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The Metro Mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, has written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters expressing his “concern” over the decision to deduct 10 points from Everton.

On Friday, it was confirmed that Everton had been handed a 10-point deduction this season for breaching the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules. The club was referred to an independent commission in March for an alleged breach relating to the 2021-22 season and a hearing took place last month. They plan to appeal against the sanction, calling it “wholly disproportionate and unjust”.

It means that Sean Dyche’s side have moved into the relegation zone, sitting 19th on four points.

Rotheram, however, believes the decision to deduct Everton 10 points was “excessive”.

In a letter to Masters, he said: “I am writing to express my deep concern and opposition to today’s decision by the Premier League Panel to deduct 10 points from Everton Football Club. The sanction imposed is not only an unprecedented but a wholly disproportionate one too.

“While I understand, and indeed support, the importance of maintaining discipline and upholding the integrity of the sport, it is crucial to ensure that any punitive measures are proportionate and just. I do not believe that this punishment fits the crime.

“The decision to deduct 10 points from Everton is excessive considering the club’s willingness and proactivity in collaborating with the Premier League to ensure all dealings were FFP compliant when it was clear they were close to breaching the rules. There are a number of mitigating factors in Everton’s transgression in relation to debt ceilings that are in effect geo-political and therefore outside of their control.

“As many people have pointed out, the punishment imposed appears severe for the charge in question and sets a new precedent. When compared with sanctions handed to other clubs for financial infringements it surpasses previous penalties. In 2010, when Portsmouth entered administration, a case of serious mismanagement, they were hit with only a 9 point penalty. For falling into administration a second time in three years, in 2012, they faced a 10 point deduction. The implication that Everton’s actions are somehow are more egregious is frankly, ludicrous.

“I completely support the club’s appeal and would urge you to take a more balanced approach and consider alternative forms of punishment that do not unfairly penalise the club’s players and supporters. As a founding member of both the Football League and Premier League, Everton are an important part of the fabric of English football. They deserve to be treated fairly, justly and with respect.”

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