Evertonians are like elephants. They have long memories. Clive Thomas. Alan Hansen’s handball. Heysel. Mark Clattenburg. Graham Poll. Pierluigi Collina. And an incident that neatly encapsulated the infuriating meddling with and inconsistent application of the laws of the game: the Niasse Precedent, where the cult anti-hero was one of only two players to ever be punished under the ludicrously short-lived policy of retrospectively banning players for “seeking to deceive the match officials”, aka diving (which he didn’t actually do!) in a game against Crystal Palace in 2017.

Niasse was the first to be hit with a two-match suspension in this way; Manuel Lanzini of West Ham was the second, before the directive just melted away without any explanation, acknowledgement or public discussion and the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané made great hay of the ensuing leniency.

If it feels like history is about to repeat but writ much larger with the points deductions being handed out to Everton and Nottingham Forest just before the current framework around handling the breach of Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules is tossed out the window in August on the basis of it not being fit for purpose, it’s because it looks very much like it will.

Leicester City may well start next season with a negative points tally for their alleged PSR breach if they are promoted back to the top tier but unless the unexpected happens and Chelsea, Manchester City, or both, are finally hauled before an independent commission and made to answer for the transgressions their respective leaders have committed down the years, then the Blues will have set another unwanted first and remain in very select company for being punished in this way.

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Much has been written on these pages about the twists and turns of the Premier League’s campaign to bring Everton to justice for their financial crimes (for the avoidance of doubt, the Farhad Moshiri regime has been guilty of colossal mis-management of the Club’s finances and they did breach the threshold) by meting out sporting penalties that have been layered on top of a three-year quasi-transfer embargo that has left the Toffees among the lowest-placed teams in the division in terms of net spend over the past five years.

To these eyes, the loud and proud accusation of “Corrupt!” levelled at the Premier League by righteously indignant and incandescent Evertonians never sat easily for someone who always tries to see things from the other perspective (in this case, a regulatory body finally imposing the rules the 20 member clubs at the time agreed to in 2013).

But, when added to the almost “show trial” feel of the original “Independent” Commission, the revelations made in the reports from the successive commission and appeal panels of the conduct and wishes of Richard Masters and company increasingly paint a picture of, at best, grievous incompetence and inconsistency or, at worst, a flat-out witch-hunt.

Having failed to establish any kind of transparent sanctions framework on which the various Commissions could base their recommendations until the last minute (that proposal was then, of course, thrown out by the panel that heard Everton’s appeal of the original 10-point deduction in January), the League put forth their recommendation that the club be hit with the maximum penalty of 12 points.

For the second Commission, that convened last month and returned its verdict yesterday, the Premier League pushed for a further five-point sanction. For those keeping score, that is SEVENTEEN points that the entity that runs top-flight football in this country wanted to impose on a founding member club by refusing to entertain any of its heads of mitigation and seeking to punish it twice in the same season, a first for the top tier of the English game.

Without any further context, you could be forgiven for thinking that Masters and his cohorts were hell-bent on relegating Everton to make the clearest and most glaring example of them in an attempt to ward off the threat of independent regulation prising control of the league away from them. (Curiously, Forest have been spared the worst of the Premier League’s wrath and only been levied 50% of the punishment meted out to Everton despite breaching the upper threshold of allowable losses by almost double.)

It was hugely telling that, in point 256 of their report, the second Commission that heard the charges for Everton’s 2022-23 PSR breach observed:

“In our view, many if not most of the criticisms levelled against the Club in this respect by the PL are unwarranted, overstated, or both. In our view, the Club has indeed cooperated with the PL in the presentation of these proceedings according to the Standard Directions (to which the Club consented from the outset) albeit in a manner that protected (quite properly) the interests of the Club.”

Taken with the way in which the Appeal Board slapped down both the Premier League’s desire for a 12-point penalty and the first Commission’s decision to impose 10 (entirely without precedent and obviously more than the sanction for going into Administration), as well as determining that the first Commission had acted illegally in two clear ways, this is a welcome and necessary rebuke of the PL.

And yet, yesterday’s decision, which recommended the levy of a two-point deduction on top of the reduced six following the appeal, is not the clean slate that Evertonians were hoping they would get after the Club’s second appeal is heard in the coming weeks.

Because, later this year, the same Commission that sat last month will reconvene to hear the Premier League dispute of Everton’s insistence that £6.5m of capitalised loan interest doesn’t count as a loss for the purposes of PSR. If the Club loses, they could face yet another points deduction which would take effect next season… and that’s before you even get to the possibility that the Blues might be found in breach of PSR for the 2023-24 financial year in eight months’ time.

It’s an exhausting quagmire that will keep sucking Everton back down at a time of enormous financial hardship and uncertainty over its future and ever lengthening what looks to be an impossibly long road back to ever achieving what the new ground at Bramley-Moore Dock was designed to help attain and that is the Club competing at the right end of the Premier League table and for silverware.

The cynics – those who saw the mild slap on the wrist that the PL gave the Shameless Six (who, apparently, have each yet to pay the £3m “goodwill” fine they agreed to in the spring of 2021) – will say, “that’s the point” and there are times, like now, when it’s hard to argue with them. England’s top flight has never felt so imbalanced, corrupted and futile for “the other 14”.

Reader Comments (98)

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David Currie
1 Posted 09/04/2024 at 07:33:46
Great article, Lyndon, Clive Thomas, Alan Robinson and Mark Clattenberg were all cheating bastards who all wanted them bastards to beat us and they had the power to make sure it happened! We were robbed of a 1977 FA Cup Final and Winners of The 1984 Milk Cup Final.

Talking of this season, the derby game again we were cheated by the ref who refused to send off their player. The penalties denied to us at Fulham, Bournemouth. The disallowed goals at home to Fulham and away at Spurs.

Heysel in 1985 that of course never gets a mention because the media are shit scared of those bastards, if we had caused it we would have been banned for 10 years! That lot got 1 extra year than all the other English clubs!!

Why no point deductions for them?? 39 points maybe??

John Keating
2 Posted 09/04/2024 at 07:53:49
Lyndon, I appreciate you try to be Mr Nice Guy but at the end of the day it appears even you have seen the "light". From Day 1 I, and many others, have used the word "corrupt" – I believe that is still the case.

Mitigations that were put forward in the initial commission and rejected, were accepted in the second.

Deductions on the day of the initial commission were not given until appeal. They were in our second and in the Forest commission.

The Premier League have admitted this process is not fit for purpose yet they still apply it – but not to others, and without doubt next season the big transgressors will still evade punishment while we will still be in the crosshairs of the Premier League.

This witch hunt against us has to be called for what it is, "corrupt".

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 09/04/2024 at 07:54:49
Interesting comments and support from our former player Andros Townsend.

Everton points deduction: Cases 'makes mockery of Premier League', says Andros Townsend

I think most of the football world know this is wrong. By all means punish, but make it consistent and apply to all. That isn't happening. It feels like we are being made scapegoats when there are worse offenders out there.

Get them properly regulated and held accountable. Their commissions seem about as independent as a former eastern European state in the Cold War.

Self-appointed and influenced.

We absolutely should fight this, but first and foremost, just win games.

Charles Brewer
4 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:29:26
Excellent piece, Lyndon.

But you omitted the further point about the speed and timing of the various processes.

The average junior magistrate could have looked at the evidence – Everton's accounts, the totally arbitrary limits – and decided in around five minutes flat that the club was “guilty” and imposed a penalty of some type.

But no. The process was dragged out for no perceivable reason, leaks were made constantly during this time. The same thing was done with the appeal.

