After Everton were deducted 10 points for financial breaches, Manchester City could be set to receive an even harsher punishment.
Manchester City are at risk of being relegated and having their Premier League titles stripped if found guilty of financial breaches, according to finance expert Dan Plumley.
Everton received a 10-point deduction, the largest penalty in Premier League history, and one that dropped them into the bottom three, for breaches of profit and sustainability rules.
It has also raised many questions over the potential punishment of City, who were charged with 115 financial breaches of the Premier League’s rules back in February. It still remains unclear as to how severe their penalty will be, or if they will be punished at all, should they be found guilty.
Plumley, a football finance expert, believes all punitive measures are “on the table”, with Everton’s harsh deduction a potential benchmark that will be used to judge future penalties.
When asked if City could be stripped of titles or even relegated, Plumley told Stats Perform: “In terms of possibility, the answer is yes. I think there is a possibility of all of those things. But all of those things were on the table before the Everton verdict as well.
“That’s what is in the Premier League’s governance framework, it’s within their remit. They deploy the sanctions and the sanctions range from financial penalties, in terms of fines, to sporting penalties in terms of deductions, or relegation, or stripping of titles.
“All of those things are within the arc of what the Premier League can do. We’re looking for benchmarks, and we’re looking for precedent. I don’t think anything is fully off the table.”
Many have been left questioning why Everton’s case was resolved so quickly, while City’s continues to rumble on with the club seemingly able to indefinitely push their punishment back.
Plumley pointed to the scale and breadth of City’s charges as the reason for the drawn-out investigation, saying: “It’s because of the volume of allegations in that mix and there were a lot of cases to consider.
“The Manchester City case is a total number of 115 allegations that the Premier League have put against them. [They are] obviously linked to a bigger time period, which is why it’s taking so long as well.
“A lot of those are linked to the profit and sustainability regulations, but there are other things that are in the mix as well. And if you contrast that with Everton’s case, it’s a much longer-term list of allegations. It stretches back to the last 10 years of profit and sustainability regulations.
“They are two very different cases. And it will be interesting to see how the Premier League and any independent commission approach the Manchester City case versus the Everton case because the two were not like-for-like in direct comparison.”
Plumley would like to see these financial cases resolved quicker, and highlighted the potential lawsuits heading Everton’s way from recently relegated clubs such as Leeds United and Leicester City as a reason to make that a priority.
“A lot of people and myself included, have always stated that those punishments should be dealt with in real time,” Plumley explained. “And the evidence probably could have been applied a couple of years ago and has dragged a little bit.
“I think moving forward, it’s really important that if we’re going to start to put the sanctions in place, that the real-time aspect of that becomes critical.
“Because that might hurt in the short term, but it can save a lot of chaos in the long term because now you’re in a situation with Everton where you’ve potentially got clubs claiming against them for years gone by.”