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Friday, April 19, 2024

Nottingham Forest hit with points deduction to move into relegation zone after financial rules breach

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Nottingham Forest have been handed a four-point deduction after breaching the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

The club were referred to an independent commission in January after reporting losses exceeding the permitted amount in the three seasons up to and including the 2022-23 campaign.

The deduction drops Nuno Espirito Santo’s side down into the relegation zone of England’s top flight, with Luton climbing a place to 17th.

A Forest statement read: “Nottingham Forest is extremely disappointed with the decision of the commission to impose a sanction on the club of four points, to be applied with immediate effect. We were extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions before the commission.

“After months of engagement with the Premier League, and exceptional cooperation throughout, this was unexpected and has harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League. That the Premier League sought a sanction of eight points as a starting point was utterly disproportionate when compared to the nine points that their own rules prescribe for insolvency.

“We were also surprised that the Premier League gave no consideration at all to the unique circumstances of the club and its mitigation. In circumstances where this approach is followed by future PSR commissions, it would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for newly promoted clubs without parachute payments to compete, thus undermining the integrity and competitiveness of the Premier League.

“Even after the club had missed the PSR reporting deadline, it still took steps to ensure Brennan Johnson was sold before the end of the transfer window. That was a clear demonstration of our respect and support for PSR.”

The sanction follows a similar penalty against Everton earlier in the season, with an initial 10-point deduction reduced to six on appeal.

If Forest appeal, their case must be heard and concluded by 15 April.

All Premier League clubs are monitored for their adherence to PSR, with each side allowed to lose a maximum of £105m over three seasons after certain deductible costs are taken into account.

The City Ground club fall some way below this but are subject to different limits, having spent two of the three seasons in question in the Championship before their promotion back into the top flight.

Forest, who are owned by Greek media mogul Evangelos Marinakis, subsequently spent significantly in an effort to sustain their Premier League status, successfully staying up last season.

The Premier League has attempted to speed up sanctions for breaches of PSR to allow sanctions like points deductions to be levied in the same season as the charge is brought.

Nottingham Forest, managed by Nuno Espirito Santo, could appeal the decision

(PA Wire)

Everton could yet face another sanction after being charged alongside their East Midlands rivals in January, while Manchester City were hit with 115 charges in February 2023 in a case that is likely to take much longer to conclude.

This is the first time that two Premier League clubs have been docked points in the same season.

Forest conceded a late equaliser against relegation rivals Luton at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

“Let’s wait and see with the decision,” Nuno said after the 1-1 draw. “Whatever happens, we keep on going and fighting. Nine games to go, we have nine finals.”

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