The effect, of course, was the demoralisation of the club, players and, naturally, fans. Much of sport is about the spirit and morale of the players: if you think the game is rigged you don't generally play as well.

And it is interesting that, even after the interminable appeal and second charge, while there is still no decision on 777 Partners, we immediately have a press briefed about yet another charge for some utterly trivial matter about the permissibility of interest charges.

Frankly, I want the fate of the Premier League to be the same as that of the Tory party in the next election. Utter, final, irreversibly destruction.

Salt the very foundations of this corrupt game.

ps: If the penalty for £3 million overspend is 1 point, what is the going rate for a murdered Italian?

Christine Foster
5 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:46:02
Lyndon, in all of this you have to ask, what the hell are the other 14 clubs doing to put an end to this blatant misuse of power?

One should remember that the shareholders of the Premier League, the clubs and FA, are sitting idly by… have they no say over the actions of the executive? Or are they just thankful no-one is looking at them (yet)? Why are not the clubs actively seeking to stop this executive from doing what they want in their name?

Whose interests are being served in going after Everton, Forest and probably Leicester when a host of others, Newcastle, Villa, City, Chelsea et al, are bordering on possible sanctions? Did the clubs actually intend to give the executive carte blanche in determining sanctions and the non-existent independent commission?

The executive refused a parliamentary commission access to minutes for very good reason, they knew what it was doing meant they could be justifiably accused of a witch hunt, or the whole process seen as scapegoating to prevent a regulator being appointed.

Someone somewhere has access to these minutes, a whistle-blower is required to blow the lid off this disgraceful episode and ensure a passing resemblance to transparency is forced upon them.

Frankly, the way I feel about it, I wouldn't be mortified if we were relegated, because change has to happen and this whole sorry saga needs to see the light of day and be shown for what it is, incompetence, self-interest and corruption.

Mal van Schaick
6 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:49:49
A well scribed article with knowledge and from the heart, and as you say, Lyndon, when we get to August and the rules are re-written in favour of the asset-rich clubs, who have broken the rules, but will go unpunished because the Premier League will not tarnish their names, as the knock-on effect would be to return trophies, banish them to lower leagues on massive points deductions, and also tarnish the Premier League's reputation. That will not happen!

Everton's appeal on the latest points deduction should raise concerns along the lines that you have written, and Everton should start to refuse to co-operate, until such times that Man City and Chelsea are dealt with, in order to judge the benchmark of Everton's punishment. Then and only then, should we accept any punishment.

Everton FC Co Ltd is a business and Premier League decisions are affecting our trading, our partnerships, with sponsorship and our very existence and because of this Everton should be heading to the courts, even using Laissez-Faire, and not to interfere with Everton's business.

Stu Gre
7 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:50:26
To me, the point is really that punishing a hugely influential historic club and its fans for mismanagement by its owners is like taking all my daughter's possessions because I didn't pay my credit card bill.

A credit card bill I could easily afford to pay but wasn't allowed to because the credit card company wanted my neighbours to have nicer things.

Crazy! And yes, totally corrupt.

Christopher Timmins
8 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:50:35
I know it's difficult to take anything positive from the process; however, if it helps focus those charged with running our club to behave more responsibly going forward then some good may come from it.

The trading losses have to stop!

Christine Foster
9 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:51:58
Just thinking about my last paragraph...

No, danm right we should not be relegated and let them rule us. We are Everton and we are STILL something fans everywhere are proud of.

Masters Out!

Micky Norman
10 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:53:11
Of course it's a witch hunt but we need to ask the question “Why us?”

What have Everton Football Club actually done to warrant the way we have been treated? Not just now but over years. Even going back to Tony Kay. Compare his offence to recent ones.

Questioning the Heysel punishment?

Worshipping Duncan Ferguson?

Collina's last match?

Beating Wimbledon?

Maybe getting into bed with the accountant for an alleged Russian gangster? Nah. Chelsea did it much bigger.

Try to form a breakaway league? Nah. Not us.

Get bought out by a front company for a regime with a history of murder and descrimination? Not us.

Maybe it's more about what we haven't done, who we haven't courted, who we upset in some committee room, or just who we are, who our supporters are and where we are located.

Dean Johnson
11 Posted 09/04/2024 at 08:56:55
Success has been privatised.

I can't see much point of supporting a team that is destined to fail at everything they do as the odds always appear so stacked against us.

We'll sell our best players in the summer, rinse and repeat.

It's bad for my mental health supporting Everton for 40-odd years, might just have to switch off altogether. I got rid of Sky and all that bollocks, yet supporting Everton feels like a life sentence.

My son will not be supporting Everton, that's for sure. Hopefully he'll hate football and just like roller coasters instead.

Peter Warren
12 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:01:52
Hopefully, out of all this, we stay up and sell to somebody or to an organisation that can actually run a football club.

The Premier League are a disgrace, and everybody knows that, but the mismanagement of the club runs deeper than the corruption within the league.

Peter Mills
13 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:08:19
Lyndon, I'm pleased you raised, as an aside, the payments of approximately £3m each of the “Sly Six” were supposed to pay towards worthy footballing causes.

I understand it's rather difficult to obtain information from the authorities as to how much has been paid, and the uses to which it has been put.

One would have thought there would have been a very simple, auditable trail but, seemingly, there isn't.

Mike Morgan
14 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:16:07
I'm not sure if this is part of the witch hunt. But moving our key game with Luton to 8:00 pm on a Friday night feels unjust too. It potentially gives the home team a bigger advantage.

We all know what the atmosphere is like at Goodison under lights. On a Friday night, it will be a horrific atmosphere for the away team. Our chances of getting something from that game have certainly reduced.

Ian Jones
15 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:19:27
There's no witch-hunt against us.

As for going back over games and highlighting that we were robbed of the 1984 Milk Cup due presumably to Hansen's handball, that's just getting boring these days. The handball happened early in the game, possibly around the 10th minute. If we had been awarded a pen, we still had to score it and then play the rest of the game. It would have been a totally different game. We might have won or not.

We might as well blame Germany for ruining our chances of building a football dynasty in 1914 and 1939 when we were Champions..

The club is broken, mostly from the top down. We have broken some rules. We need to deal with it, get on with it and rebuild asap. And stop playing the victim.

Appreciate that other clubs seem to have also been tarred with the same brush and are facing charges. Let the EPL work there way through those clubs. It'll take time. If nowt happens, then is the time to remind the EPL of their responsibilities to the league and other teams as a whole.

Football in the EPL is broken.

Andrew Clare
16 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:26:40

When I lived in the Midlands in the sixties. I used to feel sorry for my mates who supported Wolves, West Brom and Stoke (all great clubs in my opinion, so no disrespect) as they had little chance at that time of competing for the League title. Now, we are in their position – if not worse – with no chance of winning anything.

The only hope any club has of competing is if a multi-billionaire buys their club. We had one but he had no idea about football and kept on a bloke who had even less idea about football.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:32:39
While we are right to be angry and feel that we are being singled out, along with Forest and probably next season Leicester, I feel just as angry with our owner, our board, and our financial director who deserve the wrath of the fans in equal measure as the Premier League.

While the majority of the 20 Premier League clubs voted for these P&S rules, they did so without deciding what punishments should be given by any team breaking the rules. So, because no punishments accompanied this rule, you end up with 4 commissions deciding on different outcomes, which shows the flaws in these rules.

Somebody asked why all the clubs aren't kicking off over these points deductions as it looks like many more will transgress the current rules. Well, it's because some clubs are actually benefitting from the points deducted from Forest and ourselves, and I am sure if we were a club benefitting from the clubs in and around us in the relegation battle, then we would be saying, “They knew the rules they broke them; we didn't, so it serves them right.”

