HomePremier LeagueNottingham Forest: Points deduction 'harms trust and confidence' in Premier League

Nottingham Forest: Points deduction ‘harms trust and confidence’ in Premier League

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Nottingham Forest have hit out at the Premier League after receiving a four-point deduction for breaching Profit and Sustainability Rules, saying the ruling has dented the club’s trust in the league.

In January, Forest joined Everton in being charged with an alleged breach of the Premier League’s financial rules during a four-year assessment period culminating in the end of the 2022-23 season.

Everton have already been deducted six points for breaching the rules during the period ending in 2021-22, and they are still awaiting the result of their second hearing.

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Forest’s hearing took place between March 7 and 8, and their punishment was made public on Monday, with an immediate four-point deduction being handed down by an independent commission.

That penalty plunged Forest below Luton Town and into the relegation zone, putting them one point adrift of safety with nine games remaining in 2023-24.

The club are now reportedly weighing up an appeal, having responded angrily to the penalty via a statement.

That 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.

“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.”

Having spent two thirds of the assessment period in the Championship, Forest were allowed to record a total loss of £61million but were found to have exceeded that limit by £34.5m.

The club built their case around the £45m sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham, arguing they could have avoided breaching by selling him for a smaller fee earlier in the transfer window, as opposed to completing the deal after the reporting deadline had passed in September.

“The club maintains that it responsibly balanced compliance with PSR with important investment into the squad to give us the ability to compete in the league for the first time in over 20 years,” the statement continued.

“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 commission’s decision raises issues of concern for all aspirant clubs.

“The rationale of the commission is that clubs should only invest after they have realised a profit. This reasoning destroys mobility in the pyramid and the effect of the decision will be to drastically reduce the room for manoeuvre for all clubs, leading to the stagnation of our national game.

“We believe that the high levels of cooperation the club has shown during this process, which are confirmed in the commission’s decision, were not reciprocated by the Premier League.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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