Before their home match against Manchester United on November 26th, Everton supporters protested against a highly controversial decision outside Goodison Park stadium in Liverpool.
The news that Everton Football Club would lose 10 points from their current Premier League rankings because of a financial rule violation was given to the team on Friday, November 16. The 10-point penalty puts Everton firmly in the relegation zone.
The decision was made due to the team’s controversial financial management team following disappointing seasons, supporters have been calling for the owners to leave and sell the club to another property. The Premier League Association’s rule, which states that teams can only make losses of a maximum of 122 million euros over three years, was broken by the club in the 2020–2021 season, according to a Premier League commission. The club’s disastrous economic situation from previous years resulted in losses of almost 144 million euros that season.
The decision is the toughest penalty ever imposed on a Premier League side in the competition’s history. That may be why, according to Everton supporters, this judgment is far too harsh and draws attention to the disparity in treatment between the league’s dominant and modest teams.
Twenty-year-old Braden Flores, a master’s student in London who holds both Spanish and English nationality and fan of the Toffies [the team’s nickname] offers his view on the decision: ‘This decision is another example of what we have been suffering from recent years – lack of trust and support from the ownership, which, as you can see doesn’t care about the club or, more importantly, about its fans’. In this case, Braden emphasises the ownership aspect, indicating that the club’s current owner, Farhad Moshiri, is mostly to blame for the sanction.
Braden goes on to compare the circumstances of his club to those of Manchester City, one of the Premier League’s biggest teams: ‘It’s just absurd if we compare our case to Manchester City’s financial fair play investigation from UEFA, for which surprisingly they didn’t receive any sanction as the club was innocent from all charges.’In contrast to their usual practise, Manchester City has overspent over the last five years and hasn’t sold as many players for high prices. There have been large losses because of this. But it appears like nobody is talking about what happened.’
The club has already decided to appeal against the Premier League Association’s decision. The final decision is now in the hands of an appeal board that deals with Premier League rules. Everton fans will find out, in around a week, the final decision of another controversial case that has tarnished the reputation of what is arguably the best and most high-profile football league in the world.
Text: Raúl Pérez
Photo: Dodohawe Show