It is rumoured that the clubs will get together in a few weeks and amend these rules so, instead of a points deduction, clubs who break the P&S rules will be fined under a luxury tax and the money the club will be fined will be given to all the other clubs in the Premier League.

Now while that may be voted in by the clubs, it still doesn't change the punishment of clubs who are deemed to have broken the existing rules.

Joe McMahon
18 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:37:41
Ian @15,

I agree, there is no witch hunt, but the Milk Cup Final handball you refer to, I think it was well into the second half?

What I do think is that there has always been favouritism for certain clubs. Liverpool for example have had more penalties in the Premier League than anyone else. The Clattenburg derby was a disgrace also.

The media fawning on them is bordering on worship. It's just unfortunate for unfashionable Everton who do live off scraps from decades ago, that they have to share the city with them.

The biggest villan to the demise of Everton is Bill Kenwright. But as the happy clappers have always said, "At least he's one of us". I just hope the Kenwright clappers are indeed happy now.

Ian Jones
19 Posted 09/04/2024 at 09:45:20
I should have added in my post that, in addition to rules changing possibly as early as next season, as long as the penalties administered to clubs that may have been found to have broken the rules in the last few years, and before the rule changes, are set in proportion to those that Forest and ourselves have been dished out, football may be able to move on.
Kevin Edward
20 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:00:54
Good article… and ‘witch-hunt' nails it for me.

Most clubs have a long list of grievances aimed at their local rivals. Ours hurt more because it was at the highest level and robbed some of our best teams from fulfilling their potential.

My take on it is based on the likely amount of Liverpool ‘fans' in business, politics and the media. And it's now global.
Because of their success in the '70s, all the glory hunters latched on and, 39 or 40 years later, they are all in positions with influence.

You can sense them wetting their keks with pride every time Trent gets picked for England, or Klopper jumps up and down on the pitch.

We need a ‘Mr Bates' to go after the Premier League and root out the reasons why our club figures so prominently in all their crass behaviour. There's no sporting advantage from all the money and opportunity squandered by our fabulous executives, perhaps the Premier League are miffed because they didn't get any of it?

Other clubs keep their heads down, delighted that all the focus is on us. If they want to kowtow to the Shitty Six, then that's okay.

Sometimes things just don't feel right, and if any good comes out of this, it should be that the club get on the front foot and refuse to roll over when these injustices happen.

Kicking and screaming perhaps isn't the Everton way, but the Corinthian spirit is long gone. But witch-hunts it seems are here to stay.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:03:56
Lyndon "Curiously, Forest have been spared the worst of the Premier League's wrath and only been levied 50% of the punishment meted out to Everton despite breaching the upper threshold of allowable losses by almost double".

I assume the 50% is comparing Forest's 4-point penalty from a single hearing with our 6-point penalty across two hearings - the Appeal hearing and now the 2-point penalty (so 8 points).

I'm not sure that's a legitimate comparison, as Forest haven't faced a second Commission involving the double jeopardy issue (and hypothetically, if they did, then they could also face an additional 2-point penalty).

So that is a separate issue around double jeopardy, in hitting Everton with a second penalty that involves two calculations including the same financial year?

If that's the case, then is the more reasonable comparison between Forest's sanction and only our sanction imposed by our Appeal body? In which case, I think that during the process of arriving at the final points sanction, the different scales of breach were in fact taken into account. So, Forest's Commission did in fact hit Forest with an extra 3 points sanction for "scale of breach" (para 14.15 of the Forest report); but they didn't hit Everton with that extra 3 points for "scale of breach" but did hit us with an extra 3 points for "circumstances" - i.e. "incorrect information" (same para).

It was after that initial step in the calculation that the Commission of course then reduced Forest's penalty by 2 points for "early plea and cooperation" (para 14.17).

But I might have misunderstood your point.

John Raftery
22 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:11:08
It is hard to see how the club extricates itself from this downward spiral. The losses in FY22 and FY23 mean we can only lose £38M in FY24. Without any significant change in revenue and expenditure, it appears certain the only way compliance with PSR can be achieved is by selling a player or two by 30 June 2024.

Obviously a forced sale will bring the price down. Owing to fears about breaching PSR, the number of clubs with the headroom to purchase players before 30 June will be severely reduced. Our already limited squad will be further weakened making another relegation battle more likely than not.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:16:07
Ian @15,

There is a vendetta that needs addressing as there are many. We are being targeted.

As for boring, I was at that match and it was a clear handball.

I'm sure many can go back earlier and to the notorious Clive Thomas decision.

In more recent times, that Don Hutchison "goal".

I've spent a lot of time watching Everton this season and have played a lot of football over the years.

Honestly, without sounding like a victim, some of the decisions against us have been unbelievable.

Ian Jones
24 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:28:09
Okay, my recollection of the Hansen handball was that it was early in the game, first half. I stand corrected if I am wrong.

I am sure other clubs also have on-the-field decisions that go against them on a regular basis but we concentrate on those that affect our club.

Anyway, I went off topic. I will be pleased when the season is over.

Barry Williams
25 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:36:36
Danny O'Neill - 23

You are completely correct about the decisions this season, but this has been going on for quite a while. I have mentioned it to my inner circle of friends only, otherwise you do start sounding like a victim at worst, paranoid at best.

I consider myself reasonably unbiased and I can support this by the fact that I refereed a lot of friends in kickboxing matches and remained completely impartial when doing so. I try to apply this to Everton too, often keeping my very biased Evertonian friends in check!

Jim Wilson
26 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:38:39
Great article, Lyndon.

My thought for this: 'you could be forgiven for thinking that Masters and his cohorts were hell-bent on relegating Everton to make the clearest and most glaring example of them in an attempt to ward off the threat of an independent regulator prising control of the league away from them.'

I think they are hell bent on getting Everton relegated before the regulator takes over not to stop the takeover.

After the second Commission explained how there was incompetence and inconsistency with first hearing, I am amazed they didn't throw the second charge out. Instead, they refused to agree to Eveton's request to adopt EFL guidelines on double jeopardy, which would have meant no further points deduction.

Words like Sham, stitch-up, kangaroo court, witch-hunt, corruption, are all appropriate words to sum up what is going on.

The European Super League might be one reason for what has happened to Everton but the new ground is the nailed on reason.

Liverpool were furious that their ground was knocked back for the 2028 Euros only for Everton's new ground to be nominated. Same with Man Utd who are thinking out loud with their new ground proposal.

Liverpool's owners know that Everton's new ground will be dominating all big events on Merseyside, concerts etc. It will potentially take millions off LFC.

So, if they can mess things up for us, they will. The club Everton stood by after Heysel. You couldn't make it up.

Liverpool & Man Utd have the perfect puppet in charge of the Premier League. Order of business:

Hold up sale of Everton
Points Deductions for Everton
Ref & VAR agenda against Everton
Get Everton relegated at all costs
Hide minutes & written notes, do not let anyone get their hands on them
Give longest-serving Premier League clubs more voting power
Close points deduction trap door

Clear as day.

Of course the Everton crew who were in charge are to blame for the mess we are in but what Masters and his pals are doing is a crime. Totally blatant and obvious and yet some Evertonians still won't believe it.

The Premier League have plenty of mitigations and reasons to not charge Everton but they went the opposite way. Why?

It is the biggest scandal English football has ever seen and that is the truth.

Michael Bennet
27 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:40:48
We broke the bloody rules, we admitted it, just fucking get on with winning games.

At the minute, we deserve to be in the Championship because we are absolutely shite.

You lot are spending far too much time typing long monologues about Man City and fucking Chelsea — fuck them.

