Points deductions were once a rarity in football, reserved for the most egregious offenders, but recently there's been a stark increase in the number of points taken away, potentially putting the Premier League season in jeopardy. 

In the 26 years before this season, in the Premier League, there have only been 12 points taken away from teams: Middlesbrough were deducted 3 points in 1996/97 for failing to fulfil a fixture, and Portsmouth were deducted 9 points in 2010 for falling into administration. This season alone has matched that historic total; Everton (8 points) and Nottingham Forest (4 points) are the latest clubs to be penalised for breaking the Premier League Profit and Sustainability Rules.

These rules are in place to protect the Premier League's competitive balance and dissuade reckless spending. Teams are only allowed to make a loss of £105 million over 3 years; Everton, by comparison, lost £370 million between 2018 and 2021.
Since COVID, it has been harder for clubs to sell players for profit in a pandemic-affected market while losing out on important revenue from match-going fans, leading to a negative financial turnover. 

The strict enforcement of these financial regulations can only be seen as negative for the Premier League's bottom clubs. Both Everton and Forest have been punished for overspending in a bid to mitigate the quality disparity between them and the established elites. After gaining promotion to the Premier League, Forest spent £195 million on 27 players, mainly because their squad was not good enough for the top division. 

Both Forest and Everton fans may feel slightly hard done by the Premier League, as there seems to be some inconsistency with the enforcement of these regulations. The Premier League has charged both Manchester City and Leicester City, yet none have been sanctioned with any deductions. Chelsea are under investigation and have not been charged. From the perspective of these fans, it seems that “the big clubs are allowed to get away with it”; clubs like Manchester City have seemingly used their wealth to gain a competitive advantage over the rest of the competition, winning 3 titles in the last 3 years. 

These investigations have seemingly served as a warning for the rest of the Premier League; the January transfer window was notably inactive as clubs did not wish to overspend and incur penalties. Only 132 million euros were spent in January (an average of £5.68 million per club), a sharp decrease from the £719 spent the previous January (around £36 million per club).

In short, this could lead to less spending, but is that a bad thing? The Premier League introduced these rules in 2013 to make the most competitive league in the world even more so. The fierce enforcement of these rules should punish teams that attempt to financially dope, using the wealth of the owners to outspend the competition. Point deductions raise questions about fairness and the unintended consequences for the heart and soul of the club: the fans. Everton's appeal hearing is after the conclusion of the season. After fighting against relegation the entire season, their fate could be decided in court rather than on the pitch. Anyone interested in football can see that this is not in the spirit of the game.