If Everton find the Premier League is corrupt, what does that mean?




By Tony Attwood

Now I may well have got this wrong, (and if so that will probably come as no surprise to you), but as I began to contemplate the notion propagated by a large number of Everton fans that the Premier League (of which Everton is a member) is “corrupt” I found myself in a bit of a quandary.

For as I understand things, the Premier League of which Everton is a part, is the body that has found Everton guilty of breaking Premier League rules.   So if the Premier League is indeed corrupt, why on earth would some of the other 19 members of the Premier League join together to take on Everton, of all teams?

I mean, I can understand why they would take on Manchester City, because the effect of Manchester City’s current financial model is that they have made it very difficult for any other club to beat Manchester City to the league title and the various cups.

Likewise I can understand the protests about Newcastle United, one of the growing number of clubs owned by Saudi Arabia – a country that employs PGMO men at rather fine salaries to go out that referee some of their matches.  The possibilities for corruption are multiple in this scenario.

Of course this doesn’t mean Manchester City won’t win the league this season, either because everything comes to an end sometime, or because their most influential player now has an injury.  But by and large Manchester City’s financial model means that they are now immune to the vagaries of form.  And if the club does fail to win all three major competitions again, there’s no doubt that under the current interpretation of the financial fair play rules, they can simply go out and buy some more players thus a) enhancing their squad and b) reducing the chances of other clubs enhancing their own.

But to be clear the suggestion in the ongoing enquiry is that it is Manchester City that is corrupt, and that the Premier League is the body fighting the alleged corruption.

Bujt in the Everton case, however, matters are reversed.   The supporters with their mega-sized banners are accusing the Premier League of which Everton FC is a member, of being corrupt.   And maybe they are – but if so why are they targeting Everton?

So let’s start with that point.  That the League itself is corrupt and has now turned on Everton.  Thus the first question then obviously is, why now and why Everton?

Everton have not been in the top four of the Premier League since 2005, and have not won the top division in English football since 1987.   Indeed since then, they have only finished in the top four twice.   So ask again, why, if there is corruption, would any other club bother to focus on Everton?

The only possible answer I can think of is that because Manchester City and Everton have each won the top division in English football nine times Manchester City feel a bit threatened by Everton’s chance of staying ahead of Man City in the issue of the number of league titles won.   But really, that, as an explanation, is so obscure it seems laughable.

So where is the corruption of which the new breed of banners speak?  And why is it there?

Could it be that Everton fans feel that the penalty hovering over them is being threatened, because the other thing Everton have in their record books is that they have been in the top division since 1954/5?   But although that is a long run it seems rather paltry compared with Arsenal having been at the top table since 1919.  And besides do most fans know this?

Of course I do know that Arsenal have constantly been accused of corruption in gaining that election to Football League Division One through a fixed vote of clubs in 1919.   But that story actually emerged many years after Arsenal were elected back into the First Division in that season, and you can read all about it in “Arsenal’s fixed promotion”

That report reveals what really happened and how that allegation was designed to hide the corruption of others; corruption that the League really didn’t want expose.  But that was over 100 years ago.

So what is the corruption that Everton alleges?  Since the banners only carry the allegation and nothing more, I can’t say.  But on the face of it, if the Premier League does consist of a bunch of cliques each trying to do the others down, picking on Everton of all teams would seem unlikely.  

Besides they are members of the north west clique of clubs – a grouping that has won the top league a total of 64 times, compared with London which has 21 titles to its name, 13 for Arsenal, six for Chelsea and two for Tottenham.

So all things considered, I really don’t get this suggestion that the rest of the league is ganging up on poor harmless Everton.   Unless of course there is some sort of allegation concerning the source of the money that Everton are said to be getting.   But even so, surely the bigger issue still is Manchester City, and if there were to be another fight over financial sources after that, would it really be against Everton?  I can’t see it.

The only other explanation that comes to mind over the adoption of these particular banners at Everton is simple paranoia; this suggestion that they are all out to get us.  Maybe that could be so, but really – why would everyone else bother?

If you can work it out, do write in and let us know.   If it is a short explanation send it as a comment.  If it is longer, we can publish it as an article.   Email it to: Tony@schools.co.uk


8 Replies to “If Everton find the Premier League is corrupt, what does that mean?”

  1. The alleged corruption relates to a lack of precedents from which a proportionate penalty could be applied and the fact that the Premier League changed criteria on what was eligible for write of between 21/22 and 22/23 and it was this that led Everton to be 19+ mil over. The issue that the club has is that they had made the Prem aware that they would be non-compliant as a result of the changes and had been working openly and closely with them. The biggest issues surround other parameters that were changed AFTER the fact and which Everton were being held accountable for. The severity of the punishment was a huge surprise for Everton,and they were shocked to receive a sporting sanction for what they maintain and believe to be a disagreement over accountancy interpretations. The decision has also cast a spotlight on to other Premier League investigations and wit will be very interesting to watch how those clubs will be dealt with if they are also deemed to have broken rules.