Mark Taylor
28 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:43:09
Sometimes, one can mistake incompetence for something more sinister.

I think it was apparent from the first commission, and I said as much at the time, that while their assessment of the case was very comprehensive and not especially unreasonable, when it came to determining punishment, it was nigh on laughable. There were no guidelines to follow nor a precedent. In fact, we were the precedent. Hence the impression, and an entirely accurate one, of figures being plucked out the air, not just by the commission, but also and especially by the Premier League's suggestions for punishment.

The appeal commission had the advantage of reviewing the matter once the dust had settled a bit and started to restore some sense, starting with the very obvious point that a punishment worse than administration did not have much logic. What has followed is precedent refined by studying precedent, with Forest's case influenced by ours and our most recent case influenced by theirs. The ordinary punter might describe this as making it up as you go along which is a pretty fair summation.

The Premier League might argue the clubs themselves voted against a tariff but in that case, it stretches credulity to imagine the Premier League can then come up with their own recommended punishment.

It is amusing that the commission claim that enforcing PSR rules is about the 'restoration of the public's confidence in the integrity of the competition'. That's gone well, then.

In this context of near chaos, one might perhaps argue we have come out of this better than could have been the case. 8 points is a lot, and issuing punishments for multiple years in a single season seems flawed, but at least it is happening in a year where the damage can be mitigated, with 3 poor teams, two hopelessly out of their depth.

While I am wary at this stage of conspiracy theories, it is reasonable to consider the Premier League's conduct in all this. How could they possibly have justified arguing for a 12-point deduction in the first place?

More specifically, how on earth could the Premier League have argued that the Crimean invasion in 2014 and the Salisbury poisonings in 2018 meant we should have had the foresight to cut our Russian links earlier? The Premier League only suspended its deal with Russian broadcaster Match TV in March 2022. Had they forgotten that?

And most importantly, does anyone have even an iota of confidence that the Premier League will ensure a level playing field and punish the clubs like Man City proportionately?

There are no grounds in law that I am aware of that would enable a new set of rules or guidelines on punishment tariffs to be applied retrospectively. Man City's punishment must follow the contemporaneous precedents set by ourselves and Forest. If the Premier League choose not to do so, then start talking seriously about conspiracy. It's a mighty big hole they are digging for themselves.

Jim Wilson
29 Posted 09/04/2024 at 10:57:00
Andy Burnham's comment:

“In our view, many if not most of the criticisms levelled against the club in this respect by the PL are unwarranted, overstated, or both.” — the independent commission.

A damning verdict on the Premier League's treatment of Everton.

Hardly the behaviour of a fair and even-handed regulator.

Derek Knox
30 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:09:28
The thing is, whether right or wrong – which we all know, or believe to be the case for us, what we would all like to know is who is it that is determined to see us ousted from the Premier League? It is all very well the independent commission condemning the Premier League but, at the end of the day, will anything be revoked or rescinded?

It's a bit like members of any profession, they tend to cover up colleagues' mistakes unless it is something really catastrophic. After all, they are all handsomely paid in their Ivory Towers, and almost beyond reproach.

Mark Taylor
31 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:29:37
Jim @29,

I've been thinking about the set-up involved in these cases. It is perhaps inaccurate to describe the Premier League as a regulator. I'd argue the set-up has them as plaintiff, the commission as the regulator.

To be more precise, and comparing to 'normal' law, one could argue that the Premier League act as both police, investigating 'crimes' and the CPS, in choosing whether to prosecute and doing so where appropriate.

The Premier League itself is a limited company owned by its 20 shareholders, the Premier League clubs. They in turn appoint the chair of the judicial panel (Murray Rosen) who appoints the commission members to hear a case, drawn from a panel. I'm not quite sure who gets to approve who sits on that panel.

I think it perhaps doesn't help that the shareholders of the Premier League are on the one hand in collaboration, but on the other hand, are in fierce competition with each other. This is generally uncommon, perhaps less so in sport but it seems to me this risks significant conflict of interest.

Robert Williams
32 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:38:27

'ps: if the penalty for £3 million over spend is 1 point, what is the going rate for a murdered Italian?'

I'm intrigued (or thick) who or what is the story about a 'murdered Italian'???

Jim Wilson
33 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:47:38
Robert @ 32 - these are the things we are not allowed to talk about. You know that.

All we can say is that Everton FC supported Liverpool FC at the time of Heysel, we did not seek points deductions.

And here we are today. Liverpool are well run and are ruthless. Everton are fools and are mugs.

Les Callan
34 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:48:50
Robert. Think Heysel!
Pat Kelly
35 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:53:07
Predators prey on the weak, not the strong and healthy. EFC is, effectively, ownerless at present. Its absentee owner, if he is the real beneficial owner, has no interest in the Club's future and has ripped up its past. Its current, temporary, management team is struggling to simply keep the lights on. The future, unknown, is for another day.

So, an ideal candidate has presented itself to the Premier League enforcers just when they needed a sacrificial lamb. The other Premier League Clubs are happy to look the other way while Everton are sacrificed on the altar of self-regulation.

Power, money, greed have infected the sport at its highest level and it is now eating its own.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 09/04/2024 at 11:54:22
Oh, we only had to go and drop the Heysel bomb.

I didn't support them. I still challenge them, family and friends, every day, about how they airbrush it from history. To them, it's like it never happened and an uncomfortable conversation that they brush aside.

Hillsborough is a different matter and we supported them throughout and still do.

But Heysel. No. Just no. I'll never forgive them for that. I can't speak for everyone, but for me, it changed our relationship with them.

Jim Wilson
37 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:09:21
Danny @ 36,

But the club supported Liverpool FC, got sucked into the Super Cup farce and then the Premier League 'vision'.

The supporters fell for the "Merseyside, Merseyside" bullshit until it suited the RS to turn on us in 1994, when it looked like we were going down.

We have been complete mugs, mate.

Ian Jones
38 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:26:37
Conspiracy this, conspiracy that, conspiracy whatever.

Jim, sorry to just pick on one of your comments...

'Liverpool were furious that their ground was knocked back for the 2028 Euros only for Everton's new ground to be nominated. Same with Utd who are thinking out loud with their new ground proposal.

Liverpool's owners know that Everton's new ground will be dominating all big events on Merseyside, concerts etc. It will potentially take millions off LFC.

So if they can mess things up for us they will. The club Everton stood by after Heysel. You couldn't make it up.'

And yet, unless you have actual proof that Liverpool are furious that their ground won't be used as part of the Euros, you have just made it up.

They may be disappointed, but to think they would play any part in trying to orchestrate Everton's downfall, apart from on the pitch, is in my opinion, fantasy.

Mark @ 27.

I am not questioning your comments - see below. Just interested to know if there is a link available to where this is so I can read up on the Premier League's comments about our lack of foresight etc.

I have a friend who supports Chelsea who jokingly said that he was surprised that we would get involved with anything Russian as he perceived Everton to be a fairly sensible run club!

'While I am wary at this stage of conspiracy theories, it is reasonable to consider the Premier League's conduct in all this. How could they possibly have justified arguing for a 12-point deduction in the first place? More specifically, how on earth could the Premier League have argued that the Crimean invasion in 2014 and the Salisbury poisonings in 2018 meant we should have had the foresight to cut our Russian links earlier? The EPL only suspended its deal with Russian broadcaster Match TV in March 2022. Had they forgotten that?'

Jack Convery
39 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:29:59
Great article, Lyndon, and all points you make are accurate. It is a witch hunt and it's been going on for a while now.

The Niasse incident is a good example. Not one of the Sly Six players but a 'small club' player was made an example of and as you say it was a penalty and not a dive.

