By Peter Lynch

20th Nov, 2023 | 8:40pm

Everton sent Premier League relegation warning as statistics emerge, but narrow margins suit Toffees

Everton have been hit with a major blow, with the Toffees dropping to 19th place in the Premier League after their 10-point deduction.

The drop from 14th place to the bottom three comes after the Merseyside outfit were docked 10 points for breaching the league’s profit and sustainability rules [BBC Sport, 17 November].

The Toffees have been going well under manager Sean Dyche, but they are now back to square one after the recent punishment.

Despite similar breaches seemingly taking place at the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, it is the first points deduction handed out by the Premier League this season.

But it is by no means the first in the history of the competition, with Middlesbrough docked three points for their failure to fulfil a fixture against Blackburn during the 1996/97 campaign, while Portsmouth were deducted nine points in 2010 after going into administration.

As per BBC Sport (17 November), neither Boro nor Pompey were able to avoid relegation from the division following those sanctions.

That should serve as a major warning to Dyche and his players, although perhaps Everton will be given some confidence amid their current situation.

And that confidence comes in the form of narrow margins, with the Toffees boasting a better goal difference than not only the two other clubs in the relegation zone, but in the bottom eight clubs of the table.

Everton currently have a goal difference of -3, with Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest on -4. Fulham are on -10, Luton Town are on -12, Bournemouth are on -16, and Sheffield United and Burnley are on -21.

It may not come down to that given how the Toffees are just two points from safety and are now looking strong under Dyche, but fans can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that if it does, the club are in with a good chance of staying up.

In other Everton news, Neville Southall has shared one “good thing” about the club’s points deduction, with a Premier League relegation prediction made.