Liverpool’s city rivals are facing the threat of relegation, with Everton potentially set for a points deduction by the Premier League this season.
Everton are currently under investigation for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP), with the Premier League referring the club to an independent commission.
Though no details have emerged regarding the situation, the league have confirmed that it relates to the period ending in 2021/22.
On Friday, Everton posted their annual financial accounts for the 2021-22 year, with losses of £44.7 million making it five consecutive years in which the Goodison club has been in the red.
The club did pointedly explain that this was a 63 percent on last year, when they posted losses of £121.3 million, but it is still a sizeable deficit.
Now, the Mail‘s Matt Hughes has reported that, upon consultation with six unnamed Premier League clubs, the investigating into Everton is expected to conclude before the end of the season.
With Everton facing the prospect of a points deduction if they are found to have breached FFP, there would be a strong chance of relegation to the Championship.
Before the weekend’s games, Sean Dyche’s side sat two points off the relegation zone in 15th, having played a game more than Bournemouth in 19th and two more than West Ham in 18th.
The Premier League is said to have “expressed confidence that the matter could be concluded before the season finishes on May 28.”
Six clubs, likely to be rivals for relegation, called for “greater transparency” into the investigation, while the need to expedite the case comes under threat of “multiple legal claims.”
According to the Guardian‘s Andy Hunter, financial auditors had warned in Everton‘s accounts that, if relegated, “a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt over the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Hunter further noted how Everton paid out £10.5 million to Rafa Benitez and his staff upon their decision to sack the former Liverpool manager after just seven months in charge in January of last year.
Elsewhere in the Guardian, analysis into the construction of Everton‘s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock suggests it is “at least three months” behind schedule.
Nevertheless, if Everton were to be relegated, Goodison Park is likely to have held its final Merseyside derby, that being a 1-1 draw between the women’s sides earlier this month.