Manchester City and Chelsea are at risk of being relegated from the Premier League after Everton’s 10-point deduction set a powerful precedent, according to a former financial advisor to the champions.
Everton were deducted 10 points for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules, which plunges the Toffees into 19th in the table, but the club plans to launch an appeal.
City faces 115 alleged breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules and Chelsea could face scrutiny over alleged payments connected to former owner Roman Abramovich.
Stefan Borson, a lawyer who has advised City, tweeted after Everton’s news broke on Friday: ‘Without seeing the judgement/award -10 points for Everton feels harsh for a straightforward FFP [Financial Fair Play] breach to me.
‘But reinforces that sanctions against City [if proven] and now Chelsea [if charged and admitted on the off-books payments] will be potentially relegation inducing.’
Borson added: ‘One thing is for sure, given the scale of this sporting sanction, Chelsea’s calculus [in my opinion] that they could breach PL P&S [Profit and Sustainability] and just take a fine as a cost of doing business, must be in urgent and immediate reconsideration.
‘The January window may be interesting. Even in the best case, they can no longer rely on being able to convince an Independent Commission to accept their Covid and Sanctions allowances as exceptional adjustments [to the extent that was the plan].’
Back in February after City were charged with 115 breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules regarding sponsors and contracts across a nine-year time span, Borson spoke of relegation being a potential sanction if they were found guilty.
He tweeted then: ‘Alarmist or not, the sheer extent of the PL charges are at a level that IF found proven, must lead to relegation.’
Reports earlier this week said Chelsea are set to face Premier League scrutiny over a series of payments connected to former owner Abramovich.
The Guardian has claimed that Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owned the club for 19 years until he was sanctioned by the British Government last year, used offshore companies to make payments for the club.
The Premier League is already investigating the Blues after their new owners became aware of ‘potentially incomplete financial reporting’ linked to Abramovich’s era while completing due diligence as part of the takeover.
The League has not commented on the allegations but it is likely it will look closely at the information reported.
A Chelsea spokesperson said: ‘These allegations pre-date the club’s current ownership. They are based on documents which the club has not been shown and do not relate to any individual who is presently at the club.’