Michael Keane for jumping to head a ball and land on the foot of an opposition player resulted in a penalty – one of VAR's first controversial decisions.

Allan sent off versus Newcastle for taking a yellow for the team. A commonplace occurence in a match every weekend but in our case VAR intervened and the referee sent him off!

Rodri's handball not given.

The RS Kung Fu moment at Goodison.

Rodwell being sent off because Suarez rolled a round screaming.

Gerrard's two-footer on Ebbrell and Gerrard's tackle on our former Scottish right back – sorry, forgotten his name.

The list is endless… and now: first to be deducted points twice in a season. Though for me the icing on the cake is the attempt to get 17 points deducted from us this season by Masters and his poltroons.

No, seriously, something smells in the court of Masters. Am I right in thinking the RS and one other team wanted or did interview him to say whether they wanted him or not? If so, what was that all about?

The silence from across the Park, whilst all this has been going on, is deafening. Not one peep of support from them or their nauseating fans.

They alone should have been banned but Thatcher hated football fans and anyone else she saw as being beneath her. "Ban them, ban them all" she told Uefa – and they did. Not a thought for the Everton fans who had followed their team peacefully around Europe and played a game of football against the Dutch police before the Cup-Winners Cup Final in Rotterdam.

They call us bitter. I suppose we are and have a right to be but we have never been involved when other teams' fans have died. Heysel never happened as far as they are concerned. It wasn't them. It was fans of other teams. The stadium was not fit for purpose.

The next time they need a blue arm around them to help in an hour of need… sod them.

I am totally convinced that the RS want the City of Liverpool to be a one-team town. It's the American way to maximise income from the population of a city and not let others share in it.

The players and manager must now get the points we need to stay up before we go to Arsenal.

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:36:18
We all know different people, but I don't remember many Evertonians supporting them over Heysel.

They put shame on our city and English football.

The travesty is all clubs got punished for something they didn't do and we arguably suffered more than most at the time.

Robert Williams
41 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:41:40
LC34 Got it - thanks.
Peter Roberts
42 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:45:15
What part did Masters play in the European Super League? Was he hoping for or promised one of the top jobs? This could explain why the Sly Six got off so lightly.

Barrett-Baxendale put a spanner in the works of that project. Maybe this is why Masters is determined to finish Everton. This could also explain his reluctance to prosecute Chelsea & Man City.

Robert Williams
43 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:49:39
Perhaps this is not the thread to bring this up, but there is a lot of remembering going on here.

Can we decide on a defining moment, when the balance changed for Everton? Was it Shankly? When did it all go wrong?

Take your time, I've got a few years left – I hope!!

Jack Convery
44 Posted 09/04/2024 at 12:55:56

When Alan Ball was sold, Shankly phoned him up and said he'd felt a thorn being removed from his side.


When John Moores died and his son went with the RS.

Jim Wilson
45 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:00:19
Ian @ 38 paragraph 212 of the report I think is what you are looking for.

To be clear, there is absolutely a conspiracy going on – it is just the size of it that is in question.

Masters private meeting with LFC and MUFC officials?
Masters briefing client journalists?
Masters influencing 3 commissions?
Masters introducing points formula during hearing?
Carragher changing his opinion after pressure?
Masters lying to the Select Committee?
Masters refusal to produce minutes & written notes?
Masters briefing media with false narratives?

The list is endless.

As for Liverpool try this link : https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/anfield-england-ireland-euro-2028-28507865

Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:08:14
Robert @43, you made me have a nervous laugh!

It's hard to tell. I'm sure many more experienced Evertonians than me will have an opinion.

From listening to relatives, the failure to build on the 1970 League Champions and the too early break up of what some who saw them regarded as the best team they have seen.

Likewise, for my generation, our failure to capitalise on the '80s team's success, although there were obvious circumstances that contributed.

But really, we are club that has stood still for too long and effectively walked backwards.

But, as I saw on Saturday, the future can be bright if we grasp the opportunity that the new stadium offers.

Jim Wilson
47 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:08:24
Jack Convery @ 44 - if we are bitter we are nothing like as bitter as some of them. Look at how hundreds of them celebrated winning the league a couple of years back.

You nailed it here mate:

'The silence from across the Park, whilst all this has been going on is deafening. Not one peep of support from them or their nauseating fans.

The next time they need a blue arm around them to help in an hour of need. Sod them.

I am totally convinced that the RS want the City of Liverpool to be a one team town. It's the American way to maximise income from the population of a city and not let others share in it.'

Paul Saleh
48 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:13:05
I wish we as fans could sue the Premier League, because they don't give a toss about the supporters.

It has been constant stress watching Everton this season, and to take away points earned doesn't seem right, especially when you compare the punishment given to the Sly Six.

Unless the remaining 14 teams band together, then there will be nothing to play for in the future and the Sly Six will get bored and break away again.

I think the stadium will finish us off, as we are being punished for trying to better the club. Moshiri has been a total disaster and let Kenwright run our club into the ground.

Anthony Hawkins
49 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:14:34
Witch hunt or not. Corrupt or not. Only recently being given a penalty shout... There are strange decisions being made, but not just towards Everton.

What stings most is not that we have been punished, but that a random number generator was used to apply the punishment and that only Forest are being called out. I highly highly doubt Everton and Forest from the PL are the only ones in breach of PSR.

Man City and Chelsea aside (who knows what's going on there!), I'm highly sceptical no other team has failed to breach the £105M thrsghold, even by £1. A breach is a breach, right! Also, to call £19.5M significant and serious is simply overplaying the hand.

Geoff Cadman
50 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:21:45
Comparisons with the punishment the Sly Six received after their attempted Super League breakaway have been made.

The statement Everton made at the time took the "moral high ground" — has that come back to haunt us???

Barry Rathbone
51 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:30:24
Read any clubs forum they all think the world is out to get them; the difference here is EFC concede breaking the rules.

The bits I've read suggest the authorities have listened to our arguments and find them wanting.

By all means appeal – it's the expected reaction – but, sooner or later, the truth of "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime" will have to be accepted.

Jim Wilson
52 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:36:21
Barry @ 51 - you were two words out:

The bits I've read suggest the authorities have listened to our arguments and wanted to find them wanting.

Ian Jones
53 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:41:59
Thanks, Jim, for the link.

It's Liverpool fans that are fuming about their stadium not being picked. I read your comments as Liverpool Football Club!

Thanks also for the other reference to the report – I will have to dig that out as that's quite entertaining.

Mark Taylor
54 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:43:37
Ian @38,

Para 67 of the commission's findings, where the Premier League cross-examined Richard Kenyon on the Finch Farm and future stadium naming rights and referenced both Crimea and Salisbury specifically.

The Premier League suspended their existing Russian contract in March 2022 and its new and much more lucrative contract with Match TV for the 2022-233 season in summer 2022. Links available on the internet.

My assumption is that the reason they delayed in suspending the Match TV contract was because they were hedging their bets.

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:49:31
I agree with a lot of your sentiment, Jim.

I wouldn't suggest that to the Americans who made the long journey to Goodison and joined us at Bramley Moore on Saturday, Jim.

Or those potentially investing in Everton and have already put money into the club.

Jim Wilson
56 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:52:54
Ian @53 - It will be both club and fans mate.

As Jack Convery says - I am totally convinced that the RS want the City of Liverpool to be a one team town. It's the American way to maximise income from the population of a city and not let others share in it.

Barry Rathbone
57 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:53:45
Jim @52,

The distinction between us and others, Forest in particular, is we didn't play the game. Mention was made of us dragging our feet and not being particularly helpful in the Forest report.

