Premier League PSR rules: This latest disaster is surely a turning point

The Premier League saga with PSR restrictions and punishments has taken another turn.

The entire system, and indeed the entire ideology that underpins it, is surely now in real danger of bringing the game into disrepute.

As I understand it, the PSR (Profit and Sustainability Rules) are supposedly in place to do two things.

Firstly, to prevent a Premier League club from having an advantage over the rest because its owners invest excessive amounts of cash in their club, above the income generated by the club itself.

Secondly, to prevent Premier League clubs from entering into financial difficulties by committing to spend too much, beyond the income the club can generate itself.

I think it’s fair to say that most football fans now see that the Premier League’s PSR rules were implemented for that first reason, much more than any supposed concern about clubs getting into financial trouble.

If you don’t believe me, what about these two Premier League clubs and their situations, despite the PSR restrictions and whatever other rules exist at the moment?

manchester united

In total, Man U owes more than £1 billion.

This current total debt is made up of loans, overdrafts and outstanding fees of the signed players.

Chelsea

In just a couple of years, the new owners have already committed £1bn of club spending to sign new players.

Many of these new signings were given ridiculously long (and lucrative) contracts, the length of the contracts to help try to ensure that the club did not break the PSR restrictions.

No doubt many of you will say, well yes, they have committed themselves to this expense, these debts, but clubs and owners like these can afford it, the clubs will not end up in long-term financial difficulties.

Hmm.

Well, doesn’t that make the reasoning behind the PSR rules a bit irrelevant, if in fact the goal is to protect all clubs from spending too much money that could potentially get a club into future financial trouble?

Which brings me to Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Everton.

I understand that the owners of Man U and Chelsea would say that they can prove that their massive expenses and debt accumulation can be covered by them.

I understand that the owners of Forest and Leicester would say the same thing, that the money spent and debts accrued by the club, its wealthy owners could guarantee would be covered anyway. I wouldn’t be so sure about these pranksters who now control Everton, or at least try to have it. However, when money was spent and/or debts accrued that got Everton into trouble with the restrictions of the Premier League’s PSR, the Usmanov-backed Moshiri ownership that was in place, I’m sure they would have said the same thing . That they can personally guarantee longer-term expenses and/or debts.

Latest news and position with the Premier League and PSR punishments

For the three seasons up to and including the 2021/22 season:

Everton have been found guilty of breaching PSR restrictions and punished with a six-point deduction, with half a dozen points taken off their 2023/24 season total.

For the three seasons up to and including the 2022/23 season:

Nottingham Forest were found guilty of breaching PSR restrictions and punished with a four-point deduction, with those four points removed from their 2023/24 season total.

Everton have been accused of violating PSR restrictions and are awaiting the PL commission’s verdict. If you are punished with a points deduction, those points will also be removed from your 2023/24 season total.

On Thursday night it was revealed that now Championship club Leicester City have been accused of violating PSR restrictions and are also awaiting the PL commission’s verdict. It remains to be seen how exactly the punishment will be meted out to them, if they are found guilty.

If we go back to the beginning of what I was saying about the supposed reasoning for the implementation of the Premier League PSR rules, one of those two supposed reasons I said was: “Firstly, to prevent a Premier League club from having an advantage on the rest because their owners invest excessive amounts of cash in their club, above the income generated by the club itself.

So, it is claimed that all three Leicester, Everton and Forest tried to gain an unfair advantage in that 2022/23 Premier League season and Forest have already been punished for that and now Everton and Leicester are awaiting their verdicts and punishments.

So, to me, this is the crux of the matter when it comes to imposing punishments. This is what the final 2022/23 Premier League table looked like:

As you can see, the three clubs accused of breaking PSR rules in the three-year period ending in that 2022/23 season finished in 16th, 17th and 18th place, just four points separating them.

Now, surely if what we’re talking about is these clubs trying to get an unfair advantage in the 2022/23 Premier League season by spending more money than they should have, then surely that same 2022/23 season is when must impose some punishment. below, deducting the points corresponding to each of them.

Some people may say it would be impossible to do it that quickly but why not? Tell all the clubs that their accounting period must be, say, the end of May and then the Premier League must have the resources to check all the clubs’ finances. In reality, of course, clubs could easily have all that information virtually finalized before the final stages of a season. Surely they would know if they were close to breaking a three-year period of financial limits.

How is it fair and reasonable for all clubs that, for breaking the rules in certain seasons, the punishment, the deduction of points, is applied to a different season? What if we say that in that 2022/23 Premier League season you had a club that complied with all the rules and let’s say they were only relegated on goal difference, having finished with the same points as Leicester, Everton and Forest? Then they see a year later that all three of those clubs are found guilty of breaking the rules and gaining an unfair advantage and they all have points deducted BUT for another season?

In fact, if the six points already deducted from Everton this season had been deducted in the 2021/22 season when they were deemed to have breached PSR rules, then Everton would have been relegated and not Burnley, as they only There had been four points between both clubs at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Conclusion

This whole thing is a disaster.

The Premier League and the PSR, formerly known as FFP, will apparently soon become squad cost ratio rules.

All of this is nonsense.

Whatever the rules, clubs like Man U and Chelsea can operate as described above, with debts of £1 billion and/or able to spend £1 billion or more on players in just a couple of years, but able to stay within the rules for the rest of the year. The Premier League has its place.

Now we are seeing that these other clubs are also punished, with points deducted but the punishment and the points deducted affect another season. Also, of course, the fact is that these clubs that are now being punished were just trying to spend the money to close the gap with the usual suspects who have all the power and financial strength and trying to make the playing field more level. with those self-proclaimed “elite” clubs.

So don’t even get me started on the Premier League’s Big Six and their attempt to ruin English football, as outlined in The Mag this week, when it was revealed that Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Man City were trying to secretly created a European Super League that would make the Champions League redundant and domestic leagues virtually useless. Their “punishment” when they were discovered was that the Premier League forced them to pay a fine equivalent to less than a week’s wages for each of the six disgraced clubs.

Justice?

To borrow from George Orwell, all animals are equal BUT some are more equal than others.


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