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18th Mar 2024

Nottingham Forest respond to Premier League points deduction

Callum Boyle

Kate Middleton

Forest have been hit with an immediate points deduction

Nottingham Forest have released a statement after being hit with a four-point deduction for breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

Forest have have been handed an immediate deduction which will now see them drop below Luton Town and into the bottom three, one point adrift of The Hatters.

Following the announcement, Forest have said they were “disappointed with the decision” and intend to appeal.

“We were extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions before the Commission.  

“After months of engagement with the Premier League, and exceptional cooperation throughout, this was unexpected and has harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League. 

“That the Premier League sought a sanction of eight points as a starting point was utterly disproportionate when compared to the nine points that their own rules prescribe for insolvency.

“We were also surprised that the Premier League gave no consideration at all to the unique circumstances of the Club and its mitigation.  In circumstances where this approach is followed by future PSR commissions, it would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for newly promoted clubs without parachute payments to compete, thus undermining the integrity and competitiveness of the Premier League.

“Whilst the Premier League may have called into question the Club’s business plan, the Club maintains that it responsibly balanced compliance with PSR with important investment into the squad to give us the ability to compete in the league for the first time in over 20 years.

“Even after the Club had missed the PSR reporting deadline, it still took steps to ensure Brennan Johnson was sold before the end of the transfer window.  That was a clear demonstration of our respect and support for PSR.  

The Commission’s decision raises issues of concern for all aspirant clubs. The player transfer market is a highly specialised trading environment that cannot be compared to the sale of normal products and services. 

“There will be occasions when a player transfer cannot be completed in the first half of a transfer window and can only be completed at the end of that window.  This should not be a reason for the condemnation of a club.  For this not to be recognised by the Commission or the Premier League should be a matter of extreme concern for all fans of our national game.

“Of wider concern for all aspirant clubs is the disturbing effect this decision will have on the operation of the player trading model. This is the only model by which clubs outside of the small group at the very top end of the Premier League can realistically advance up the football pyramid. 

“The rationale of the Commission is that clubs should only invest after they have realised a profit on their player development. This reasoning destroys mobility in the football pyramid and the effect of the decision will be to drastically reduce the room for manoeuvre for all such clubs, leading to the stagnation of our national game.

“We believe that the high levels of cooperation the Club has shown during this process, and which are confirmed and recorded in the Commission’s decision, were not reciprocated by the Premier League.”

Brennan Johnson deal played a factor

The East Midlanders admitted to breaching the rules but felt that complicated procedures around the sale of Brennan Johnson played a role.

Having turned down a £30m bid from Brentford, Johnson eventually moved to Spurs in a deal reported to be worth £47.5m however that deal was completed after the league’s  PSR deadline (June 30).

As Johnson was an academy graduate, all of the money was regarded as straight profit for the club.

Premier League clubs are allowed to lose £105m over a three-year period but Forest’s permitted losses were limited to £61m due to spending two of those three years in the Championship – something they tried to argue in their defence.

In the two seasons they’ve been in the top flight, Forest have spent over £250m on over 40 players.

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