Chris Sutton has claimed that Manchester City – who are facing 115 charges of breaking the Premier League‘s financial rules – should not be treated any differently to Everton, who were docked 10 points for their own breaches.
The Merseyside outfit have been plunged into the relegation zone after their punishment from the Premier League – following news that they’d posted losses of £372million over a three-year period.
However, while City remain the subject of an investigation by top flight officials into possible financial breaches, many have called for the Premier League champions to be handed a far tougher punishment – including the possibility of relegation.
Speaking on Mail Sport podcast It’s All Kicking Off, though, Ian Ladyman suggested that top flight officials may be reluctant to relegate their champions, who boast a team of superstar players.
He said: ‘Buried within all of this rhetoric over last weekend has been, the Premier League have made an example of Everton because they were in inverted commas, a smaller club.
The Toffees have been docked 10 points by the Premier League after posting losses of £372m over a three year period
Chris Sutton (L) has insisted Everton cannot be treated differently than Pep Guardiola’s (R) Manchester City after both teams broke the Premier League’s financial rules
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‘I don’t buy it actually, but wrapped up in all of that is this feeling that the Premier League may not wish to take on Manchester City, their own champions.
‘Let’s face it, it won’t serve the Premier League’s purpose as a brand, as a spectacle, as a money-making entity, to relegate its own champions. They don’t want to relegate a team that’s got Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.’
Sutton took issue with Ladyman’s suggestion and said the Premier League would ‘never recover’ from setting a precedent where they refused to punish a team if they were found to have committed wrongdoing.
Sutton said: ‘They can’t think like that. I can’t believe you’re suggesting that. So you’re saying they’re gonna treat Everton differently to Manchester City then?
‘Everton supporters and everyone at Everton will be keeping an eye on these 115 charges which Manchester City are facing and seeing how that pans out.
‘I do not believe what you’re saying is possible. Everton cannot be treated any differently. What kind of precent does that set? The Premier League would never recover from that. If they treat someone different to someone else, which you’re suggesting is a possibility, that isn’t going to happen.
‘Until we get to the end of the investigation and find out what those charges were for, but City are going to defend those charges so it is a wait and see. On the face of things I think that’s what Everton supporters have looked at. “Well we’ve had this charge, Manchester City have got 115, well they must be bang in trouble”.
‘So that’s where the anger comes from the Everton support and I can understand that, but let’s just wait and see what happens to Manchester City.’
When asked what impact he felt the points deduction would have on Everton, Sutton forecasted a positive effect on the rest of the squad.
Manchester City are facing 115 financial breaches – and Sutton says the Premier League would ‘never recover’ if they chose not to punish any wrongdoing
Sutton believes Everton will be ‘galvanised’ by the points deduction and show togetherness
‘I actually think it will galvanize the whole club,’ he added. ‘The world’s against Everton Football Club at this moment in time. We have been wronged, albeit they actually haven’t been wronged.
‘They’ve admitted that they broke the rules from a player’s perspective, a management perspective. It’s about, “we’ve had a 10 point deduction. We need to stay up and show everybody else that we are a club which are together”. So I actually think it may well work in their favour.
‘On the pitch in recent times, Everton have been pretty decent. Sean Dyche has done a good job. I know you were fearful of them being in a relegation scrap. Actually, the way they’ve played recently looked like they could make a push for the top half of the table.
‘That’s not gonna happen now, but I actually think from within the dressing room, it gives them a cause, it gives them something to really fight for. So it is a 10 point deduction, a good thing of course it’s not, but it gives them something to really fight and get the supporters onside.’