West Ham’s relegation rivals facing potential points deduction as survival battle takes fresh twist

The Hammers could leap frog fellow Premier League strugglers Everton in the table should The Toffees receive a points deduction.

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West Ham could be added a major lifeline in their fight for Premier League survival if fellow relegation candidates Everton are punished for a breach of Premier League Financial Fair Play rules.

The Toffees have been charged with an alleged breach of the rules in relation to spending last season after a 10-month investigation was launched. Last year Burnley and Leeds United wrote to the Premier League raising concerns over Everton after the club recorded losses of £371.8m over the last three years.

Clubs that break Profitability and Sustainability rules can be fined and deducted points for doing so.

Burnley chairman Alan Pace and Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear both sent the letter at a time when those two clubs were fighting relegation from the top flight and threatened legal claims should action not be taken.

The Premier League confirmed in a statement that it had now referred Everton to an independent commission over a break of rules for spending last season.

The statement read: "In accordance with Premier League Rule W.82.1, the Premier League confirms that it has today referred an alleged breach of the League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules by Everton Football Club to a Commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4. The assessment period for which it is alleged that the Club is in breach is the period ending Season 2021/22.

"Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member clubs. The members of the Commission will be appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel, in accordance with Premier League Rules W.19, W.20 and W.26.

"The proceedings before the Commission will, in accordance with Premier League Rule W.82, be confidential and heard in private. Under Premier League Rule W.82.2, the Commission’s final award will be published on the Premier League’s website. The League will be making no further comment until that time."

Everton have been referred to an independent commission over FFP worries (Image: Getty Images) Everton have been referred to an independent commission over FFP worries (Image: Getty Images)
Everton have been referred to an independent commission over FFP worries (Image: Getty Images)

Everton have issued a strong statement contesting the allegations from the Premier League, setting out that it is ‘robustly’ prepared to defend its position.

The club said: “Everton Football Club is disappointed to hear of the Premier League’s decision to refer an allegation of a breach of Profit & Sustainability regulations to an independent commission for review.

“The Club strongly contests the allegation of non-compliance and together with its independent team of experts is entirely confident that it remains compliant with all financial rules and regulations.

“Everton is prepared to robustly defend its position to the commission. The Club has, over several years, provided information to the Premier League in an open and transparent manner and has consciously chosen to act with the utmost good faith at all times.

“The Club will not be making any further comment at this time.”

Any potential point deduction to Everton would of course boost West Ham United's chances of survival.

The Hammers currently sit in 18th place with the Merseyside club just two points ahead of them in 15th place.