Nottingham Forest have been deducted four points in the Premier League for breaching Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

Compared to Everton’s situation, this has sparked much confusion and anger with the league accused of lacking consistency and clarity.

Everton were initially deducted 10 points, before it was reduced to six after an appeal, for breaching PSR by £19.5 million.

Nottingham Forest’s breach sum totals £34.5 million, yet they were given a more lenient punishment?

Everton put their deduction down to their investment in their new stadium, claiming that they received no sporting advantage in their PSR breach.

However, Nottingham Forest’s stems from signing more than 40 players since their promotion from the Championship in May 2022 that has totalled over £250 million.

An independent commission of three people decided Forest should suffer the loss of just four points, despite their breach being 77% larger than Everton’s.

So comparing both situations, it is hard to understand the Premier League’s rulings.

For something that could be so crucial to a team’s safety in the Premier League to be governed in such an ineffective and confusing way is frustrating – at best.

The repercussions on a club, especially one in such financial turmoil and uncertainty like Everton, can have drastic unnecessary effects.

Benj Winstanley, co-host of the ‘Upper Bullen’s Podcast’ summed up the reaction from the Everton fanbase.

“Nottingham Forest gained an on the field advantage, this is completely different to Everton’s hearing. We were trying to improve off it and bought and stadium, but we didn’t take into account the stadium interest loans, however Nottingham Forest went out and spent 250 million pounds in three windows trying to improve their playing squad.

“They’ve lacked in the Premier League, and I think they’ve gotten off very lightly.”

Prior to the June 2023 deadline, Brentford offered £30 million for Forest academy product Brennan Johnson which would have brought them closer to avoiding a PSR breach.

Forest’s mitigating factor was that Johnson did not want to join Brentford, however an offer of €50 million was submitted by Atletico Madrid on the final day of the 2022/23 fiscal year.

This would have comfortably allowed the club to avoid the breach, yet they declined demanding a much higher sum that swiftly ended negotiations.

“Atletico Madrid came in with 43 million pounds for Brennan Johnson, any footballing fan knows that there is no way in hell Brennan Johnson would turn down a move to Atletico Madrid with Champions League football and playing under Diego Simeone, playing in one of the best footballing cities in the world.

“Nottingham Forest were reluctant to sell Brennan Johnson before the June cut-off point, and then argue the fact that Brentford only offered 35 million pounds, it’s a complete farce and a joke”.

The club ended up selling Johnson for just £4 million more than what was offered by Atletico Madrid but countered them roughly €15 million more.

After this, Johnson went on to play two games for the club before departing to Tottenham Hotspur, where they beat relegation rivals Sheffield United.

This was a conscious decision made by Nottingham Forest to not sanction the sale and they retrospectively gained from it, disregarding their potential breach.

Yet throughout the investigation process, the commission determined that Forest’s deduction would be lower due to their co-operation with the Premier League.

Winstanley says this whole process has put the Premier League in a very negative light and the implications this could have on the future.

“The fit and proper premier league test is not fit for purpose, the PSR rules are not fit for purpose – that’s why they’re getting altered in august and they’re adhering to how UEFA tend to deal with FFP.

“The whole thing is completely unprofessional; the game has changed so much – you’d rather have a ten-million-pound accountant these days than a ten-million-pound centre half – the game is just completely gone.”

With Aston Villa and Newcastle reportedly on the brink of breaking PSR, the verdict of the Nottingham Forest case will not act as much of a deterrent to these clubs.

As long as these clubs comply, they will only receive a four-point deduction like Forest, is this proving the effectiveness of the current ruling?

“If you go out and breach PSR and go out and spend £30-35 million, which equates to about four or five players – because they spread the cost over the base of the contract – then ultimately you could go out and spend all that money and face no action.

“If I’m Newcastle at the minute, I’d go out and spend all I can – that could be difference from getting top four and getting top six.”

With Everton potentially facing another points deduction and appeal, Winstanley warned:

The decision on the appeal could subsequently come after the season has ended, which completely rules out any sporting integrity full stop. How can any teams plan for the future?

“It just shows the absolute need for an independent regulator, to come in… Richard Masters’ doesn’t have a clue, he’s lost the grip of it.”

With the likes of Andy Burnham previously calling out the CEO of the Premier League, the situation shows that either drastic changes need to be made in the ruling of the Premier League or that it is finally time to introduce an independent regulator who can efficiently and effectively rule.

Listen to our interview with Benji Winstanley, below: