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Nottingham Forest hit with Premier League points deduction for breaking PSR rules

Nottingham Forest have been handed a four-point deduction for breaches of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). It comes after the East Midlands outfit were referred to an independent commission earlier this year, with the punishment leaving Forest in the final relegation place on 21 points, one off of Luton above them.

Forest’s quest to avoid relegation to the Championship has been dealt a major blow by the points deduction. The news broke on Monday afternoon, with the breaches relating to Forest’s 2022/23 spending – their first season in the Premier League since 1998/99.

It comes after Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction earlier this season which was later reduced to six points on appeal. Forest drop to 18th as a result of their four-point punishment.

An official statement from the Premier League was later announced. It read:”An independent Commission has applied an immediate four-point deduction to Nottingham Forest FC for a breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs) for the period ending Season 2022/23.

“Nottingham Forest was referred to an independent Commission on 15 January, following an admission by the club that it had breached the relevant PSR threshold of £61 million by £34.5 million. The threshold was lower than £105 million as the club spent two seasons of the assessment period in the EFL Championship. The case was heard in accordance with new Premier League Rules, which provide an expedited timetable for PSR cases to be resolved in the same season the complaint is issued.

“The independent Commission determined the sanction following a two-day hearing this month, at which the club had the opportunity to detail a range of mitigating factors. The Commission found that the club had demonstrated “exceptional cooperation” in its dealings with the Premier League throughout the process.”

Forest are likely to appeal the decision, report The Guardian. They admitted their breach of the PSR rules but an independent panel did not accept their defence around extenuating circumstances. They sold Brennan Johnson for £47.5million in September, well after the PSR deadline which was June 30.

The club had received a £30m bid from Brentford earlier in the same window but Johnson was reluctant to make the move. Forest also felt they could get more money by waiting until after the deadline.

The Nottinghamshire outfit had argued their approach was to help ensure they were more sustainable. That’s because all of the money from Johnson’s sale went down as profit due to him being an academy product.

With all money earned from selling Johnson, an academy product, going down as a profit, the club argued their approach was designed to make them more sustainable.

Premier League rules dictate that clubs can lose a maximum of £105m over a three-year period. Forest’s losses were limited to £61m because last year was their first back in the top flight, the other two being in the Championship.

Their defence added that they needed to invest heavily in order to compete in the Premier League. They have spent nearly £250m since promotion, bringing in more than 40 players. Their signings helped they avoid the drop last term, finishing 16th and four points above Leicester who went down in 17th.

With just 10 matches of the season remaining, Forest now face an uphill battle to retain their spot in the Premier League. It could hardly come at a worse time for the Tricky Trees, who just this weekend conceded an 89th-minute equaliser to fellow strugglers Luton Town – the side that has moved out of the relegation zone at Forest’s expense.

Nuno’s men will have a long wait to stew on this news before they return to action, with Forest’s next Premier League fixture just under two weeks away. They’ll welcome Crystal Palace on Saturday, March 30th, before a midweek encounter against Fulham at the City Ground.

Following that, Forest’s fixture list intensifies, with April consisting of clashes against Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton and reigning European champions, Manchester City. Given their newfound position in the drop zone, the next nine league matches for Forest will be season-defining, as they can no longer afford any more slip-ups during the run-in.


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