The harsh sanction inflicted on Everton by the Premier League Commission has opened the debate in the United Kingdom as to whether this body will be able to act with the same severity with Manchester City and Chelsea.
They are both teams with pending financial control cases of the same nature that have led Everton to be punished with the deduction of 10 points, the largest sanction in the history of the Premier League.
If Everton have received this sporting sanction for just one case, what should happen to Manchester City, with 115 cases under review?
That is the question being asked by the English public, and Stefan Borson, a lawyer who has advised City in these matters, believes the decision sets a dangerous precedent.
“To me, 10 points for Everton seems harsh for a simple FFP infringement,” he explained on X.
“But it reinforces that sanctions against City (if proven) and now Chelsea (if collected and admitted in unrecorded payments) could induce relegation.
“One thing is for sure, given the magnitude of this sporting sanction, Chelsea’s calculation [in my opinion] that they could breach PL P&S [Profit & Sustainability] and simply accept a fine as a cost of doing business, should be on urgent and immediate reconsideration.
“The January window may be interesting. Even in a best-case scenario, they can no longer be confident that they can convince an Independent Commission to accept their Covid and Sanctions allocations as exceptional adjustments (to the extent that was the plan).”
Martyn Ziegler, a journalist for The Times, has asserted that relegation for City and Chelsea is a real possibility.
“I think it will be much more serious for both Manchester City and Chelsea if their charges are proven,” he told talkSPORT.
“I mean Man City have received 115 charges, Everton only had one and Chelsea are still under investigation, so we don’t know the number of charges there.
“If you look at Manchester City, there are many more charges, but they are much more serious.
“So Manchester City will have a real fear that they will face possible relegation from the Premier League.”
However, Ziegler says both cases are hugely complex and will not be resolved in the short term.
“The City case is not likely to be resolved for at least two years,” he told The Times.
Manchester City was the subject of an four-year investigation into its finances from 2009 to 2018 and was also accused of non-cooperation.
Premier League lawyers believe City refused to disclose the true source of its club revenue by claiming it came from sponsors in the context of the club’s Abu Dhabi owners.
“One thing is for sure, given the magnitude of this sporting sanction, Chelsea’s calculation (in my opinion) that they could breach PL P&S and simply accept a fine as a cost of doing business needs to be urgently and immediately reconsidered,” asserts Stefan Olson.
Last February, after City were charged with 115 breaches of Premier League financial rules over nine years, Olsen was already predicting relegation as a possibility.
“Alarmist or not, the scale of the PL’s charges is at a level that, if proven, must lead to relegation.”
UEFA sanction for Chelsea
Meanwhile, UEFA fined Chelsea 10 million euros for “failure to provide certain financial information” during Abramovich’s tenure and the Premier League is still examining the period 2012 to 2019 to see if they breached league rules.
News emerged this week that there could be further punishment for the Blues after leaked documents revealed that the Russian billionaire allegedly breached financial rules.
Only two precedents
Only two other clubs have received points deductions in Premier League history.
Middlesbrough were deducted three points for missing a game against Blackburn during the 1996/97 season, while in 2010 Portsmouth were deducted nine points after going into administration.
Both clubs were unable to avoid relegation.