Richard Masters set for awkward Everton meeting as Premier League CEO avoids Man City

Premier League chief Richard Masters
Premier League chief Richard Masters -Credit:(Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Richard Masters is due to attend Everton’s final game of the season at Arsenal.

The Premier League chief executive will be in attendance with the hosts needing to better Manchester City’s result if they are to snatch the title.

Masters’ expected presence means he would avoid the prospect of being involved in the trophy presentation at the Etihad should City win a fourth consecutive title, a success that would be achieved while the club remains the subject of 115 charges lodged by the Premier League. It also means Masters will end the campaign watching the team that has led to him becoming the subject of intense scrutiny from supporters and politicians during a season mired in controversy.

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Everton were the first club to be punished under Premier League profit and sustainability regulations this season, the Blues initially receiving an unprecedented 10 point deduction as a result. That was reduced on appeal but followed by a further two point punishment for a second breach. The Premier League’s handling of those cases, and Masters’ own involvement in the procedures, has led to severe criticism from high profile politicians including regional mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram, as well as supporters.

The treatment of Everton has been set against the backdrop of a push for independent regulation in the English game, a battle the Premier League looks set to lose.

Masters has also been at the forefront of Everton’s takeover situation, 777 Partners’ bid now in its eighth month of attempting to win the Premier League’s sign-off. That deal looks increasingly likely to collapse due to concerns over the suitability of 777 Partners. Masters was asked in Parliament on Tuesday why the Premier League had not already rejected the bid. He said: “The Premier League’s role in this, as regulator, is to perform the test. It is not to decide who the current owner wants to sell his club to. That is his decision. At the moment, he wants to continue to have discussions with 777 about it.

"The Premier League has made very clear the conditions that have to be met by 777 if it wishes to become the owner of Everton. At the moment, because the takeover hasn’t been confirmed, I will leave it to the committee to make its own conclusions for where we are with that.”

Masters, whose expected attendance in north London on Sunday was first reported by The Athletic, will at least avoid bumping into Everton within days of the club having faced another battle with the Premier League. The club was due to have its appeal against the second of its deductions heard this week until it withdrew its objections last Friday.