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The Premier League has responded to Andy Burnham’s accusations of “regulatory malpractice” and “abuse of process” regarding the deduction of 10 points from Everton. They maintain that they have completely refuted his claims.
Last week, Burnham, who is both the mayor of Greater Manchester and a season-ticket holder for Everton, wrote an open letter to Premier League chair Alison Brittain. In the letter, he expressed his belief that the deduction was not enforced through a fair process.
An independent commission found that Everton had violated the Profit and Sustainability Rules by incurring losses of £124.5m in a span of three years, which exceeded the permitted threshold by £19.5m.
However, Burnham, who previously served as the Secretary of State for Health, expressed disapproval towards the Premier League for implementing a sanctions policy in August before hearing Everton’s case, after they had already been charged.
In my opinion, the Premier League’s attempt to implement a new punishments policy during this process is a misuse of the process.
One could make the case that the Premier League’s decision to give the commission a new penalty system is like the Government giving a judge new guidelines for sentencing in the middle of a trial. This would be viewed by most people as an attempt to unfairly sway the outcome.
According to reports from The Telegraph and The Daily Mirror, Brittain has composed a letter consisting of three pages in reply to Burnham. The letter outlines the organization’s procedure regarding the decision and denies any accusations of misconduct.
According to her, the Premier League does not have a specific punishment in place because a set penalty would limit the independent panel’s ability to use their own judgement or consider any mitigating factors. She argues that not having a set sanction actually creates a stronger deterrent.
According to Brittain, a commission overseeing a case will request input from both parties regarding suitable penalties. In 2020, Premier League teams were consulted about the possibility of implementing a predetermined set of sanctions, but the majority consensus among all 20 teams, including Everton, was to not impose any penalties.
The Premier League has established punishments for two main offenses: a nine-point deduction for clubs that go into administration, and a 30-point deduction for clubs attempting to join an unauthorized competition, such as the proposed European Super League in 2021.
According to Brittain, the Premier League collaborated closely with Everton while the club was violating financial rules. Despite being warned, Everton continued to acquire players that exceeded the profit and sustainability limits.
Burnham clarified that his public letter was written as a devoted Everton fan, not as a political figure. He also alleged that Sky Sports cancelled an interview with him before Everton’s match against Manchester United on Sunday. In response, Sky stated that they have maintained an impartial stance on the matter, and the Premier League confirmed that they did not ask for any interviews to be cancelled.
Everton has declared their intention to challenge the 10-point penalty and overall ruling, which they have deemed as “completely unfair.”