EPL: Everton Catch a Break, But FFP Tightens Grip on Premier League Finances

Everton's rollercoaster season takes another turn, with their Financial Fair Play points deduction reduced from 10 to 6.

Everton’s rollercoaster season takes another turn, with their Financial Fair Play points deduction reduced from 10 to 6.

While this news offers a reprieve for the Merseyside club, it doesn’t erase the underlying financial concerns that cast a long shadow over the Premier League landscape.

This saga highlights the ever-evolving nature of FFP and its potential to impact clubs’ futures.

Financial Fair Play in a Nutshell: Imagine the Premier League is a household trying to live within its means.

FFP is like a set of spending rules to ensure that clubs don’t overspend on player transfers and wages. The idea is to create a level playing field and prevent clubs from accumulating unsustainable debt.

Everton’s Breach: Everton broke these rules by exceeding their permitted losses, which are assessed over a rolling three-year period.

The Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) allow clubs to make losses up to a certain amount (105 million pounds), but this amount can vary depending on deductible items like investments in infrastructure, youth development, and the women’s team.

The Appeal and the Reduction: Everton’s legal team appealed, arguing the initial punishment was too harsh.

They were partially successful, securing a reduction to six points from ten. While this is a lifeline in their fight against relegation, it doesn’t erase the underlying issue: Everton still breached FFP.

There are concerns that the Premier League is still looking into Everton and another punishment looms.

Another club facing potential charges is Nottingham Forest and Manchester United are also walking a tight rope trying to navigate the FFP stranglehold.

The Accounting Angle: Now, you might be wondering, how exactly do these clubs spend money on players?

It’s all about accounting. When a club buys a player, it’s treated like an investment. The cost is spread out over the length of the player’s contract.

So, if you sell a player for more than you paid for them, you record a profit. But if you sell them for less, it’s a loss.

Homegrown Advantage: Here’s a crucial detail. When a club sells a player that they developed through their academy (a homegrown player), there’s no initial “cost” on the books.

So, any money they receive from the sale is pure profit. This makes homegrown players even more valuable in the FFP landscape.

What’s Next? While Everton got a reprieve, the future remains uncertain. The club still faces sanctions and needs to address its financial situation.

As for Nottingham Forest’s case and the overall effectiveness of FFP, only time will tell.

But one thing’s for sure, the financial side of football is becoming increasingly complex, and these sagas are only going to become more frequent if clubs fail to comply with the FFP rules.

Written by Nigel Naicker