Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

The 2023/24 Premier League season has seen two clubs receive points deductions for breaching the profit and sustainability rules (PSR) all teams must adhere to.

A number of top-flight sides have had to restrain themselves in recent transfer windows due to the very real PSR sanctions that can be dolled out, with both Everton and Nottingham Forest on the receiving end of significant punishments.

Here’s every club to have breached the Premier League’s financial guidelines and also those facing investigations.

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Everton still have another PSR charge being investigated / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Until Everton were deducted ten points – later reduced to six – no club had been deducted points for breaching PSR. The rules state a club can make no more than a £105m loss across a three-year period and the Toffees were found to have breached that figure by £19.5m.

Everton dropped from 14th to 19th in the Premier League when the initial deduction took place in November 2023, but they climbed up to 15th when they were given four points back in February 2024 upon appeal.

As the first club to be given a points deduction for PSR breaches, there was no precedent for the commission to draw from and a deduction had seemed likely from the off.

The Merseysiders have another PSR charge which is yet to be heard. They will have the right to appeal that ruling if they are deducted further points, which could leave relegation-threatened teams in limbo over whether they will play in the Premier League or Championship in 2024/25.

Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Nottingham Forest are expected to appeal the decision / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Nottingham Forest were referred to an independent commission in January 2024 after reporting losses beyond the £61m they were permitted. That figure is different to £105m because, for two seasons of the relevant time period, they were in the Championship.

Forest’s losses went beyond that threshold by £34.5m, much more than Everton. They were only handed a four-point deduction, largely down to not providing any incorrect information to the investigation. Good behaviour also played a role, with the statement explaining how Forest had “demonstrated exceptional cooperation in its dealings with the Premier League throughout the process”.

Nonetheless, Forest were angry with the decision and have a week from the 18 March ruling to signal their intent to appeal. Central to their defence was the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham. That £47.5m move went through on 1 September, after the analysed financial period ended on 30 June.

Forest claim they turned down previous bids for the Wales international because they knew they could get a higher fee for the academy graduate later in the window, even if it was after the 30 June deadline. Had that sale gone through before 30 June, there would have been no breach given it would wipe out the £34.5m outstanding loss and then some.

The points deduction saw Forest drop to 18th in the Premier League.

Leicester City v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship

Leicester were charged in March 2024 / Tony Marshall/GettyImages

Leicester City weren’t a Premier League side when they were charged in March 2024 for breaches in the three years up to and including the 2022/23 season, when they were relegated from the English top flight to the Championship.

The Foxes look primed to return to top-level football at the first time of asking under Enzo Maresca but the club admitted its “extreme disappointment” over the charge and added it “will continue to defend itself from any unlawful acts by the football authorities, should they seek to exercise jurisdiction where they cannot do so”.

Leicester, who could face a points deduction, are yet to disclose their accounts for their last Premier League season but lost a club-record £92.5m in the 12 months leading up to May 2022. A pre-tax loss of £33.1 was reported the previous season, when they won the FA Cup.

The club also had to pay the Football League £3.1m in 2018 to settle a Financial Fair Play dispute relating to their Championship-winning 2013/14 campaign.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Manchester City have won many trophies in the period that is being investigated / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

Manchester City have been hit with the most charges from the Premier League, but the investigation is yet to come to a conclusion. In February 2023, Man City were handed 115 financial charges from the Premier League.

City have been referred to an independent commission for a series of alleged breaches of financial rules between the 2009/10 and 2017/18 seasons. The club is accused by the Premier League of not providing accurate financial information, “in particular with respect to its revenue (including sponsorship revenue), its related parties and its operating costs”.

They are also accused of not fully disclosing managerial remuneration for a four-year period, which is essentially how much they have been paying coaches. These relate to the 2009/10 to 2012/13 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge. City also stand accused of breaching Premier League rules on profit and sustainability in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

This is not the first time the Cityzens have been in financial trouble, with UEFA seemingly at constant war with the club.

The Premier League say City did not comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules in 2013/14 and between 2014/15 and 2017/18. Clearly, there is a remarkable amount of material to go through, making it a more complex case than either Everton or Forest.

There is a lot of secrecy around City’s charges and when they will be cleared up, with no concrete decisions expected to be made in the immediate future. The earliest Man City’s verdict will be known is the end of the 2024/25 season, with an initial trial date of autumn 2024 agreed with the Premier League in November 2023. An appeal can then come later.

When questioned by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee at a select committee meeting in January, Premier League CEO Richard Masters said: “They are very different charges. If any club, whether they are the current champions or otherwise, had been found in breach of the spending rules for year ’23, they would be in exactly the same position as Everton or Nottingham Forest. The volume and character of the charges laid before Man City, which I cannot talk about at all, are being heard in a completely different environment. There is a date set for that proceeding.”

The club denies any wrongdoing.

Chelsea FC v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final

Chelsea may be on the highway to a points deduction / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Man City aren’t the only English giants being monitored for financial irregularities, with Chelsea also under investigation.

In 2023, the new ownership of the club self-reported incomplete financial information related to dealings that took place under the stewardship of Roman Abramovich, the former owner, between 2012 and 2019.

The club was fined €10m for the historical breach of rules but the Premier League and the FA are still investigating, though they have not been charged.

A second season outside of the Champions League – or UEFA competitions altogether – will cause Chelsea problems when it comes to revenues and losses. The club has complied with PSR for the 2019-2023 window that Everton and Forest received points deductions for, but the 2021-2024 window looks bleak for Chelsea right now.

“Essentially, I’ve never seen a set of accounts with losses that big in football,” sports finance expert Dr Rob Wilson told i. “You can go back to 2011, when Manchester City had a wages-to-turnover ratio of 198 per cent. That’s probably the only comparison I’ve got.”

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