LONDON (AP) — Relegation-threatened Burnley and Leeds have asked the English Premier League to form a panel to decide if Everton should be punished for breaching financial rules to fund the squad that has just retained its place in the top-flight.
A joint letter from Burnley and Leeds was sent a week ago asking for the league to have an independent commission rapidly look into Everton’s financial losses, a person familiar with the request told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the contents of the confidential correspondence.
The letter was sent before Everton secured its league survival with a game to spare on Thursday night. Burnley and Leeds are trying to avoid being the third and final team relegated on the final day of the season on Sunday.
The relegation rivals are seeking to know where the league is at in investigating Everton’s losses of 371.8 million pounds ($464 million) over the last three years. The league allows clubs to record losses of only 105 million pounds ($131 million) over three years.
Burnley and Leeds want the independent commission to recommend any disciplinary action against Everton, which could include a points deduction that relegates the club, if the financial rules are breached.
Everton blamed the “dramatic and ongoing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” for its latest losses when publishing its annual financial report in March. It said it had been “working formally with the Premier League regarding its ongoing compliance with profitability & sustainability regulations.”
The Times of London, which first reported on the complaint by Burnley and Leeds, highlighted Everton’s losses were more than three times those at similar-sized clubs during the pandemic period where fans were mostly unable to attend games.
The league declined to comment.
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