By George Overhill

20th May, 2022 | 8:10pm

Everton legal threat from Leeds United and Burnley puts Premier League safety back in doubt

The legal threat from Leeds United and Burnley puts the Premier League survival Everton secured this week back in doubt, ESPN reports.

The other two relegation candidates sent a letter last week reserving the right to bring a claim for damages over the Toffees’ financial losses, as reported by The Times on Friday (20 May).

They want an independent commission to review the agreement between the club and the Premier League and determine whether the club’s three-year losses have breached profit and sustainability rules.

According to ESPN, they want the review to happen by the end of June so it can assess matters in relation to the current relegation battle, and “the threat of legal action against the Premier League and Everton could place a question mark over the final relegation place this season”.

Frank Lampard’s side secured top flight survival with a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Thursday night (19 May), but are under suspicion for having potentially gained an “unfair advantage” by breaking financial rules.

The report says: “Sources have told ESPN that the two clubs stipulated to the Premier League that a commission should sit within six weeks of the submission of their joint letter in order to ensure that the matter is resolved before the start of the 2022-23 season in August.”

Uh oh

It seemed like this could potentially be an issue that negatively affected the club down the line but, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Whites and the Clarets aren’t willing to wait around to find out.

On the surface it is easy to see why they are unhappy with the situation, as the quoted number of £378.1million lost over three years far exceeds the permitted £105million mark.

Toffees fans know as well as anyone what the threat of relegation feels like, so it would almost be remiss of the other two sides to let it go without questioning it.

The club have maintained for months now that despite what is a concerning financial situation, which made their own Premier League survival so vital, they are within the rules thanks to write-offs of £170million related to Covid-19, as well as further stadium development and women’s team spending.

Clearly they have convinced the league, which is a good sign, but unless the agreement can be explained to Burnley and Leeds in a way that satisfies them to go no further, the actual legality of the arrangement could be put to the test.

We are some way off the threat of a retrospective points deduction, and the hope on Merseyside will be that the financial calculations are solid.

But less than 24 hours after the looming spectre of life in the Championship and all the bad news that would entail appeared to have been avoided, a concerning potential trap door has been identified in the distance.

In other Everton news, the club are “actively trying to move on” multiple first team players as they look to balance the books after the latest news.

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