English Premier League (EPL) soccer side Everton have been leveled with their second point deduction this season for breaching the competition’s rules surrounding financial profitability and sustainability (PSR).

The beleaguered Merseyside club was referred to an independent commission in January over the breach, which occurred during the three-season period ending season 2022-23.

The Premier League had pushed for a five-point deduction for the severity of the breach, a figure that was reduced to two points – applied immediately – due to efforts the team had taken to mitigate the breach, as well as the swiftness with which it admitted to the issues.

Over the three campaigns in question, the commission found Everton to be in breach of the rules by £16.6 million ($20.25 million), with the club only allowed to make a loss of £105 million over three years (£35 million per season), with clubs that breach those rules risking a fine or points deduction.

For the 2022-23 fiscal year alone, Everton announced earlier in April that it made a loss of £89 million, a driver behind the latest breach and more than double the loss it made in the 2021-22 season.

In front of the independent panel, the club successfully argued that the loss of sponsorship revenue from former high-profile Russian investor Alisher Usmanov, who was forced to end his association with the club due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the fact that Everton had already been punished for financial breaches in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, mitigated this latest punishment they should receive down to two points.

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This argument came in spite of the fact that when previously charged with a points deduction for the three-year period ending 2021-22, a lack of ability to draw investment from Usmanov was not seen as substantial grounds for mitigation.

The difference between the two defenses is that the former argument related to an uncodified negotiation for future sponsorship naming rights for Everton’s under-construction stadium project, while the latter successful mitigation regarded a codified agreement for Usmanov to sponsor other various club assets including the team’s training center.

In a club statement on the latest breach, Everton said that it has already begun preparations with its legal representatives to appeal this further two-points ban.

Everton stated: “While the club’s position has been that no further sanction was appropriate, the club is pleased to see that the commission has given credit to the majority of the issues raised by the club, including the concept of double punishment, the significant mitigating circumstances facing the club due to the war in Ukraine, and the high level of cooperation and early admission of the club’s breach.

“Everton remains committed to working collaboratively with the league on all matters relating to PSR but is extremely concerned by the inconsistency of different commissions in respect of points deductions applied.”

Mid-March saw fellow EPL side – and Everton's rivals to avoid relegation – Nottingham Forest deducted four points for their own PSR breach, in this case solely concerning losses made in the 2022-23 campaign. That punishment has also been appealed.

It is possible that the results of these appeals will not be known before the final EPL gameweek of the season, on May 19.