Everton fight back in rivals’ plot to sue for more than £200m over relegation

Everton have been docked 10 points over a breach of the Premier League’s financial rules (Nick Potts/PA)

Everton will fight any attempt by rival clubs to sue them for in excess of £200 million following their unprecedented 10-point deduction.

The club were still reeling on Saturday after being hit with the biggest sanction in Premier League history for breaching financial rules.

They have already vowed to appeal the punishment, which opened the door for rival clubs to claim compensation, and will oppose any attempt to sue them by the likes of Leeds United, Leicester City and Burnley.

Everton are also expected to fight any attempt to make them pay compensation covering multiple seasons amid an earlier ruling by the chair of the commission, David Phillips KC, that Leeds, Leicester, Southampton, Burnley and Nottingham Forest all had “potential claims”.

The former trio were all relegated last season, while Burnley went down the previous year but only they and Leeds would have stayed up if Everton were docked 10 points in either 2021-22 or 2022-23.

Restricting compensation to cover a single season could therefore pit Leeds and Burnley against each other in a battle for a pay-out of around £100 million − the estimated cost of Premier League relegation.

Leicester would push for last season to be included given they would have finished above Everton if the 10-point deduction had applied then, which would have earned them more than £2 million extra in prize money.

Southampton may have no case after finishing 11 points behind Everton, while Forest ended up above their rivals in the final table.

Any club seeking compensation was given 28 days from Friday to lodge a claim with the same independent commission which found Everton guilty.

The independent commission that ruled Everton breached profit and sustainability (PSR) rules for the three seasons ending 2021-22 said “the inference of a sporting advantage is one that should properly be drawn from the fact of a PSR breach, and that sporting advantage will have been enjoyed for each of the seasons on which the PSR calculation was based” but also said “the club had not carried out ‘a deliberate cynical breach of the PSR to achieve a sporting advantage’”.

Any compensation payments could slash the value of Everton’s proposed £500 million sale to 777 Partners.

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