The manager of Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, acknowledges that he was taken aback by the harshness of Everton’s penalty for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations.
Last Friday, it was revealed that the Merseyside squad had been docked 10 points, dropping them into the relegation zone, after an independent panel reviewed the situation. This made them the first team to violate the new Profit and Sustainability guidelines.
Naturally, Everton has the right to challenge this ruling. That being said, should this fail, it will be viewed as an unparalleled penalty at the highest level of English football in the contemporary age and might become the norm for any team that violates the rules in the future.
Arteta was questioned about the circumstances his old team finds itself in at Arsenal’s pre-Brentford press conference on Friday morning, given his prior ties to the Toffees. He has urged Sean Dyche’s team to do what they do best and come out fighting.
“I feel like I’m part of the club. The club is undoubtedly in a tough situation right now, but they have been in many past situations and have always managed to pull through,” the Spaniard told reporters. “The bravery, tenacity, and fight are the best attributes that characterize that club. They are resilient and I hope the best for them.
“I don’t know, but the news caught me off guard. It’s a significant development in the middle of the season. It is impossible for me to respond because I am unaware of the rules or the entire context.”
Naturally, the news about Everton has caused many to focus on Manchester City, who were struck with 115 accusations in February of this year as a result of a financial inquiry. They have reaffirmed that they are open to a review, but if the defending Premier League champions are found to have violated the rules, they may lose points or maybe be demoted.
In the end, Arsenal would gain from either penalty in their pursuit of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004. That being said, it is still unclear if the Cityzens would be found guilty and given a punishment.