English football begins to deal with the rules

Last Friday, the Everton football club was penalized ten points in the English championship standings, the Premier League, for violation of its financial regulations. It had never happened that in the English championship – the most followed and the richest in the world – a team was thus penalized once the season started: before the sanction, Everton was fourteenth in the ranking, now they are tied for last with Burnley. .

The news is causing a lot of talk because it concerns a historic team in the English championship – punished like never before and now threatened with relegation – which could be the first in 72 years. But there’s more, as the Premier League is investigating the financial statements of other teams, including last year’s league and Champions League winners Manchester City. Manchester City has been the subject of an investigation since last February with accusations much more serious and numerous than those brought against Everton: in the case of City, we are talking about “hundreds of violations” of the financial regulations.

Everton, based in Liverpool and owned by Iranian-born billionaire Farhad Moshiri, was indicted last March. Premier League financial rules grant clubs a maximum loss of £105m over a three-year period, with a raft of tax breaks and reductions for investment in infrastructure, youth systems, projects communities and the damage caused by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. . According to the Premier League, net of all these reductions, Everton still accumulates losses of 124.5 million pounds, therefore on the authorized amount of around 19 million.

The Liverpool team initially denied any wrongdoing, but then admitted at a hearing last month to the overspending, albeit by just £9.7 million, seeking a small fine for five reasons in particular: the impact of the pandemic on budgets, some misunderstandings. on the terms of financing the construction of its new stadium, the unexpected termination of the contract of a rather expensive player and finally the collaboration proposed during the investigations.

However, the Premier League did not accept the version of Everton, who only tried to remedy the situation in recent months, after seeing the critical nature of his position, and punished him with the maximum sanction . The club will appeal and the case could last months, a bit like what happened in Italy with Juventus. In the case of Everton, however, all this could have negative consequences on two things in particular, both very important: the negotiations for the sale of the company to the American group 777 Partners (which owns Genoa in Italy) and the completion of work on its new stadium in Liverpool docks.

“Other Premier League teams have been surprisingly quiet because they know this could happen to them too,” David Ornstein, Premier League expert for the sports news site, said on Monday. Athleticism. Two in particular could be more worried than the others these days: Manchester City and Chelsea.

The first, owned by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, has been the subject of an investigation for almost a year for not having provided a faithful and accurate account of its financial situation for the previous three years, for not have provided all the required information. details on the remuneration of players and coaches, of having failed to comply with financial regulations on several points and of not having cooperated with investigations.

City had previously been investigated over similar accusations by UEFA, which initially excluded them from European competitions in 2020. The exclusion was overturned on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which did not, however, completely exonerate the club: it considered that there was not sufficient valid evidence to establish the disputed violations and punished the lack of cooperation with a fine of 10 million euros.

Chelsea, on the other hand, has not yet been formally accused of any violation, but its own management, owned by the United States since 2022, has reported to the Premier League a series of anomalies found in the financial statements of the company under management. from the former owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who allegedly used offshore companies to make undeclared payments on behalf of the club. Also in this case, UEFA has already intervened by fining Chelsea 8.6 million pounds.

Source: ilpost


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