A storm is brewing in England the likes of which the Premier League has never seen.
And probably also European football, which never manages (or has no particular desire) to deal with the problem of the completely unequal conditions for the clubs in the financial aspect. While UEFA’s Financial Fair Play operates selectively and mainly with fines, the Premier League is about to create a case that will reverberate violently across football.
After Everton were harshly penalized with a 10-point asset deduction for breaching the limit on allowable declared losses over a 3-year period, it is now the turn of Chelsea, Manchester City and possibly Aston Villa. As for the first two clubs, the sanctions may even include removal from the elite division of English football.
Everton have received their punishment – and it’s huge and very harsh, for an offense which numerically equates to £19.5m.
Those of which Chelsea and City have been accused are far greater. And far more serious, if you believe what the experts on the financial and football affairs of the Island say.
Stefan Borson, who was Manchester City’s external lawyer and adviser in the first 7 years of the sheikhdom era at the club (the UAE billionaires came in 2008), claims:
“I saw Everton’s penalty and I’m surprised. It’s a small offence, especially against the background of these things that City and Chelsea have been accused of. And Villa.
Sanctions against the top two clubs should include relegation as far as I am aware of the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play rules. And with the accusations against these teams, especially City and Chelsea.”
What are they:
– Manchester City are facing decisions by the Independent Financial Commission (the same one that recommended the Premier League strip Everton of 10 points) in 114 different cases. Most of them are about sponsorship deals that break both league and UK rules. These are related companies to the government in Abu Dhabi, which actually owns the club through the company “City Group”. These are serious breaches of Financial Fair Play and, if proven, the club will incur a penalty which – if viewed in relation to Everton’s penalty – should be around 100-120 points.
– Chelsea are under investigation after details of illegal payments under Roman Abramovich worth around £75m were leaked. They are on player transfers – for example Willian (2013) whose agent and club (Anzhi Makhachkala) were paid an “under the table” sum to stop his transfer to Tottenham and him to sign for Chelsea. The same accusation is also made regarding the deal to bring in Samuel Eto’o (2011 from the same Anzhi). These are also very serious offenses and, if proven, the punishment should be far harsher than Everton’s.
– Aston Villa have breached the spending limit twice in a three-year cycle but have not been fined so far. The subject was raised days ago when Everton were sanctioned. And now the Independent Commission is investigating this club as well.
Decisions are expected in the next few months, possibly before the summer of 2024.
“Certainly those clubs are very nervous at the moment after hearing what happened with Everton – sports lawyer Catherine Forshaw told the Guardian. – We already have a precedent and obviously there is nothing to stop further punishments. And a comparison of what Everton was sanctioned for, and what Manchester City and Chelsea are accused of, shows quite clearly what can befall them reciprocally. I fully accept that it is possible that there could be a ban from the Premier League and sending them to the bottom tier of football.”
Nee Attenson, who used to work for the legal department of the English football championship, also has an opinion on the matter.
“I looked carefully at the document announcing Everton’s punishment – of 41 pages,” he says. months that everyone had not only in football, the punishment is as harsh as possible for this offense.
And with City and Chelsea, there is not even that argument. Everything they are accused of as financial violations happened not in the conditions of a pandemic, but in normal ones. Therefore, I expect harsh sanctions.”