Nottingham Forest points deduction: Premier League ruling puts club in EPL table relegation zone

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Nottingham Forest have been given a four-point deduction for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) – a punishment which has sent them third-bottom and lifted Luton Town outside of the relegation zone by a point.

Forest have seven days to appeal against the ruling, which was announced on Monday and is the second punishment of its kind this season after Everton were also sanctioned for breaching the same rules.

Forest admitted the breach but mounted a defence arguing that they turned down a £30 million offer for Brennan Johnson from Brentford before the PSR deadline because he did not want to move and they felt they would receive a higher bid if they waited beyond the cut-off of June 30.

Wales forward Johnson moved to Tottenham for £47.5m in September and an independent panel has not accepted Forest’s defence.

 

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Forest had argued the move would make them more sustainable because all of the fee for Johnson, as an academy product, counted as profit.

Forest lost an average of £3m across 2020 and 2021, £40m in 2022 and £52m in 2023, totalling £95m.

Premier League clubs can lose £105m over a three-year period under the rules but Forest’s limit was £61m because they spent two years of the three applicable years in the Championship.

They would have lost three points for the initial breach and a further three for the size of the breach but the commission made a reduction because of their “early plea” and “co-operation”.

The club said that the lower figure imposed stopped them from making the investment necessary to stay in the Premier League following promotion, which they achieved last season with the help of a spree of signings.

 

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A total of 42 players have joined Forest since they returned to the top flight for the first time since 1998/99, costing around £250m.

The commission’s report says Forest received a bid from Atletico Madrid of 50m euros (£42.7m) for Johnson on June 30, counter-offering with 65m euros (£55.6m) on the same day. No further discussions were held.

Everton were given a points punishment over PSR, initially losing 10 in a deduction which was reduced to six in February on appeal.

Forest were charged alongside Everton in January, hiring sports lawyer Nick de Marco to defend them and saying they were “confident of a speedy and fair resolution” at the time.

A hearing was held on March 7 and 8, with a second for any appeal expected to last between one and three days.

Everton could receive a second punishment over the assessment period ending with their 2022-23 accounts, and Manchester City were also referred to an independent commission in February 2023 over more than 100 alleged rule breaches.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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