Premier League farce as relegation battle could be decided AFTER season ends

The Premier League faces being thrown into farce as, with Everton appealing their latest points deduction, relegation could be decided after the season ends.

Forget Liverpool’s title-winning 2019/20 campaign, this could be the Premier League‘s real ‘asterisk season’.

Under the Premier League‘s profit and sustainability rules (PSR), both Everton and Nottingham Forest have faced points deductions which could have a major impact on their final position.

Everton were docked 10 points for financial breaches earlier in the campaign, with an appeal reducing that to six, while Forest have appealed a four-point sanction.

Liverpool’s city rivals were charged for a second breach of PSR alongside Forest in January, and on Monday confirmed their intention to appeal.

However, that poses a risk of the Premier League‘s relegation battle being decided off the pitch – after the final day of the season.

The Mail‘s Lewis Steele is among those to report on the situation, with an independent commission’s verdict being given a deadline of May 24.

Given the Premier League concludes on May 19, there is a strong chance that Everton‘s placing could change up to five days after their final-day trip to Arsenal.

The Premier League announced that they will attempt to expedite the appeal so it is resolved before the final matchday, but the timing will ultimately be determined by the appeal board.

While Everton still hold a game in hand over their relegation rivals, after a 6-0 loss away to Chelsea on Monday night they sit 16th in the table and just two points off Luton in 18th.

In theory, an appeal could even increase the points deductions imposed by the Premier League, but the main issue for clubs around Everton and Forest is the lack of clarity.

While Luton‘s Rob Edwards and Burnley‘s Vincent Kompany will be focusing on the final six games for their clubs, the looming threat of changes out of their control will no doubt be in the back of their and their players’ minds.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 3, 2024: Everton fans hold up placards reading 'You Don't Know What You're Doing' aimed at the Premier League following their 10-point deduction. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Journalist Jason Burt perfectly imagined the drama in a recent column for the Telegraph:

“It has been another Super Sunday in the Premier League as both the title race and the relegation battle went down to the wire. High fives all around.

“Except, ahem. There is Everton‘s appeal (and City’s charges). The appeal has to be heard by May 24 – five days later.

“And Everton win! Their punishment is reduced by a point and it is poor Luton who go down on goal difference.”

Everton, meanwhile, are facing even more issues related to their spending with a possible third charge of PSR breaches, along with the risk of entering administration amid doubts over their takeover by 777 Partners.