NOTTINGHAM FOREST GIVEN FOUR

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NOTTINGHAM FOREST GIVEN FOUR-POINT DEDUCTION FOR FINANCIAL RULES BREACH Forest breached permitted losses of £61m by £34.5m.

Nottingham Forest said they were “extremely disappointed” by a four-point deduction that plunged them into the Premier League relegation zone, despite receiving a lesser punishment than Everton for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) because they admitted guilt early and fully cooperated with the independent commission.

Everton were given a 10-point deduction, reduced to six on appeal, for a £19.5m overspend, whereas Forest breached permitted losses of £61m by £34.5m. The commission believed Forest was worthy of the same punishment but said a potential six-point loss was reduced to four owing to the club’s “early plea and the cooperation together”. The Premier League had argued for an eight-point deduction.

Forest was left infuriated by the decision and process. They claimed spending restrictions on promoted clubs, whose permitted losses are reduced by £22m for each season across the three-year accounting period they spend in the EFL, undermined the league’s “integrity and competitiveness”. They have dropped to 18th, one point behind Luton, and are considering whether to appeal.

The commission rejected much of Forest’s mitigating evidence. 

One of the club’s key arguments related to the sale of Brennan Johnson. The forward was a key asset because, as an academy graduate, all money earned from his sale would count as profit. 

The club knew they would need to sell a player to comply with PSR by 30 June and described their failure to do so as a “near miss”. They received an offer for Johnson of €50m (£42.9m) on that date from Atlético Madrid but demanded €65m (£55.8m). 

Three offers were received from Brentford between early July and late August but all were rejected, before Johnson was sold on 1 September to Tottenham for £47.5m.

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