Everton have been charged with an alleged breach of the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play rules in relation to their spending last season.
This will come as a major worry to Blues fans, with their team currently going through yet another relegation battle after struggling to maintain consistent form this season.
It is believed Everton have been working closely with the Premier League to ensure that they remain within the boundaries of FFP, but if found guilty, could face significant punishment.
As reported by the Guardian, the charge came after a 10-month investigation after Burnley and Leeds wrote to the Premier League in May to question whether Everton broke the rules after recording losses of £371.8m over the last three years.
Under Premier League rules, clubs are allowed to lose a maximum of £105m over three years – and Everton could now potentially be fined or deducted points if found guilty.
At the time of the joint letter from Leeds and Burnley, both clubs were threatened by relegation and indicated their right to make legal claims against the Premier League and Everton.
Independent commission to investigate Everton further
A Premier League statement has now confirmed that Everton have been charged under Rule W.82.1, the same rule that Manchester City are also alleged to have breached.
They said: “In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred an alleged breach of the League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules by Everton Football Club to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4.”
“The assessment period for which it is alleged that the Club is in breach is the period ending Season 2021/22.”
“The proceedings before the Commission will, in accordance with Premier League Rule W.82, be confidential and heard in private.
“Under Premier League Rule W.82.2, the Commission’s final award will be published on the Premier League’s website. The League will be making no further comment until that time.”
Everton are yet to respond to the allegations, but last year they denied that any wrongdoing had been committed and as mentioned, have been working closely with the Premier League to ensure they avoided any potential breaches.
“We have worked closely with the Premier League to make sure we are compliant,” a spokesman said. “We are comfortable that we have complied with the rules.
“External auditors have told us what we can and cannot claim against the pandemic. If clubs want to take legal action that’s their decision.”
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic afforded clubs more financial wiggle room, which Everton has previously used as justification for spending more than £105m over a three year period.
With an independent commission now set to investigate further, Evertonians face an anxious wait to see how this will impact their current season and the future of the Merseyside club as a whole.