Leeds United and Burnley threaten Everton with legal action over financial losses
Leeds United and Burnley have threatened their now-safe relegation rivals Everton with legal action over financial losses, The Times reports.
The two clubs reportedly sent a letter last week demanding details from both the Toffees and the Premier League over what action is being taken against the Merseyside team for their “£371.8million” loss over the last three years.
Profit and sustainability rules permit a maximum of £105million in losses over such a period, but Everton believe they are in the clear due to Covid-related write-offs.
The Toffees put £170million of their losses down to Covid, a figure far higher than clubs such as Aston Villa whose own figure was £56million.
The Whites and the Clarets apparently believe they have the sympathy of the rest of the league in having suspicions, and if action is taken it would constitute what Times reporter Martin Ziegler calls “potentially the most serious legal challenge” to the league or a club since the despite between West Ham and Sheffield United over Carlos Tevez.
The Times report says: “The pair are understood to have written they are concerned that while Everton may have been in serious breach of the financial rules they have continued to have a substantial advantage over other clubs in the Premier League who have been compliant.
“They are also understood to have written expressing concerns that the league has not acted appropriately or quick enough.”
Everton said in a statement that they are “comfortable” that they are within the rules and “If [the two clubs] want to take legal action then they can do so by all means.”
This news has the potential to be the biggest story of the summer if either club pushes ahead with a legal claim.
After Everton came back to beat Crystal Palace on Thursday (19 May) and secured their top flight survival, it guarantees one of the other two sides will go down.
That increases the likelihood that the feelings of unequal treatment will fester as one or the other faces the nightmare of falling out of the Premier League.
United are currently in the relegation zone and face losing multiple star players, such as Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, if they drop into the Championship.
If they feel that they have been fighting against a rival that have benefited from breaking financial rules, when penalties can include points deductions, then it makes sense they would believe the roles should be reversed.
Everton have appeared very confident on this matter since their most recent accounts were released two months ago.
But even if the agreement they have in place with the league is sufficient, it could take a messy legal battle to determine that if United and Burnley aren’t satisfied with the response they get at this stage.
In other Leeds United news, nine players that are in line for a permanent summer exit have been named by a Whites reporter.