If they're out to give us a bloody nose, it's our own fault.

Len Hawkins
58 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:57:10
Two things;

Make Andy Burnham the Government regulator of Football.

Stop funding the Everton Academy for the lack of players making the step up to first team only to go to another club and show that, given a chance, they can play a bit.

In the Coventry team are Jake Bidwell and Ellis Simms – I hope they win the FA Cup. I know a boneheaded manager doesn't help bringing on such a player in the 91st minute.

I like the idea of a witch hunt — take Moshiri down to the pier head and chuck him in with a bag of cement tied to him. If he floats, he's guilty and add another bag; if he drowns, it's all his fault but he's not a witch.

Jack Convery
59 Posted 09/04/2024 at 13:58:47
From Liverpool Echo — April 2021.

Everton Statement about Euro League Plans

Everton say the six rebel clubs trying to form a breakaway European Super League are "betraying" fans in a fiercely worded statement issued this morning.

The Blues' board of directors have not held back in their condemnation of plans for Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs to join a new mid-week league.

Everton have said these clubs have been "conspiring" and have shown "disrespect" for the other 14 clubs in the Premier League, who are due to hold an emergency meeting at 11am.

The strong statement is the first official word from any of the 14 clubs and does not hold back, saying: "Everton is saddened and disappointed to see proposals of a breakaway league pushed forward by six clubs.

"Six clubs acting entirely in their own interests.

"Six clubs tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game.

"Six clubs choosing to disrespect every other club with whom they sit around the Premier League table.

"Six clubs taking for granted and even betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.

"At this time of national and international crisis - and a defining period for our game - clubs should be working together collaboratively with the ideals of our game and its supporters uppermost.

"Instead, these clubs have been secretly conspiring to break away from a football pyramid that has served them so well.

"And in that Pyramid Everton salutes EVERY club, be it Leicester City, Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Lincoln City, Morecambe, Southend United, Notts County and the rest who have, with their very being, enriched the lives of their supporters throughout the game's history. And vice versa.

"The self-proclaimed Super Six appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game - including their own - by putting the very structure that underpins the game we love under threat.

"The backlash is understandable and deserved – and has to be listened to.

"This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan.

"On behalf of everyone associated with Everton, we respectfully ask that the proposals are immediately withdrawn and that the private meetings and subversive practises that have brought our beautiful game to possibly its lowest ever position in terms of trust end now.

"Finally we would ask the owners, chairmen, and Board members of the six clubs to remember the privileged position they hold – not only as custodians of their clubs but also custodians of the game. The responsibility they carry should be taken seriously.

"We urge them all to consider what they wish their legacy to be."

Again Liverpool Echo.

What Moshiri said about Euro League and the SLY SIX, to the Liverpool Echo.

"Every fact of it is against the very idea of British football. Football clubs are community assets, they belong to the fans and to the communities. This takes much of the romance of football away.

"It is something which makes the game a money game, it's not football anymore."

"I think the Premier League should deduct points from these clubs," he added.

"Clubs get points deductions for poaching a manager or a player, or exceeding FFP, but this is the clubs attacking the heart of the Premier League and I think they should be disciplined. That is what I think they should do. They should've discussed [their plans] with the Premier League and reached a consensus. They should've discussed it with all of the chairmen, the Premier League, the FA, FIFA and Uefa.

"The Champions League is an amazing competition. It is the super league."

Moshiri went onto add: "I think the Premier League needs to discipline these clubs. The Premier League has its constitution. They need to treat the powerful clubs as severely as the poor clubs. Football is about competition. When you watch West Bromwich Albion beating Chelsea, this is football. Every club can outperform another on a Saturday, it is 11 v 11. A club like Leeds can go down and come back and draw with Liverpool. This is football. [The plans] devalue the game."

And we wonder why they came for us!!

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 09/04/2024 at 14:32:26
Jack (59),

Looks to me like it for telling the truth about how the Premier League and the top clubs look after the way the league is run and looking after their own best interests at the same time.

Nick Page
62 Posted 09/04/2024 at 14:49:00
Good article, Lyndon! Where there is money, there is always corruption.
Jim Wilson
63 Posted 09/04/2024 at 15:16:33
Barry @ 57 – but the second commission have just said that is wrong.

We were helpful – 'the club has indeed cooperated with the Premier League'

Jim Wilson
64 Posted 09/04/2024 at 15:18:15
Jack @ 59 - you have nailed it again!
Geoff Cadman
65 Posted 09/04/2024 at 15:24:07
Jack #59, thanks for posting that. I had forgotten just how high our moral high ground was.

That's what you get when you shit in your own nest. Something Forest, and soon to be Leicester have found out.

It was them kicking up a fuss, when we where first charged, that caused the fast tracking of point deductions. The stupid thing is the club that suffered because of our first breach were Burnley.

Also, if the breach is taken over a 3-year period, then the points deduction should be spread over the same period in our case: 2 points a season for the next 4 seasons.

Jay Harris
66 Posted 09/04/2024 at 15:31:05
Great post, Lyndon, and much meat added to the bone by various posters.

The one consideration that I don't think has been highlighted enough is Everton building and paying for an £800 million stadium and the consequences of the sanctions following the Putin invasion.

Factoring in the costs of these two alone would surely bring us back in line.

We can be in no doubt that Masters and his cronies are out for us. VAR decisions alone would tell you that but the question is who or what is behind it all.

Robert Williams
67 Posted 09/04/2024 at 17:01:39
Jack C 44 - I'm sure those two factors had some bearing on our current slide towards oblivion.

But there must certainly be more than that, much of which we all know something about or have a view on.

However, if I was researching a book on the "Rise and Fall of a Mighty Club" what would have been the straw that broke the camel's back??

Rob Jones
68 Posted 09/04/2024 at 17:05:34
Very limited sample size, I'll admit, but I was at a funeral earlier, and got chatting to some people afterwards at the wake. A Liverpool fan, a couple of United fans. All three very reasonable, all three very much agreed that the Premier League's move against has been absurd, disproportionate to the "crime" of BUILDING A STADIUM.

Likewise, last night, when I was playing football. Chatted to a bunch of people. All of them felt the same.

The average reasonable person, as opposed to the weirdos who you find in every comments section or on social media, very much feel that we've been unfairly treated, and have sympathy.

I wonder sometimes if, in our Everton bubble, we forget that your average football fan ISN'T actually a Premier League propaganda chewing idiot, and can actually see what's what.

The league and authorities may be after us. But most fans (many of whom support clubs who have suffered horrifically under VAR this season) aren't actually the handful of dickheads we've all had the misfortune of being trolled by on socials or the HYS sections of BBC Sport articles.

Steve Brown
69 Posted 09/04/2024 at 17:32:09
Rob @ 68, I have also had many conversations with opposing supporters who agree we have been unfairly treated by the Premier League.

How bizarre therefore that we have Everton supporters on this site arguing the complete opposite!

We now face the prospect of a further hearing next season as the Premier League want to add an additional 1-point sanction due to capitalisation of interest on interest payments on the stadium - the amount now being challenged by the Premier League is £6.6 million.

They have honestly taken leave of their senses.

Stephen Vincent
70 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:11:06
There is no witch hunt or conspiracy against Everton or at least no evidence of that. To use events that happened prior to 1992 is frankly ridiculous and, in all honesty, since we were one of the 5 major proponents of the Premier League, you could definitely extend that timeline by probably 5 years.

The fact remains that the current Premier League is a poorly run cabal that is no longer fit for purpose. Its decisions across this entire process have been illogical and facile at best. But corrupt???

