Everton must be ready for risk of more punishment, warns Sean Dyche

<span>Photograph: Ben Whitley/PA</span>
Photograph: Ben Whitley/PA

Sean Dyche has said Everton must be “ready for what comes next” after it emerged the club will be punished again this season if found guilty of another breach of Premier League profit and sustainability rules.

Everton were recently deducted 10 points by an independent commission, the biggest sporting sanction in Premier League history, for exceeding permitted losses of £105m over a three-year period by £19.5m in 2021-22.

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Under regulations introduced before this season, all Premier League clubs must submit annual accounts before 31 December (instead of March) and the process for dealing with a standard breach will be fast-tracked in order to be resolved by the end of that season. The timeframe includes any appeal.

Everton posted losses of £120.9m in 2020-21 and £44.7m for 2021-22, a total of £165.6m for the last two years of published accounts. Everton’s accounts for 2022-23 will be submitted in the next month and another year of heavy losses could put the club at risk of a second points deduction this season. Add-backs, such as losses incurred as a result of building a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, can be used to reduce the sum in respect of profit and sustainability rules, although the commission rejected some of Everton’s arguments in that regard during October’s hearing.

Dyche, whose team dropped from 14th to 19th as a consequence of the points penalty, said of the latest threat: “I have not been told anything other than what we have heard so far. We were stunned, football was stunned, with the outcome of 10 points. Who knows what comes next? Not just for ourselves but for many others, I would imagine, because the way it is sounding from the noise out there it will not just be about us. There will be others looked at possibly over time.

“We just have to be ready for what comes next as best we can. You cannot go off ifs, buts and maybes … the biggest thing for me is that it doesn’t change the fact of the matter. When I got here we had to win more games. That doesn’t change regardless of all the noise and the ups and downs.”

Everton sold Anthony Gordon and Moise Kean during the 2022-23 financial year and Dyche claims he has been dealing with austerity measures since taking over in January, with the club striving to reduce their losses under the owner, Farhad Moshiri.

“It’s difficult,” Dyche said. “It was beginning to look quite clear [this summer] that we do not have lots of money. There were contracts coming out that we had to make decisions on while building the format of a club that can bring players through and forwards.

“We were trying to balance the squad, which was imbalanced with so many centre-halves and so many centre midfielders; trying to tally it up with a wage bill that needed reducing and the financial side of the club that needed reducing – as in fees; trying to tally it with fees we are not going to pay now for obvious reasons [the first instalment on the fees for the strikers Beto and Youssef Chermiti are not payable until next year]. Doing all that in a window is very difficult.

“But I like to think that if you are given something to manage, so long as I know what it is, I will manage it. It is when it goes [from one extreme to another] that it gets really tricky. At least I knew this was going to be the next period of Everton Football Club. This is where it is at.”