If news reports are to be believed then the Premier League has recommended that Everton should be deducted 12 points for breaking FFP rules. On the face of it if you break the rules and that can be confirmed then you have to face a punishment. The heavy fine is open to argument; if a club already have financial problems then why would a governing body or an independent commission in this case hand out multi-million pound fines? That would make the burden even worse surely? Another option would be a transfer embargo that has been handed out to several clubs in Europe recently and in the Premier League we can all recall that happening to Chelsea. Of course in Chelsea's case that was about signing minors and was handled by FIFA but it was still a breach of football rules. Just a year after the ban ended which included an embargo over not one but two windows the Blues still won the Champions League which puts into question how some of the harshest punishments have little effect on the big sides with the big bucks.
So we come to the penalty point system which has been used in Europe's top leagues and in the lower leagues of the English system for many years. As far as the Premier League goes, deducting points is a rare thing. We would have to go back to 2010 for the last time it happened and that was for Portsmouth when they went into administration and were handed a 9 point deduction. But it isn't common and so one could believe that Everton will be furious if they are deducted 12 points which currently would put them on -3 points and 8 points from safety 10 games into the new season. No Premier League club has been charged with FFP rules before and if the points deduction does come into force then that will set a standard. Everton and football fans in general will be looking to see how the FA and an independent commission deal with Manchester City. The champions were charged with not one but 115 counts of breaching the rules over a 9 year period and yet the investigation has been going on for four years and City were charged back in February. Isn't the commission dragging their heels over City but fast tracking Everton's case? Fair is fair and if you break the rules you should be punished. However if Everton are going to be punished 12 points then what about City? Could we be looking at 20, 30 or 40 points? From a gamesmanship point of view would it not be wrong if City were charged this season to receive the penalty points in the current season? That would only give advantage to City's nearest rivals. Should a penalty decision not happen after a season so a team starts the new one with the deduction? Well the FA rules state that any penalty would happen in the current season.
There is a twist to the story which has not been covered by the media but may end up saving Everton having such a huge points deduction. Reports state that the FA have suggested a 12 point deduction and yet when the FA were contacted about this story they said the meeting was private and nothing has been decided. If so, how did this story get out? If it is true will the points total deduction be forced to change? If true, will the person that leaked the story ever be named and sacked? The answers are probably no, no and no but it's something worth thinking about in the context of being fair.
Keeping with Everton there was sad news for the Toffees last week as chairman Bill Kenwright passed away at the age of 78. Kenwright was a rare chairman in that he was a lifelong supporter of the club. It's true that during his time with them the club only won the FA Cup and that was back in 1995. The club has had to endure a barren spell and many protests from the fans and near season ending relegation threats that have infamously been saved at the wire for the last two seasons. Of course there was the 11 year period of David Moyes as manager of the club which for the most part was successful with the club finishing as high as 4th and very unlucky if not from poor officiating from Pierluigi Collina of all people for the club not appearing in the Champions League group stage, at least that led to Collina's resignation. To some fans Kenwright was seen as a dinosaur and that his time had come to leave the board, but he hung on and remained a deep blue for the remainder of his time with them. Kenwright was a fan with passion, and he was a man whose face lit up when he saw young and old Everton fans together, it was with genuine warmth, and the big man will be missed in football.
You have to wonder how long some managers have before the sacking season ramps up? This time last season four managers had lost their jobs and it won't be surprising to find out that Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom is the favourite this season. The Blades have had poor results and a hatful of injuries which of course hasn't helped. They have come close to drawing against both Manchester United and Manchester City but haven't always played so poorly to only have a single point after 10 games. The Blades are on track to have the worst Premier League points in history. That record is held by Derby who in 2008 finished the season with a remarkable 11 points. However Sheffield United are on course to get four if they are lucky. That should improve and needs too and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a managerial change at the club.
Premier League: Next Manager to be sacked: Paul Heckingbottom 1.30, Andoni Iraola 8.00, Erik ten Hag 10.00, Vincent Kompany 10.00, Mauricio Pochettino 21.00