Multiple MPs sign Parliamentary motion to suspend 'grossly unjust' Everton points deduction as 'extraordinary' arguments ignored
An early day motion from MP Ian Byrne calling for the suspension of the “grossly unjust” points deduction imposed on Everton has already received the support of seven other members of Parliament.
Byrne, the member for West Derby, tabled the motion on 20 November in response to the record-breaking top flight punishment announced three days earlier of a 10-point deduction for a single breach of profit and sustainability rules which has dropped the Toffees to 19th in the Premier League.
Seven other Labour MPs have now signed on to support the motion which claims the club’s “extraordinary mitigating circumstances” were “improperly dismissed” by the independent commission last month, and that the Premier League “can no longer fairly govern top-flight football without independent scrutiny and legislation”.
In his motion Byrne therefore reiterates the need for an independent regulator, plans for which were put forward in the King’s Speech earlier this month [BBC, 7 November] and requests “the suspension of all proceedings and sanctions made by the Commission until the Regulator makes its own determinations”.
The MPs to have sponsored the EDM are Kim Johnson (Liverpool, Riverside), Mick Whitley (Birkenhead), Paula Barker (Liverpool, Wavertree), Peter Dowd (Bootle), and John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington), while Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) and Charlotte Nichols (Warrington North) have also signed their support.
All too often it seems that Everton as a club, and the Evertonians as a fanbase, are dragged through endless misfortune without being spoken up for sufficiently, outside of a few key sources.
It appears to have taken the club to be hit by an unexpectedly harsh punishment for the wider support to arrive, albeit when it may already be too late.
An early day motion isn’t even guaranteed to be debated in the House of Commons and is a mechanism to draw greater attention to key issues, but it has already drawn the support of a number of other local MPs and the likes of former Labour deputy leader McDonnell.
Whether this move, as with the interventions of Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram who has written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, will have the desired effect is difficult to say at this point, with the entire situation virtually unprecedented in the Premier League.
And when it has been widely suggested that Everton are feeling the full force of the authorities specifically because they want to fend off an independent regulator, it is impossible to say what reaction the renewed threat of one might bring about.
By the time of the hearing Everton were no longer disputing they had breached spending limits, but while the club and many outside observers believe there is a strong argument to explain why, and no sporting advantage, the commission felt the exact opposite.
The ruling has clearly stirred up strong feeling among pundits, journalists and politicians, but with the appeal on the way there is still the risk that the situation might get worse.