The panel, according to a 41-page written judgment, agreed with the Premier League’s assessment that Everton had breached the allowed amount of losses by £19.5 million (almost $25 million).
The scale of Everton’s penalty raises the prospect of a far larger punishment that could await the league’s dominant team, Manchester City. The club has been charged with 115 rule breaches related to its financial declarations. That case, now in its fifth year, has yet to reach a conclusion; it is being heard by a similar panel to the one that decided the Everton case.
While the points loss severely increases the chances of Everton’s suffering a costly demotion to the second tier for the first time in its history, the low point totals obtained so far by some of its relegation rivals may yet allow it to escape. Even with its 10-point penalty, Everton is only 2 points behind Luton Town, the team occupying 17th place — the final position offering safety, and a place in the league, for next season.
A spokesman for 777 Partners said the company had no comment on the punishment or any effect it would have on its proposed acquisition, because that process remains ongoing. Its proposed deal contains contingencies for points deductions and even a possible relegation.
Part of the reason Everton’s punishment was as harsh as it was, the panel said, was related to a claim, upheld by the panel, that the team had failed to engage with the league in good faith, a claim the team continues to reject.
“Both the harshness and severity of the sanction imposed by the Commission are neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection of the evidence submitted,” Everton said.