The fault for this entire mess begins and ends with the Kenwright - Moshiri partnership, the woeful administration of the club by Ingles and Barrett-Baxendale, and the inability or unwillingness of the minority shareholders to ask pertinent questions and take a more robust stance — they do have rights.

The absence of Anfield from the 2028 stadium list was entirely due to the fact that their pitch was too small for international football.

Let's not forget that Usmanov only left Arsenal in 2018 and Moshiri in 2016, selling the shares they held in Red and White Holdings to Stan Kronke. This was only some 4 years prior to Usmanov being sanctioned.

Had Kronke agreed to sell his shares to Red and White Holdings instead of the reverse transaction, Arsenal would have been in as much trouble as Chelsea at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Rob Dolby
71 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:19:36
We are all rightly pissed off with the kangaroo court. Question is as a football club and fan base what can we possibly do about it?

Fenerbahce at the weekend just walked off the pitch after 1 Min of a cup game in protest against the league.

Dortmund fans stayed out of the ground for the first 20 mins of games and then threw tennis balls on the pitch in protest at ticket prices. Bayern have done similar.

Reading have done a mix of the above.

What can we as fans do besides wave flags and boo. What can the club do?

I have gone through most of the emotions on this, I understand we have messed up but with valid reasons. We have nearly been relegated twice in 2 seasons due to spending restrictions then we get hit with points deduction which looks like pre pre-meditated plan to weaken us on the pitch then relegate us.

Sport shouldn't feel like this, what's the point?

David Stothart
72 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:21:11
If you clearly identify an enemy, you should have the right to fight against it.

The top freemasons, who are lackeys for those who control the media, run the FA and they have tried to suppress Everton ever since the moneychanger started charging rachman rents on Anfield because Everton was successful.

Those that control 96% of the media are sadly not fond of Iranians; this is indeed a witchhunt.

David Stothart
73 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:31:31
Steve Brown (69) advises that the amount being challenged is £6.6m; this is such an obviously freemasonic number.
Mark Taylor
74 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:35:48
David 72

Moshiri is not that sort of Iranian. His family left (fled?) just before the '79 revolution. I don't think he goes back much, if at all, nor is friends of the religious dictators there.

Barry Rathbone
75 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:46:19
Jim @52,

I don't think they did disagree; this is from the first commission report (§131):

"We have already found Everton's conduct not to be in compliance with the obligation of utmost good faith
imposed by Rule B15."

David Stothart
76 Posted 09/04/2024 at 18:52:22
Mark (74),

I should like to clarify that I am on Moshiri's side.

Mark Taylor
77 Posted 09/04/2024 at 19:11:44
David 76

Me not so much. Well meaning, I think, so there is that, but a disaster.

Colin Glassar
78 Posted 09/04/2024 at 19:30:10
David 73,

QAnon is soooo yesterday. Try something more actual, like Marjorie Taylor Greene and her weird conspiracy theories.

Niall McIlhone
79 Posted 09/04/2024 at 20:20:57
Interesting article, thank you Lyndon, and some insightful comment on the thread.

Personally, I think the actions of the Premier League do amount to a "witch hunt" and I buy the established narrative that Everton are being hung out to dry on the altar of Masters and his cronies trying to ward off the Government regulator. I am aghast at the shambolic process that the Premier League and member clubs came up with, surely it is ill befitting of the so-called "best league in the world"?

I was taken by an earlier post which suggested that the takeover, with the likely advent of a more professional set-up at board level, will serve to steer the club in the direction it needs to go.

It may well be that EFC have yet more lean years under 777 Partners ownership but, if the club actively consults with and invests in the participation of the fanbase, the medium-term prospects should improve. This, however, would take a complete change of culture from the regime under Moshiri.

Paul Ferry
80 Posted 09/04/2024 at 21:08:57
David Currie (1), like many others on this thread, grabs the opportunity to lambast and lampoon the “cheating bastards”: the usual suspects and events follow in the regular sequence.

What David did not do, and even more disappointing, what Lyndon did not do, is to add “our own” to the roll-call of “cheating bastards”: Kenwright, Moshiri, our finance officer(s),“cheating bastards”, one and all. They created the situation we were docked points for, not the North Wharf Road Crew.

How easy it is to toss terms like “witch-hunt” or “conspiracy” around! Let us never forget: donkey - cart, chicken - egg, it is us who are the donkey or chicken in this, the “cheating bastards”, Kenwright, Moshiri, our finance officer(s).

Some of the remarks on here verge on avoidance and some slip into embarrassing.

Stu Gre (7): it's “like taking all my daughter's possessions because I didn't pay my credit card bill … A credit card bill I could easily afford to pay but wasn't allowed to because the credit card company wanted my neighbours to have nicer things”.

Stu, if you actually wanted to be nearer to the reality of what happened you would have added that you stole the credit card or forged it.

I'm sorry, Micky Norman, but your pained “Why us?” just makes me wince: Heysel, Kay, Collina, beating Wimbledon (? – New one on me), etc.

There is an astonishing lack of insight and accepting responsibility in this: Of course it's a witch hunt but we need to ask the question “Why us?” Because Micky, we cheated, cooked the books, did some creative accounting.

“Why us”? Because we got caught with our hands in the till and we even admitted it, but don't let that stop you, Micky.

Thankfully, Christopher Timmins, Peter Warren, Ian Jones, Brian Harrison, Michael Bennet, Stepehen Vincent and others do recognise our role as donkey and chicken and, like Peter, almost plead on their knees for someone to run our club who “can actually run a football club”.

The North Wharf Road Crew, with skipper Masters at the wheel, have taken the gift we offered them and made the most of it. The idea that there is a “conspiracy” is ridiculous.

But Masters and his accomplices pounced on us to (1) use us as an “example” or scapegoat who broke the rules and procedures but there were no codified rules and procedures; (2) parade us as a deterrent to any other club who dared … having now opened the floodgates to anyone with enough money in the bank to not care about a fine, and (3) show that the Premier League did not need independent regulation because it could clean its own house, thank you very much.

To reply to this issue with a litany of red shite crimes and things that have happened to us down through the years that might or might not be parts of a wider “conspiracy” is not the best strategy or argument, in my opinion.

It's also unnecessary, even more so when these trips down memory lane make no mention of our undoubted complicity in gifting the North Wharf Road crew a golden opportunity to use us as their whipping boy.

Christy Ring
81 Posted 09/04/2024 at 22:20:56
A great article Lyndon, a lot of things we can't ignore. We are being targeted, when you see Masters and the Premier League telling their independent commissions to dock us 17 points — unbelievable.

Read where one of the Premier League points we should have cut ties with Usmanov before Russia invaded the Ukraine before we lost the £20m sponsorship — unbelievable, considering the Premier League cut ties with a Russian sports TV a month later. Conspiracy?

Andy McNabb
82 Posted 10/04/2024 at 01:36:50
I echo Rob Dolby's (#71) final statement. Much of the anger and frustration comes from feeling powerless. We were taken along for the ride (some, willingly) but it wasn't even enjoyable and all that spending only made us worse.

When my Red brothers rage about Man City's 'buying' of the league, I simply ask them to consider how miserable it is to be a Blue. How we feel we should do a lap of honour every time we actually score a goal and the reality of scoring more than once in a game only seems to happen when we put one in our own net.

You're right, Rob. Sport and in this case, being a supporter of the Club we love, should not feel like this.

George Stuart
83 Posted 10/04/2024 at 05:29:07
Very good, Lyndon. I can still feel a slight restraint here plus a few strands of the spaghetti-like dog's dinner not investigated because, well, there are just so many twists and turns and inconsistency.

It might not be that complicated. The group may have just said in a meeting "We need a scapegoat. It can't be one of the Sky 6. So are we all agreed, it's Everton?"

