Sean Dyche says everyone at Everton was “stunned” by their 10-point deduction but knows nothing of reports the Toffees could face another punishment before the end of the season.
A report in the Times states that a change in Premier League rules means clubs have to submit their 22-23 accounts by the end of December rather than the end of March as previously required. Any breaches of the league’s Profit & Sustainability rules will then be fast-tracked so any punishments are applied before the end of the season.
We do not know for sure what state Everton’s finances are in, but they are not likely to be too far from their threshold given their struggles over recent years. We can only hope the cutbacks over the last 12 months, including the sales of Anthony Gordon and Moise Kean, can keep them over the red line.
Asked about the rumours at his weekly news conference, Dyche said:
“I have not been told anything else as to what has happened so far. We were stunned, and so was football, by the outcome of the 10 points so who knows what comes next. For ourselves or others, the way it is sounding is that it is not just going to be us, with others possibly looked at over time.
“We have to wait and see. The fact is that the recent situation has stunned us, then who knows what comes next. We just have to be ready for whatever comes next the best we can.
“You can’t go on ifs, buts and maybes. The recent facts as to what has happened are facts at this time and we park that and move forward. The 10 points are not currently there so we basically have to crack on. It does not change the facts of the matter. When I got here we had to win more games and that doesn’t change.”
News of the 10-point deduction was a hammer blow to everyone at the club, particularly as it arrived at a time where they were in mid-table and hoping for a relatively stress-free season.
But Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United combined with Luton’s win the previous day means the Toffees are five points adrift of safety, having been eight points clear of the drop zone before the international break.
Dyche has a job on his hands to try and keep the players’ heads up, but says his squad have reacted well to the news, pointing to the resilience gained by two consecutive seasons battling the drop.
”I don’t think bad news is going to affect them too badly as they are used to bad news. This is obviously a different type of bad news as it is somewhat out of their hands.
“What we are trying to achieve as a group is still there, which has been pleasing for me this season.
“Myself and the players are well aware of the task in front of us and it has changed quite considerably since the Palace victory. We’ve got to keep working hard and find our way through the latest setback.”
Dyche also played down suggestions talks over a new contract had been delayed because of the current uncertainty surrounding the club:
”I don’t know where that has come from. Someone did send me that and I thought that is the least of my concerns going on.”