The Premier League has introduced new rules to ensure cases relating to financial discipline are fast-tracked to provide “clarity” around potential sanctions or points deductions.
In new rules in its handbook, the Premier League states that the process — including an appeal — for any club charged with a standard financial rule breach must be completed within 12 weeks.
The change to a specific timeframe is to ensure that any points deductions apply to the season in which the rule breach takes place.
The new rules mean that clubs which this season break the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules – which permit losses of up to £105million over a three-year period – will have the sanction imposed before the end of the current campaign.
Only the “most exceptional cases” will not be covered by the new deadline, including Manchester City’s alleged multiple breaches over a nine-season period. City, who say they have “irrefutable evidence” to support their position, have been referred to an independent commission, but given the Premier League’s investigation into the club took more than four years, it is unlikely the independent panel will come to a conclusion in the near future.
Everton FFP allegation explained: Will club face points deduction, and when?
Last season, The Premier League referred Everton to an independent commission over an alleged breach of financial fair play rules relating to the 2021-22 season. That followed an official complaint made during that campaign by then-Premier League rivals Leeds United and Burnley. Everton said at the time that they “strongly contested the allegation of non-compliance.”
In the Premier League’s 2023-24 handbook, the rules state: “These standard directions have been agreed by clubs to ensure that any complaint regarding a breach of the Profitability and Sustainability Rules can be resolved, including any appeal, as expeditiously as possible and, absent exceptional circumstances, prior to June 1 following the submission of the relevant club’s annual accounts.
“The League and clubs recognise and agree that, given the possibility of the imposition of a sporting sanction in the form of a points deduction on any club found to be in breach of rules E.47 to E.52 and the desirability (so as to protect the interests of other clubs) of any such points deduction taking effect in the season in which the relevant club’s annual accounts are submitted, it is important that clarity is reached regarding any such sanction prior to the subsequent Annual General Meeting.
“This provides certainty for the league, its member clubs and other stakeholders as to the membership of the league in the subsequent season.”
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