One conspiracy theory I have not seen is the notion that they are deliberately being useless and incompetent. The point being a separate body representing, say eight big clubs across Europe can point to the ineffectiveness and say, these guys don't know what they are doing.

"What we need is a professionally run pan European league of high class clubs, for the benefit of the game!"

Fantastical, I know but could anyone have predicted the current dog's dinner?

Ernie Baywood
84 Posted 10/04/2024 at 07:56:01
Christy 81 – can you point to where the Premier League said that?

I know they said we hadn't tried to replace the sponsorship, and that they viewed USM as risky bedfellows. They did acknowledge that sanctions were generally an extraordinary matter.

Kevin Molloy
85 Posted 10/04/2024 at 08:44:54
Great article, Lyndon, as usual.
Mark Taylor
86 Posted 10/04/2024 at 09:31:14
Ernie @84,

I can answer that because it is a point I made earlier in this thread.

Para 67 of the commission's findings, where the Premier League cross-examined Richard Kenyon on the Finch Farm and future stadium naming rights and referenced both Crimea and Salisbury specifically.

Martin Farrington
87 Posted 10/04/2024 at 09:42:36
Excellent article, Lyndon.

To me, there are matters unresolved.

We are so poorly run that, until the Moshiri era is finished, we are never going to lose this ball and chain. Maybe the present witch hunt is because of the Russian money we took?

The Premier League are the clubs' machine for all things football-related at national and international level. They administer the running of the product.

Small clubs are now realising the 30 pieces of silver they took when agreeing to regulations favouring the Big Six who already had the players, wages and stadiums that others can no longer even dream of possessing.

For me, personally, I believe that in our closet are some horrendous secrets. The Premier League know this and that is why we are being kicked whilst down. Otherwise, why aren't Everton going to a civil court, a la Leicester, to pursue the clear double jeopardy and double standards???

This shitstorm was always going to happen because of the filthy lucre. The government smell money and want in.
Why ain't this happening to rugby, cricket, rowing, crown green bowling?

It was just a matter of which poor club outside of the elite was going to get reamed as "an example". There is no such thing as 'Financial Fair Play'. The premise holds about as much water as communism.

When others are already at the top in possession of riches they cheated and defrauded their way to obtaining, how can anything be fair? It is a contradiction in terms.

Others are prevented from gaining such wealth or competing because of the rules they are forced to agree to, in order to participate in an elite club whereby the Big Six keep them subjugated using regulations which vary and change when the net to catch the minnows comes too close.

Stephen Davies
88 Posted 10/04/2024 at 09:52:53

EU Court has just ruled in favour of 2 Russian Oligarchs…
Stating in their judgement that there was insufficient evidence that they undermined Ukraine.

Andrew Ellams
89 Posted 10/04/2024 at 09:59:14
Didn't realise until reading this thread (thanks Paul Ferry) that the Premier League is based on North Wharf Road.

My employer is on the same road and I'm down there tomorrow. Can I deliver any messages?

Stephen Davies
90 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:01:54
EU court rules in favour of Russian oligarchs Fridman and Aven in blow to sanctions regime - https://on.ft.com/49uTdFs via @FT.

Although Usmanov's appeal against sanctions was dismissed in February, I'm wondering if this decision will change anything more?

Paul Hewitt
91 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:51:09
Andrew @89.

You can tell them they're corrupt bastards, and can fuck off.

(Sorry for the language… But I'm fuming.)

Rob Halligan
92 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:55:16
Andrew, post your messages on a brick, then leg it!!
Niall McIlhone
93 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:01:51
So, it's come to light that Richard Masters' appointment to the CEO role had been rubber-stamped by a clandestine meeting with officials from both Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC.

This, in itself, tells us all we need to know about the insidious influence of those clubs, and speaks volumes as to the real power centre of the Premier League, ergo, the fixation of the Masters-led regime with the so-called “Big Six”. They put him in the job, then he acts in their interests to the detriment of the other 14 clubs.

It's clear to me this is why they all came through the abortive Super League breakaway without expulsion.


Michael Kenrick
94 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:53:53

It's clear to me this is why they all came through the abortive Super League breakaway without expulsion.

They came through without expulsion because there was no rule they had broken; there was nothing they had actually done that was in contravention of Premier League Rules.

The corruption would have been manifest and completely untenable if they had been expelled.

Since which time, the Premier League subsequently added a new rule L.9 dealing with clubs who were thinking about entering 'Unapproved Competitions' and imposing a 30-point penalty.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 10/04/2024 at 12:07:06
I agree with parts of that post, Martin F. This is why I think it's truly sickening when you read Masters use words like 'protecting the fans' because Evertonians had been telling anyone who would listen how badly our club had been getting mismanaged for years.

The bastards even tried to throw the fans under the bus and used a lot of their sycophantic friends in the media to try and tarnish us.

Nobody from the Premier league has tried to protect Evertonians as we continue to sit and wait to see if another firm of chancers are accepted.

Ken Kneale
96 Posted 10/04/2024 at 12:21:17
Tony A and Martin F,

'The closet', as you refer, Martin, goes right back to the early Kenwright years when it soon became apparent that he had gained his foothold and was not going to let go, no matter what the damage to the club, whether that be reputational and standing within the game or, as is later transpiring, monetary mysteries and the 24-hours search for a buyer resulting in him finding the only person willing to allow him to continue.

If we as fans recognise this, then those within the game must know far more than us – only to be resolved by Moshiri finally losing control one way or another and a fresh way of running the club appearing.

I have my fingers crossed very hard that Tony's information comes to pass and the club finally gets back into the hands of those with some heart in the club. All seems quiet on that front this week – I presume the latest deductions have not materially altered the takeover position but stand to be corrected by those with greater knowledge.

David Cooper
97 Posted 10/04/2024 at 17:11:12
With little to watch, my focus fell on an Apple TV documentary called “Super League: The War for Football”.

It is a bit slow to kick off but by episode 3 it really tells the dirty big story of the creation of the Super League that lasted 3 days and involved Uefa, the European Club Association and the plot by Juventus and Real Madrid's owner to create a European Super League.

There's a load of interesting stuff about plots and counter plots but the English Super Six don't feature until episode 3 when they sign on to the Super League at the last minute. There is no mention of the owners meeting together but they almost all join en bloc.

Whatever you think about capitalism, the only reason for the 6 owners – none of which were from the UK (not sure who owned Spurs, but pretty sure he had his say) was for greed. The moment this news was released, the stocks of Man Utd went through the roof.

Yes, it fell apart when clubs and players were going to be banned from international football. Yes, Man City, Spurs, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all got a smack on the wrists and were fined a bag of toffees.

Strangely, their puppet Masters had very little negative comment to make apart from how we have saved the people's game!

Since then, Everton have been under constant attack. Led by Masters, but he is only the oily rag – who is pulling his strings? Any money on the owners of the Super Six?

Also, take a look at Uefa's CEO, Aleksander Severin. Masters must get off big time wishing he could be him!

Pete Gunby
98 Posted 11/04/2024 at 03:45:05
Paul Ferry gets it right. Moshiri and Kenwright cheated and got caught. Maybe they didn’t cheat as well as some others but we had our hand in the till. The rules and regs are arbitrary and ridiculous but we opened ourselves up to it. Sadly, it’s all entirely self inflicted.
Peter Mills
99 Posted 11/04/2024 at 07:14:59
The “English Premier League”, or whoever wields the real power within that organisation, has advocated that Everton FC should be deducted 17 points in one season for its misdemeanours over several years.

17 points represents just under 50% of our points total last season.

Some people see nothing untoward in that. I do.

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