Nottingham Forest appeal against four-point penalty for breaking financial rules

Nicolas Dominguez of Nottingham Forest looks dejected after Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa (not pictured) scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest at Villa Park on February 24, 2024 in Birmingham, England. 

Nottingham Forest have lodged an appeal against the four-point penalty imposed last week for breaching Premier League financial rules.

Forest issued a terse statement confirming the course of action, in contrast to their lengthy and indignant response when the sanction was initially handed out on March 18.

The club’s statement on Monday read: “Nottingham Forest can confirm that it has today lodged an appeal against the four-point sanction imposed by the Commission in relation to the Club’s breach of the Premier League’s Profit & Sustainability Rules (PSR).

“The club will not be making any further statement at this time.”

The points deduction dropped Forest into the Premier League’s relegation zone, leaving them 18th with nine games to play.

The Premier League said Forest admitted breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) by £34.5million above their permitted threshold of £61m.

Clubs are usually allowed maximum losses of £105m over a three-year assessment period but this is reduced by £22m per season for any seasons within the period spent in the Championship.

Forest were particularly unhappy with the Premier League’s submission to the independent commission and claimed trust in the governing body had eroded due to their initial push for a stiffer sanction.

In a statement last week, Forest said they were “extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions before the commission,” especially in light of the “exceptional cooperation” the club had given the investigation.

The commission which imposed the sanction noted Forest’s breach was “serious” and stated in its conclusion: “The four points sanction is not to punish Forest so much as it is to be fair to the other clubs; to give the public confidence that when a club invests as Forest did to compete in the Premier League, it still needs to comply with the PSR threshold for losses.”

Forest’s defence was centred around the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham on the final day of the 2023 transfer window, which occurred a short period later than necessary.

The commission said such an event could only have been described as a near miss “if it was truly near to the PSR deadline (June 30, 2023) or at the first available reasonable opportunity proximate to the deadline”.

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