In the Premier League, point deductions are infrequent, but three teams have experienced this severe penalty since the division’s establishment in 1992.
As the first team to break the division’s Financial Fair Play regulations, Everton was discovered to have accumulated an excessive number of losses. This made them the most recent team to suffer such a fate.
Take a look back at the Premier League’s history of point deductions.
Middlesbrough: three goals January of 1997
When Middlesbrough was docked three points by league officials in January 1997, they became the first side in Premier League history to suffer a points deduction.
In December, Boro’s manager Bryan Robson said he was unable to declare a full team because he was missing a staggering 23 players owing to illness or injury. As a result, Boro did not show up for a game against relegation rivals Blackburn Rovers.
Boro failed to submit the necessary documentation and was fined £50,000 in addition to losing three points, even though they claimed to have received assurances from the Premier League that they could reschedule the game. A later judicial appeal against the ruling was unsuccessful.
In the end, the choice would drop Boro, who were 19th in the standings, two points outside of safety.
Nine points for Portsmouth March of 2010
Thirteen more years would pass before another Premier League team received a point deduction; sadly, it would be Portsmouth in March 2010.
As early as the 2008–09 campaign, there were rumours that Portsmouth was deeply indebted due to some careless transfer transactions, and that the team was struggling since no money was invested and the proposed takeover took more than a year to finalise.
The Saudi Arabian investor Ali Al-Faraj’s takeover was expected to end all of Portsmouth’s issues, but before long, the team was facing a winding up order for unpaid taxes and had stopped paying any workers between December 2009 and February 2010.
Portsmouth was automatically deducted nine points as soon as they entered administration, which dropped them to the bottom of the table.
Ten points for Everton (2023 November)
After another thirteen years, Everton became the first Premier League team to be docked points, with their 10-point deduction being the most in league history.
In May 2022, Burnley and Leeds United wrote to the Premier League, requesting a probe into Everton’s financial records following the Toffees’ £371.8 million in losses over the preceding three years. The relegation struggle that Everton and Leeds barely avoided at the close of the 2021–2022 season was the source of the tension.
The 10-point penalty was imposed in November 2023, after the investigation was launched in March of the same year.
The contentious fine for West Ham (April 2007)
In April 2007, West Ham United narrowly escaped losing points due to their summer signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.
The Hammers were expected to lose points since it was determined that they had violated third-party ownership laws regarding the two trades. As a result, the players were not technically qualified to participate in the Premier League.
Rather, West Ham was fined £5.5 million, a punishment they gladly accepted as they managed to avoid relegation by a margin of three points. Tevez’s contribution to West Ham’s victory over Manchester United on the last day of the season, which guaranteed their safety, increased the drama.
Sheffield United, who were demoted that season, sued West Ham in an attempt to get back into the Premier League. However, after their lawsuit was rejected, they pursued financial restitution for their demotion and were eventually successful in doing so, reaching a £20 million settlement with the Hammers to end the matter in 2009.