Frank Lampard could be on the verge of facing an impossible task of keeping Everton in the Premier League, as they risk a potential points deduction.
Lampard’s team are just one point above 18th placed Burnley, and now have a worse goal difference than Sean Dyche’s side, even if they have played one game less.
They have lost eight of their previous 10 league games, winning just once, and now face a genuine threat of falling into the Championship.
Worse could be set to come, with the Daily Mail revealing that they are facing a genuine risk of being deducted points in the league over breaking the league’s profit and sustainability rules.
The club were meant to publish their finances for the 2020/21 season in December but, according to the report, have delayed as they seek clarity from the Premier League over what they can offset against the impact of Covid.
Clubs are only entitled to lose a maximum of £105 million over three seasons in normal circumstances, in line with the league trying to avoid clubs over spending above their means and finding themselves in trouble.
However, Covid has seen that period spread over to four years, as clubs missed out on the revenue of crowds being in attendance.
As such an average of losses will be taken across the four years, providing a figure for the usual three years, which Everton could still be in breach of.
Having lost a reported £260 million in the years from 2017-2020, the Merseysiders were forced to only make cut price deals last summer, signing Demarai Gray for £1.8 million, and other transfers being free deals.
The league have given clubs until later this month to publish their accounts and will make some allowances for Covid, but there is ‘no set criteria’ to exactly what those will be.
If they did get a points deduction over the sustainability rules, it would be the first time that a team had fallen fouls of those rules, and the first club in the league to be given a points deduction since Portsmouth in 2009/10, due to going into administration.
Things at Goodison Park have got even worse with the sanctions against Russian Alisher Usmanov, in the wake of his country’s invasion of Ukraine, meaning he’s had to sever ties with the club.