Burnley & Leeds United Set For Legal Action Against League & Everton
Burnley Football Club and Leeds United are threatening to take legal action against the Premier League and Everton Football Club over the handling of the Merseyside club’s finances. Both clubs wrote to the Premier League last week regarding Everton’s most recent accounts which showed losses of £120.9m for the 2020-21 season. The Toffee’s have posted losses of £372m over the past three years, however the Premier League profitability and sustainability rules allow for losses of £105m over a three-year period.
Everton Football Club say that Covid-19 losses over the past two seasons amount to £170m which can be deducted from their total. However, that figure has caused surprise among some Premier League Clubs because it dwarfs clubs of a similar size. Earlier this week Newcastle United posted Covid-19 losses of £40m over the past two seasons, whilst Aston Villa said theirs amounted to £56m. Everton who have been involved in a relegation battle with Leeds United and Burnley, secured their Premier League status with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. But they are confident they are compliant with Premier League rules and have been “working formally” with the league.
Burnley and Leeds United want an independent commission to assess Everton’s finances urgently. It is understood they are viewing the matter as one of sporting integrity given that the Toffees spent more money in the last transfer window by signing Dele Alli, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson in deals worth an initial £35m, rising to as much as £70m. When releasing their accounts in March, Everton said their actual losses were about £170m over three years because Covid losses can be written off, with the figure calculated as an average over the last two seasons. They said other costs, which can also be deducted, include spending on their new Bramley Moore Dock Stadium and on the club’s academy and the women’s team, bringing their finances into line.
Everton said in March they remain in a “secure financial position” after further support from their owner Farhad Moshiri, who has put more than £600m into the club since he first bought shares in the club in 2016. But they have suspended sponsorship deals with companies owned or part-owned by Alisher Usmanov, after the Russian billionaire was sanctioned by the UK government and European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Usmanov is a close business associate of Moshiri and also paid Everton £30m for an option on the naming rights of their as yet unbuilt stadium, which opens in 2024.