Everton 'so shocked' at points deduction after 2-year wage cap restriction, 'there's been no sporting advantage' - BBC pundit
Everton are “so shocked” to have been hit by a 10-point deduction because “there’s been no sporting advantage”, according to Leon Osman.
The former Toffee told BBC 5 Live on 17 November after the record-breaking punishment was announced that, on the contrary, the club has been operating with a “wage cap in place” over the past two years which has made it “difficult to compete in the Premier League”.
Osman pointed to the fact that overspending on players came years ago and the current financial dispute relates to movement of money in relation to interest on stadium expenditure, meaning the club have not benefited in a footballing sense.
Osman said: “Everton spent a lot of money on signings but that was a number of seasons ago. They haven’t been able to do that in this period.
“The financial issues are over where the money was moved to and from during the interest payments on the stadium, nothing to do with on the pitch.
“Everton haven’t gained a sporting advantage, and Everton as well, for the last two seasons, have been working closely with the Premier League, they’ve had a wage cap in place.
“So Everton have been working over the last few seasons with a sporting rein on already, making it difficult for the club to compete in the Premier League, and I think that’s something that has made the club so shocked with the points deduction [on top].
“They’ve found it difficult in the last couple of years with the wage cap in place, there’s been no sporting advantage.”
Clearly Everton can’t claim to be 100% blameless but a multitude of factors would appear to suggest that there a lot of grey areas involved.
The club’s former relegation rivals are up in arms at the whole situation and seem to have been for months, with key executives at Burnley and Leeds United believed to have kickstarted this entire process.
If their job is to look out for their clubs then perhaps that is understandable, but once the Premier League and especially the independent commission panel took up the investigation it is their job to be even-handed.
Had Everton been plowing through the transfer market in recent windows signing players who fired them to Premier League safety over the past two seasons then it would be one thing.
But when fans have had to sit by and what their club sell star men such as Richarlison and Anthony Gordon, go entirely empty-handed in terms of signings at times when the team badly needed help, and miss out of crucial targets due to restricted spending it is pretty difficult to argue the Toffees have given themselves an unfair advantage.
The management of the club has been chaotic for years, which the fanbase knows all too well, and rules of course need to be enforced if they have been broken.
But when the club worked closely with the Premier League and operated under a wage cap which made their scrapes with danger all the more perilous it is now tough to swallow for Sean Dyche’s side to be punished as if they’ve had it easy.