the Premier League in relation to the matters that are the subject of this charge, even though LCFC is not currently a Premier League club.

‌“LCFC remains willing and eager to engage constructively with the Premier League and the EFL to seek the proper resolution of any potential charges, by the right bodies, and at the right time.

‌“The club continues to take careful advice about its position and, 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 delay in the sanction is a consequence of Leicester’s relegation last May taking place before new rules were introduced at the Premier League’s annual meeting following the end of last season.

‌At that meeting the 20 clubs, including those three newly promoted, decided that any profitability and sustainability rules breaches had to be concluded within the same season of the relevant accounts being submitted.

‌Earlier this month it was revealed that the Football League failed in an attempt to have a business plan imposed on Leicester amid concerns over their accounts this year.

‌Nick De Marco, the sports lawyer, has defended Leicester so far in legal proceedings.

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‌The Premier League’s statement said: “The Premier League has today referred Leicester City FC to an independent Commission for an alleged breach of Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs) and for failing to submit their audited financial accounts to the League.

‌“The alleged breach relates to the assessment period ending Season 2022-23, when the club was a member of the Premier League.

‌“Leicester City were relegated to the EFL Championship prior to the introduction of the Premier League’s new Standard Directions, which prescribe a timeline within which PSR cases should be heard. Therefore, the proceedings will be conducted in accordance with a timetable to be set by the independent Commission, and its final decision will be published on the Premier League’s website.”

Manchester City, Everton and Nottingham Forest have already been charged with alleged breaches of PSR, previously known as Financial Fair Play.

‌Everton were docked ten points in November, which was reduced to six after an appeal, and are facing further punishment over a second charge.

‌Forest were punished with four points on Monday, and have until next Monday to decide whether they lodge an appeal.

‌Leicester’s nine-year spell in the Premier League ended last year when they finished third bottom.

‌After winning the league, they also competed in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

‌In 2021, under Brendan Rodgers, the club lifted the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

‌Leicester have nine games remaining in the Championship and return to action on Friday week with a match at Bristol City.

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