Everton sanctioned: which Premier League teams have previously had points deducted?
The Toffees have been docked 10 points with immediate effect for breaking the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.
The Premier League’s ruling to dock Everton 10 points has come just as The Toffees appeared to have got their act together. After starting the season with three successive league defeats and five matches without a win, Sean Dyche’s side had moved out of trouble and towards mid-table after taking 10 points from the last 15 available.
The English top flight’s decision to deduct those points has, however, sent them spiralling back down the standings and they now find themselves back where they were a couple of months ago, in penultimate spot, although they are only two points from safety.
A statement revealed the club was “both shocked and disappointed” to have been found guilty of breaking the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, calling the punishment “wholly disproportionate and unjust”.
The competition has come down hard on Everton after they posted financial losses for a fifth consecutive year, with the decision leading to much speculation about a potential sanction for Manchester City, who were charged with 115 rule breaches in February. The Toffees even made reference to the champions’ case in their statement, saying “the club will also monitor with great interest the decisions made in any other cases concerning the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.”
Which teams have had Premier League points deductions?
Look away now, Everton fans. The Merseysiders are the third club in the Premier League era to be hit with a points deduction, with both prior victims suffering relegation at the end of the season.
Middlesbrough fail to fulfil fixture
Middlesbrough were hit with a three-point penalty in 1996-97 for “failing to fulfil a fixture”. In the run-up to their December 1996 match away to Blackburn Rovers, the club board decided to call off the game because 23 players were reportedly either ill or injured, without receiving the full approval of the Premier League. As a result, Boro finished 19th rather than 14th and somehow went down despite having Champions League winner Fabrizio Ravanelli and Brazil international Juninho on their roster.
Portsmouth go into administration
In 2009-10, 2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth went into administration as they were unable to pay off their outstanding debts. They became the first club to do so while being a member of the Premier League and were docked nine points in February, eventually having their relegation sealed in April. Pompey ultimately finished bottom of the standings, 16 points from safety, and have not been back in the English top division since. They even dropped as four down as League Two, the fourth tier, between 2013 and 2017.
Manchester United and Arsenal punished for Old Trafford brawl
Others have had points taken off before the foundation of the Premier League in 1992, with a high-profile brawl between Manchester United and Arsenal players at Old Trafford in October 1990 seeing The Red Devils docked one point and The Gunners two. Going (much) further back, Sunderland were the first English club ever to be deducted points (two) for fielding an unregistered player in 1890-91, a season in which, ironically, Everton were league champions.