What Nottingham Forest points deduction means for Arsenal and Chelsea FFP fears in Man City wait

By Staff

The Premier League has made Nottingham Forest the second club to be punished for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSRs). After Everton were docked 10-points earlier in the season, later reduced to six upon appeal, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now lost four themselves.

The decision, revealed on Monday, drops Forest into the relegation zone with Luton rising out of it by just one point. Like Everton, Forest will appeal the outcome and hope to see a reduction in their sanction.

It comes in the same week that the league is set to come under increasing pressure from the government to finalise a new financial deal with the English Football League (EFL) after a fresh model of its own was confirmed last week. PSRs are also set to change in the coming years too.

However, having previously never taken the fight to its own clubs, the league has now charged three teams with breaking regulations in the past 18 months. The Toffees were the first to be judged to have gone over the £105million loss-making threshold over a rolling three-year period when they were charged in March 2023, though Manchester City’s own case was revealed before then.

The reigning champions were left shocked when the league handed them 115 charges of wide-ranging misdeeds over a 10-year period ending in 2018. Totally separate and different to the cases of Everton and Forest, City’s trial is yet to take place with no public date having been announced.

Much like has been the case with each update in these important cases, they are greeted with questions over why City are yet to be prosecuted. The same will happen again here as City are put under the microscope.

READ MORE: Man City’s 115 FFP charges could change everything for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta as Liverpool watch on

READ MORE: Premier League launch new FFP rules to combat inflated spending

Given they are still involved in yet another title race – which Arsenal are fighting tooth and nail to win – as well as the FA Cup, where they have drawn Chelsea in the semi-finals, it is understandable that their financial situation is scrutinised. As has been shown, breaching the rules carries a significant punishment, and four points – or six, or 10 – would have a massive impact on the league for City should that be how they are punished.

It is worth noting that City strongly deny any wrongdoing, though the Premier League are also certain of judging the situation correctly and would not take such allegations to their most powerful club without evidence. It all leaves a cloud over the ongoing matches.

This is now far from the first time that the discussion has been had, but the latest punishment brings it into the spotlight once more and makes the possible outcome more and more important. Arsenal, after all, have the right to argue that they would have strongly benefitted from City being docked points last season too if they are found guilty.

At this stage the possible punishments still on the cards go from fines (both big and small) to titles being stripped, relegation, or points being deducted. This is all off the field and will remain a backdrop of each competition City and their rivals compete in until a decision has been made and likely long after.

On the pitch, City themselves still have to face Forest. Santo’s side now have added pressure to get points on the board just in case the appeal does not go in their favour, and that will have an impact on the title race subsequently. Tottenham also welcome Forest to north London before the season is out. Chelsea travel to the City Ground.

Finally, the continued strong stance against breaking monetary rules is also acting as a deterrent for all sides as they plan for the summer transfer window. Both Arsenal and Chelsea were extremely reserved when it came to their winter business in the knowledge that they are treading a tight line.

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