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10 points gone, what next for Everton?

It's not exactly breaking news that earlier this week Everton learnt their heavy punishment for a breach of Premier League financial fair play rules (FFP), which was a ten-point deduction from their Premier League tally. This deduction takes Everton from 14 points to 4 and lands them in the bottom three.

Everton were punished for a breach of the Profitability and Sustainability rules, being £19.5 million over the allowed amount – which is largely revealed to be down to interest in Everton’s new stadium which is currently under construction.

There is no doubt that Everton have spent poorly in the past on players, with the issue mainly coming from offloading and making profit. Spending high and recouping very little. Everton contacted the Premier League when they knew that they were moving dangerously close to trouble.

In the last couple of seasons Everton's expenditure has been lowered significantly, being in the bottom three for net spend in the last four years. With the Premier League breathing down the clubs’ neck, it has led to the club having to sell some of their most important players, recently i.e., Lucas Digne and Richarlison to Aston Villa and Tottenham, respectively.

There have been reports that some of the clubs who were relegated in the last couple of seasons are looking to sue Everton for £300 million. Leicester, Leeds and Burnley seem to be at the forefront of the legal action if it does take place.

Everton have tried to balance the books but were brought under investigation for the breach in March of this year. Now, for just £19.5 million, Everton have been dealt the heaviest points blow in the history of the Premier League.

Since the news broke last Friday, it has been the main talking point of English football. Everton responded with interim CEO Colin Chong proclaiming the sanction is unjust and disproportionate and not a fair reflection of the evidence and confirming the club will appeal the charge.

The response of the Everton fans is of understandable anger and shock, feeling the charge is wholly unjust. The Toffees’ next fixture against Manchester United at Goodison Park has planned protests against the league in place, with an Everton fan page raising more than £30,000 for banners to help fuel the protest.

The only player to speak out so far is striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who spoke on behalf of the players saying, ‘given the circumstances, I’ve seen a lot of unity and togetherness.’

Everton has seen support from those in the media also as Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher feels the punishment is excessive for the £19.5 million figure. Gary Neville has criticised the Premier League labelling the league as a ‘defunct organisation.’

The overwhelming feeling from the media is that the club has been hard done by, as 10 points does feel disproportionate to the actual offence. This leads many fans to ask about Manchester City and Chelsea’s alleged offences going under the radar. Manchester City are currently under investigation for 115 charges of FFP. Chelsea are alleged to breached rules of offshore payments in the era of Roman Abramovich.

Everton fans, players and staff will be feeling that siege mentality and hopefully that can galvanise the group to leave everything on the pitch. Despite the deduction, Everton are only two points from safety and have a Carabao Cup quarter–final against Fulham to look forward to.

The atmosphere on Sunday is expected to be hostile, fiery and rocking with resentment like nothing seen at Goodison for a long time. The fans will be winning every tackle with the players on the pitch, while protesting the charge off it. A dogs-of-war-like mentality will be back in full effect.

A club which has a rich history in the English game, will not just take the charge lying down. Everton have another battle on their hands, but they have proven to come through adversities in recent years – this is just another.

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