Pundit calls for Masters' resignation over Everton hearing revelation
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Pundit calls for Masters’ resignation over Everton hearing revelation.

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Alan Stubbs says Richard Masters is “incompetent” and should quit as Premier League CEO following the last Everton commission hearing.

The former Toffees defender reacted on Twitter on April 9, the day after the club was hit with a new two-point deduction, to a paragraph in the commission’s written decision (page 56, paragraph 256) that rejected the league’s criticisms of Everton amid a dispute over whether they had been sufficiently cooperative in providing financial information.

The commission wrote: “In our opinion, many, if not most, of the criticisms levelled against the Club in this regard by the PL are unfounded, exaggerated, or both.” In our opinion, the Club did assist with the PL in presenting these proceedings in accordance with the Standard Directions (to which the Club agreed from the start), although in a way that adequately preserved the Club’s interests.”

In response, Stubbs highlighted that section and wrote: “More incriminating remarks against inept Richard Masters [&] Premier League on how Everton have been treated throughout the entirety of this terrible inconsistency [sic] process!!

“17 points Masters intended to punish us, but he keeps running away from the elephant in the room, Man City! #resign.”

The written decision indicated that the Premier League had requested a starting point of five points deducted (page 21, paragraph 96), but that a two-point reduction was reasonable based on the double jeopardy argument (page 25, paragraphs 115 & 116).

In the original hearing result, it was revealed that the Premier League requested 10 points (page 27, paragraph 87), which the committee did decide on although rejecting their methodology, despite earlier reports that as much as 12 had been proposed [Telegraph, 23 October].

Premier League slapped down over Everton dispute

The most recent commission hearing appears to be the most sympathetic of the three that the club has faced.

And, given that the same panel will be in place for another hearing after the season, with the possibility of more points penalties, it may be just as well.

It is not strictly true that Richard Masters demanded 17 points be deducted from Everton when it was the league’s legal representation arguing for them, and both the league and the top flight clubs bear some responsibility for the absurd system that sees each case heard in isolation by different panels, resulting in massive inconsistency that is now set to be replaced.

But he is the league’s chief executive, and he has presided over a process that appears to be very hot when it comes to cracking down on Everton, who have admittedly caused a lot of their own problems, but does not appear to be as zealous when it comes to other clubs, with even Nottingham Forest being praised for their sparkling behaviour.

The Manchester City case, which looms over everything with more than 100 times more allegations than the two Everton players already penalized, is a bad look for a system that should, in principle, be fair to all parties.

However, given how messy the three Everton and Forest cases have already been, and how the most recent commission was unable to resolve the stadium interest payments dispute in this hearing, it is perhaps not surprising that the authorities have yet to resolve the 115 historical charges against City, despite charging them over a year ago.

While the prospective 777 Partners takeover is in the hands of Masters and his staff, Everton’s profit and sustainability difficulties are running concurrently with the league in opposition, demonstrating the Toffees’ current situation.

 

 

 

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