By Callum O'Connell

20th Nov, 2023 | 3:10pm

Richard Keys hits out at reaction to 'benchmark' Everton punishment

Richard Keys has told Everton to bite the bullet after they were given an unprecedented 10-point deduction for breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

The beIN Sports presenter has suggested that claims from pundits and fans of the punishment being disproportionate are incorrect and told those complaining to suck it up.

Keys pointed to the fact that there is nothing to compare the punishment to, so claims of it being unfair are farfetched, while fans wouldn’t have complained if their financial breaches had led to success.

Keys wrote via his personal blog and website [20 November]: “I do genuinely feel sorry for their fans. It’s always the fans that are hit the hardest in situations like these.

“But having said I feel for Evertonians – would any of them have been complaining if the gamble to re-join the PL’s elite had paid off? Of course, they wouldn’t. It didn’t – so I’m afraid they’ve got to suck this one up now.

“Look. Ten points sounds harsh. But is it? Some pundits have been screaming that it’s ‘disproportionate’. But is it? No. It’s now the benchmark. There’s never been a case like this one so there’s nothing to judge it against.

“No amount of ‘whataboutery’ will alter the fact that Everton only have themselves to blame for the mess they find themselves in.”

A harsh verdict

Keys’ assessment of the situation is a harsh one, but ultimately what he says is true. Everton only have themselves to blame for the breaches, and the complaints now that they have been punished would have been avoided by simply not breaking the rules.

As the former Sky Sports pundit laid out, a ten-point deduction may sound harsh, but there is no benchmark by which they can compare it, so to suggest it is disproportionate is just an unprovable claim and one that makes no sense.

This decision and punishment is the first of its kind and was decided by a commission completely independent from the Premier League and all of the discussion around it. It will be used to set a precedent for future punishments, and only then will it become comparable.

Keys goes on to later claim he still thinks Everton and Sean Dyche will have enough about them to survive despite the punishment, despite no club ever having survived relegation with four points or less after 12 games.

In other Everton news, Simon Jordan has lashed out at “ridiculous” Farhad Moshiri.