  2. Whatever the reason, it is working in Everton`s favour right now with some incredible results compared to last season. So much so the 10 points appeal will be enforced which will galvanise the club even more. Pensioners in suits, the Premier League dinosaurs have long passed their prime. From a 70 year old Evertonian who is hanging on in there hoping to last long enough to see the new stadium open……..

  3. I am an Everton fan and read this article with interest. The points made are valid and from the outside you could argue that there is no corruption. I would also point out that Everton over recent years have been run in a deplorable way and the current transgression almost inevitable.
    Reading the judgement made by the PL it is full of inconsistencies and the punishment far larger than any previous. Looking on balance did Everton over step the line, possibly. Did the crime merit the punishment definitely not. The judgment amongst other things said that Everton should have allowed for Russia invading Ukraine???
    The reason the corruption accusation comes up is because of the above (punishment not fitting the crime).
    What cannot be denied is the current set of FFP rules are not fit for purpose and only help to top clubs. The PL are happy to allow “the big clubs” a lot of leeway outside the “big six” rules are different. Corruption may not be the reason but the difference between that and bias is almost invisible.

  4. Think Everton are waiting to see what outcome for Man City before taking on the Premier League. In all honesty, the Premier league is not fit for purpose, and you got one job? And that’s to oversee Football in this country? Honesty, integrity, sportsmanship are traits of a bygone era. FUBAR…

  5. I reckon Everton fans’ point is that the PL have picked on “little” Everton and punished them very heavily for a relatively minor discrepancy in one season when they failed to do anything at all – until recently – about more than a decade of allegedly dubious spending by other clubs with bottomless pockets. To date, Chelsea have only been punished, not by the PL or the FA, but by UEFA and that was a relatively small 10M euros for historic activity, to be paid by the current ownership rather the owner who oversaw and funded that activity. Similarly, only UEFA have punished Man City so far (30m euros) and City are saying they will use their spending power to tie up any PL & UEFA challenges with legal action for years to come, by which time the procedures may be ruled out-of-time AGAIN.
    10 points mean a lot to any club but particularly clubs fighting relegation. 30M euros (whether paid to “good causes” or UEFA’s bank account) means nothing to City’s owners. In other sports, offenders are stripped of titles – eg Lance Armstrong was stripped of 7 consecutive Tour de France titles. It would be fascinating to see the PL take a meaningful look back at previous seasons! But it won’t happen. Just look at the PL’s recent vote on whether multi-national owners can loan players between their clubs without breaching spending limits. The vote failed because it didn’t get a 2/3 majority. So an owner can spend huge amounts on buying marquee players for their club in one territory then loan them to their PL club with no FFP conditions breached. All approved by the PL. The same PL which found it quick and easy to punish Everton.

  6. James

    I think you have a point, that Everton fans may have a point, but as an Arsenal fan who’s seen his club so severely affected by these financial shenanigans I struggle to have too much sympathy.

    We had 2 points deducted for a pitch altercation of a magnitude that has been surpassed many many times without sanction. In truth 2 points for what happened at OT is contextually at least as disproportionate as Everton’s 10 points, especially when United’s involvement was seen as half as bad???

    I don’t recall much sympathy coming our way from anybody, including Everton fans.

    I agree it must be frustrating for them seeing what others have ‘apparently’ got away with, but in truth they are witnessing close hand for themselves just how frustrating the effects those extremes of money and power can be, just like we have witnessed for the last 15 years.

    In effect we were asset striped by those 2 clubs for years, possibly by illegitimate money.

    Yes I agree, it is very frustrating, but we received zero sympathy, and in fact were constantly insulted for not spending like they did.

  7. A 10 point deduction for 1 breach of the rules has established a dangerous precedent for the PL.

    Man. City are facing 115 charges. If all charges are proven, a deduction of 1150 points seems extremely unlikely. Man. City would be playing in a Sunday pub league were that to happen.

    I have a strong suspicion that the Everton deduction will be watered down significantly at some later date in order to maintain the appearance of dealing with Everton whilst giving the PL a lot of “wriggle-room” to ultimately “hit” City with a vastly inadequate and relatively trivial punishment.

  8. seismic

    I agree a 10 point deduction seems a tad high and as you suggest sets a very high bar. But even with that, and in the highly unlikely event that Man City and Chelsea are found guilty, it is highly unlikely to result in such an enormous punishment.

    In that unlikely even it is more than likely they will apply the judicial system of enforcing the sentence of the worst of the ‘offences’, whilst running all the other sentences concurrently. There is no chance that would run all the sentences consecutively.

    In other words, in amongst the gamut of charges they may be found guilty of one worthy of a one tier demotion for example. As such I believe that is all they will receive as every other lesser sentence will run concurrently.

    In conclusion I agree that Everton’s sentence will almost certainly be reduced on appeal, probably to half, or even less, and Man City and Chelsea will at the very worst be fined.

    This of course would infuriate Everton even more, as it will most of us.

    The problem is, if you are not found guilty, which I believe will be the outcome, not because they are innocent but because they are too rich and too powerful to be found guilty, what can you do?

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