Everton miss out on £9.3 million windfall as Richard Masters watches what every fan already knew

Everton finished 15th in the Premier League after being deducted eight points.

Had Evertonians been told their side would finish 15th in the Premier League before a ball was kicked, plenty would likely have taken it.

After successive relegation battles, in which the supporters played a major part in pulling the Toffees to safety, it’s fair to say that their energy levels were expended. After staying up on the penultimate day of the 2021-22 campaign, it brought joyous scenes - but the demand wat the club was never put in the situation again.

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Yet 12 months later, Everton’s battle to retain their proud top-flight status went to the final fixture. A 1-0 victory over Bournemouth was scarcely celebrated. There was anger and frustration that the mistakes from the previous year had not been remedied.

However, in 2023-24, there were no sleepless nights heading into the latter stages. Everton managed to stay up comfortably. Sean Dyche was a cool head as he sailed the Blues through choppy waters. It was not easy for Everton’s manager. A lack of funds in both transfer markets meant that he and director of football Kevin Thelwell had to maximise every deal.

The biggest challenge, though, was being slashed eight points. Two separate breaches of profit and sustainability rules increased the Toffees’ challenge of staying up markedly. But a magnificent run of four successive victories at Goodison Park - culminating in a 1-0 triumph over Brentford - ensured Everton stayed in the Premier League with three games to spare.

Subsequently, a 1-1 draw against Luton Town and a 1-0 victory against Sheffield United moved Everton on to 40 points - traditionally the magic number to avoid the drop. And on the final game of the season, Dyche could rue that his side did not stretch their unbeaten streak to six matches after a 2-1 loss to runners-up Arsenal. Dyche was left baffled why Kai Havertz’s 89th-minute winner was allowed to stand despite what appeared to be a handball from Gabriel Jesus in the build-up.

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Yet what will rankle more with supporters is that the Toffees should have finished in 12th spot. Had they not been docked points, they would have been above Wolves, Fulham and Bournemouth, significant progress in terms of league position would have been made.

What’s more, the Blues would find themselves circa £9.3 million better off. Teams get prize money based on where they finish, with an increase of £.3.1 million per place. Given their precarious financial situation those additional funds would have been a welcome boost to the Goodison Park coffers.

Premier League CEO Richard Masters was at the Emirates Stadium for Everton’s defeat by Arsenal. He saw first hand that Dyche’s side deserved to finish higher than their actually finish - yet were denied that chance.

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