Exclusive: Sports finance expert says Man City appeal will run into 2025; why appeals work

Tribal Football
Exclusive: Sports finance expert says Man City appeal will run into 2025; why appeals work
Exclusive: Sports finance expert says Man City appeal will run into 2025; why appeals work
Exclusive: Sports finance expert says Man City appeal will run into 2025; why appeals workAction Plus
While the Premier League season provided plenty of excitement with a riveting title-race it was also a season marred by lesser fortunate stories.

Two clubs received points deduction leading to a lot of uncertainty in the relegation-race. Both Everton and Nottingham Forest appealed their punishment, but both were judged according to rules, says sports finance expert Dan Plumley. 


“Both are very straightforward cases in the regulatory framework. If you look at the numbers, it's clear that both clubs were taking a risk and a gamble against the regulations," Plumley states in an exclusive conversation with Tribalfootball.

Since we are no experts on high finance, Tribalfootball couldn’t help wondering; why did both clubs appeal? Are the rules in fact so complicated that they can be interpreted from various angles?

“It was always going to play out that way for me. Partly because there was never a set of threshold standards that says, if this is the breach, then this is the deduction. If you breach by X million, you're going to get X points.

“They were always likely to appeal because whatever points deduction the Premier League came up with, they were always going to go, well, OK, but what about all these circumstances that you need to take into account? There's a lot of complexity in the regulations, and that's what you're then targeting an appeal at, looking for mitigating circumstances to get a reduction, which is ultimately what we saw with Everton.”


But how did the initial 10-points deduction to Everton get reduced to six? 

“That's kind of an unknown answer in many ways. The Premier League would stack up everything that Everton have done and the breaches that they can see are there. That is attributable to a 10 points deduction, so the Premier League, to which Everton then say, we don't think it should be 10. We want an independent commission to look into this. And then you're into the back and forth, as we saw.

“Without a set of standards from day one that says, if you breach by 10 million, it's two points and thereafter, you are always going to have that kind of negotiation period, because it was the first breach that was charged. It was the first points deduction handed out. And at that point, people are just going to go, well, so what is that based on?”


Did no one foresee this issue coming up when the rules were made?

“With the acceptable threshold being at £105 million over three years, I don't think they expected any club to ever break that. I think it was high in the first instance, because they were allowing promoted clubs to invest to try and compete.

“The bigger clubs were already conforming to UEFA's regulations, which was a much lower threshold, so they were never likely to run that close. They probably thought that it was unlikely that clubs would break that. And it did take 10 years for us to see it. Those regulations have been there since early 2010s and this is the first time we've seen a punishment.”


If clubs like Everton and Forest can survive having points deducted, could it actually be argued that cheating pays off?

“I think that has to be relative to a number of other factors you've also got to factor in that they're outside of  anybody's control. For instance, the points obtained by the relegated clubs this season, as an example, were much lower than in the past. In a different season at a different time, Nottingham Forest may have been relegated with the same points deduction. 

“I think it's less about cheating pays off, but more that, some clubs are taking a huge gamble and are playing high risk with the regulations. And I think Everton and Forest have both played a high-risk strategy”, says Dan Plumley who is wary of assessing what kind of punishment Manchester City could be facing, should a verdict be reached on their 115 charges.

“We will see a verdict, but I don't think it will be a quick verdict. It will likely stretch into the early part of 2025 at least, and I don't know what that verdict will be. Anybody hoping for a quick resolution and trying to predict the outcome is pretty foolish in many ways.

“With the number of allegations, the number of charges, the period that it relates to, it is absolutely anyone's guess at this point how that could play out. But the Premier League are going down that road and there has to be a verdict”, thinks Plumley while stressing a comparison with Everton and Nottingham Forest this season makes no sense.

“People should not be looking to what happened at Forest and Everton as a benchmark for Man City. They're very different cases. The Everton and Forest cases were relatively straightforward as it was around a breach of the acceptable loss. 

“Yes, there was loads of back and forth and even the Everton case took eight months to get a verdict on for what was a relatively straightforward financial breach to some degree. You can see then the multiplier on the Manchester City case and the challenge with getting a quick resolution on that.”



- Dr. Dan Plumley was speaking to Tribalfootball on behalf of Instant Casinos