Now points are deprived for over­spend­ing.

This Pre­mier League sea­son is unprece­dent­ed­ly harsh — two teams in the elite divi­sion were imme­di­ate­ly deduct­ed points for vio­lat­ing finan­cial rules. It went to Ever­ton (10 points were deduct­ed from them in Novem­ber, but 4 were returned in Feb­ru­ary after an appeal) and Not­ting­ham For­est — 4 points were tak­en away from the Foresters.

But this sit­u­a­tion no longer suits the league, and it came up with a way out. It seems that now it will soon become a lit­tle safer to break eco­nom­ic laws in the Pre­mier League.

Why did Ever­ton and Not­ting­ham For­est get it?

Since 2013, the Pre­mier League has had so-called PSR — prof­it and sus­tain­abil­i­ty rules. To describe their essence as sim­ply as pos­si­ble, it is Fair Play from UEFA with an Eng­lish fla­vor — the league makes sure that clubs spend wise­ly and in accor­dance with what they earn. Vio­la­tors will be pun­ished — points will be removed.

It was for exceed­ing the spend­ing lim­it that Ever­ton and Not­ting­ham For­est were fined. Over three finan­cial years, the Pre­mier League allows loss­es of up to £105 mil­lion. The Tof­fees lost £124 mil­lion in the finan­cial year 2021/22 alone, and £370 mil­lion from 2018 to 2021. A ter­ri­ble account­ing mis­cal­cu­la­tion (although the Liv­er­pudlians had rea­sons for such spend­ing — they are build­ing a sta­di­um), for which Ever­ton has already received a 10-point fine, and after April 8, anoth­er 6‑point fine will prob­a­bly arrive.

Ever­ton play­ers.
Pho­to by Glob­al Look Press

“Not­ting­ham For­est” suf­fered in a sim­i­lar way, with the only amend­ment that its allowed loss was less — dur­ing the three-year peri­od under review (before the 2022/23 sea­son), the “foresters” were in the cham­pi­onship for two years. They were allowed to go into the red by about 60 mil­lion, but they fined almost 100 mil­lion. Inter­est­ing­ly, they found the miss­ing 40 mil­lion by sell­ing Bre­nan John­son to Tot­ten­ham, but they bare­ly made it in the report­ing peri­od. It is unknown whether this was a mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stance, but “only” 4 points were deduct­ed from Not­ting­ham.

Foresters are the first vic­tim of the updat­ed edi­tion of the PSR rules. Accord­ing to it, com­plaints are con­sid­ered in the same sea­son in which they were filed. This inno­va­tion hap­pened pre­cise­ly because of Ever­ton — the Tof­fees were con­demned belat­ed­ly, which did not please the clubs that were rel­e­gat­ed last sea­son. Leeds and Leices­ter right­ly believe that if the Liv­er­pudlians had been fined on time, the strug­gle for sur­vival would have turned out dif­fer­ent­ly — the Tof­fees could have been rel­e­gat­ed too.

But if the law has just been updat­ed, why do they want to repeal it?

An unprece­dent­ed inci­dent in the his­to­ry of Eng­lish foot­ball. Ever­ton deprived of 10 points due to finan­cial fair play

England had its worst winter since Covid. The officials got scared

No one is hid­ing the rea­son for the reforms — the pri­ma­ry source (Dai­ly Mail) writes about them direct­ly: “Seri­ous pun­ish­ments in the form of depri­va­tion of points forEver­ton» AndNot­ting­ham For­est» “cou­pled with a qui­et Jan­u­ary trans­fer win­dow where clubs were hes­i­tant to over­spend and risk sanc­tions, led many offi­cials to con­sid­er the league’s prof­it and sus­tain­abil­i­ty rules (PSR) to be not fit for pur­pose.”

The Jan­u­ary trans­fer win­dow was not just calm, it was poor. Judge for your­self:

The drop com­pared to the win­ter before last is cat­a­stroph­ic, more than 6 times. Yes, then Chelsea was abnor­mal­ly fierce, but the cur­rent Jan­u­ary main­te­nance is the worst in 10 years after Covid. Only now it is not the virus that is pre­vent­ing Eng­lish clubs from spend­ing, but fear — they have seen the fine sys­tem in action and do not want to get caught.

Local offi­cials are fright­ened by this trend — accord­ing to the Dai­ly Mail, they believe that this is a strate­gic threat to the nuclear sub­ma­rine in the face of grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion with main­land Euro­peans. There­fore, they decid­ed to fol­low the path of their Amer­i­can col­leagues and instead of a points fine, intro­duce a mon­e­tary fine — as a per­cent­age of the amount of the excess loss.

There are no high-pro­file trans­fers at all this Jan­u­ary. What hap­pened to Euro­pean clubs?

The Pre­mier League was inspired by the exam­ples of MLB (base­ball play­ers) and the NBA — the intro­duc­tion of a “lux­u­ry tax” there made over­spend­ing even more bur­den­some, but pos­si­ble. This option is thought to help Eng­lish clubs regain their con­fi­dence and start spend­ing mon­ey. Oth­er­wise, as DM jour­nal­ist Mike Kee­gan put it, “the Pre­mier League will fall because it won’t be able to afford the best play­ers on the best wages.”

The mon­ey raised under the plan could either be put into an emer­gency fund to help clubs in dif­fi­cult eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tions, or dis­trib­uted to those who com­ply with fair play. It is still unknown which option will be cho­sen.

Clubs like Man­ches­ter City might like to replace the points deduc­tion with a mon­e­tary fine.
Pho­to by Reuters

But it is known that Pre­mier League clubs strong­ly sup­port this idea. Accord­ing to DM, 17 out of 20 teams agree to quick­ly replace the deduc­tion of points with a mon­e­tary fine. They will be able to vote on the ini­tia­tive at the next meet­ing at the end of the sea­son.

Of course, there are also con­cerns. It is believed that with such a castling, teams with “infi­nite bud­gets” like Man­ches­ter City will gain a huge advan­tage. Such clubs will be able to spend huge amounts of mon­ey on strength­en­ing, pay the fine and con­tin­ue to dom­i­nate. There­fore, as a com­pro­mise mea­sure, it is pro­posed to retain the deduc­tion of points for par­tic­u­lar­ly per­sis­tent vio­la­tors — but there is no addi­tion­al expla­na­tion on this mat­ter yet.

One of the best drib­blers in Europe is mov­ing to Man City. Savio is being bought under a con­tro­ver­sial scheme

If the ini­tia­tive is accept­ed, it will be a great suc­cess for some clubs. The same City and Chelsea have been under seri­ous inves­ti­ga­tion for sev­er­al years; in Feb­ru­ary, the Pre­mier League even warned them of the risk of expul­sion from the league for finan­cial irreg­u­lar­i­ties. The reform will prob­a­bly dis­solve most of the list of charges, so the City and Blues can sleep peace­ful­ly.