Luton escape relegation zone but face nightmare run-in compared to Nottingham Forest while Everton have horror last game


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NOTTINGHAM FOREST have been deducted four points – but why? Can they appeal it? And could Everton be hit with more sanctions? Martin Lipton explains…

So Forest have been deducted four points – but why?

Forest admitted on December 31 when they filed their accounts for last season that they had breached the allowed Profitability and Sustainability limit. They finally admitted a breach of £34.536m

What is the limit?

Clubs who are in the Prem for three seasons are limited to “allowable losses” – after calculations including the “amortisation” of transfer fees, stadium building and Covid-related expenditure are taken out – of £105m over three seasons. As Forest only had one top flight campaign, their limit was £61m

Isn’t that unfair?

Forest spent those two years in the EFL, where clubs are restricted to losses of £13m. They were working under those regulations.

What did Forest admit?

Forest told the Prem on December 31 they were £25.8m over the limit, blaming it on an anticipated 12th-placed finish, £20m in promotion bonuses and a claim of more than £11m in Covid losses.

So how come the final figure?

Prem chiefs capped Covid-related losses at £2.5m

And what was the Brenn Johnson argument?

Forest said that because they had sold Johnson to Spurs for £47.5m on deadline day last summer that it was a “near miss” and “golden mitigation” – if they had sold him before the end of the financial year on June 30 they would have been fine.

Why was that rejected?

Forest revealed they had turned down an offer of £42.9m from Atletico Madrid on June 30 and then three offers – ranging from £32m to £40m – from Brentford between July 21 and August 28 before the Spurs deal went through. Johnson played in Forest’s first three Prem games of the season – including the win over Sheffield United – and so they gained a clear “sporting advantage”.

What did the Prem argue?

Prem financial chiefs warned Forest on June 6 that Johnson needed to be sold by the end of the month and that advice was ignored. This was a“significant breach” of the regulations and lawyers argued that the starting point should be an eight point deduction.

Forest disagreed, presumably?

Indeed so. Nick De Marco KC suggested that Forest should not have any points deducted at all. That the case was far less serious than Everton’s – they were initially deducted 10 points,m reduced to six on appeal – and that if points were lost the punishment should be suspended.

And the Commission ruled…?

That the significant breach deserved a six point deduction, with two points reduced for Forest’s guilty pleas and cooperation ensured the hearing took place five weeks ahead of the latest date.

What next – can Forest appeal?

Yes. They have seven days to lodge an appeal and that hearing would likely be scheduled for mid-April, allowing a final decision by the start of May, well ahead of the “backstop date” of May 24. Forest could then ask for an “Arbitration hearing” but would have to prove a “breach of natural justice”.

Okay – and when do we hear about Everton’s second breach?

It is understood that the hearing will be later this week, meaning a likely decision on April 2. Any appeal would take the case into the back half of May, potentially after the season has ended.

But aren’t Manchester City and Chelsea under investigation – why have we not heard anything?

City are vehemently denying the 115 allegations laid in February 2023. Their case is expected to be heard from October with a verdict next spring. Chelsea have yet to be charged despite admitting uncovering a breach of spending rules which took place under Roman Abramovich.

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Luton escape relegation zone but face nightmare run-in compared to Nottingham Forest while Everton have horror last game

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