Nottingham Forest unsuccessful in appeal against Premier League points deduction

Nottingham Forest have failed to appeal against a four-point deduction for breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability (PSR) rules.

Forest were dropped four points by an independent commission appointed by the Premier League in March after admitting a PSR breach, having spent £34.5 million over a three-year period.

Under the guidelines, Forest could have been handed a six-point penalty, but received a lesser sanction from the Premier League due to their “early advocacy” and “excellent cooperation”.

Forest presented its defense at a hearing on April 24, but an independent appeals panel decided to uphold the original sanction.

The Premier League said in a statement that Forest claimed “the independent commission erred in failing to treat the sale of a high-profile player shortly after the assessment period as a mitigating circumstance, and that it had made another mistake by choosing not to suspend.” all or part of the point deductions he imposed.” However, they added that “each of these grounds was rejected by the appeal commission, which found that the independent commission was entitled to immediately impose the sanction it had imposed.”

Forest remain 17th in the table, three points clear of Luton Town and the relegation zone with two matches of the season remaining.

What does the bottom of the PL table look like?

Position Team Plays DG Points













20 (R)




*Deducts four points

The club initially described itself as “extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s arguments” following their deduction, adding that it was “equally surprised that the Premier League had taken no account of the club’s unique circumstances and their mitigations.” .

Forest argued that they were at a serious disadvantage compared to other Premier League clubs who had significantly higher spending limits due to their longevity in the top flight.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side face Chelsea at the City Ground on Saturday, before their final match of the season at Burnley.

Forest, points deductions and VAR

“Clarity for Forest amid frustration”

Analysis from The Athletic’s Nottingham Forest correspondent Paul Taylor

At least Nottingham Forest are finally clear on what they need to do to secure a third season of Premier League football.

There is great frustration behind the scenes at the City Ground as their appeal against their four-point sanction for breaching profit and sustainability regulations was unsuccessful.

The forest hierarchy felt that the punishment had been too harsh. We now know that this mindset was not reflected by the appeals panel which heard their case on Wednesday April 24.

But the club is now clear on what will be needed to avoid ending up in the bottom three and, ultimately, returning to the Championship.

And much of that remains in their hands. They know that their fate will have to be decided on the ground, not in an office.

Games remaining in battle to beat the drop

Nottingham Forest Luton Town Burnley

May 11: Chelsea (m)

May 11: West Ham (a)

May 11: Tottenham (a)

May 19: Burnley (a)

May 19: Fulham (m)

May 19: Nottingham Forest (m)

In their two remaining games, against Chelsea and Burnley, they need to get more points than 18th-placed Luton and Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, 19th, ahead of already relegated Sheffield United.

Forest are three points clear of Luton and have a superior goal difference of -18, compared to Luton’s -29. So, barring extremely dramatic results on the final day, a win against Chelsea this weekend would almost be enough.

It has been a chaotic season, overshadowed by PSR and VAR controversies, brutal statements on social media and the failed experiment of appointing Mark Clattenburg as referee analyst.

But Forest knows what they need to do to ensure a positive ending.

How did we get here?

Forest have signed more than 40 players since securing promotion in May 2022, with owner Evangelos Marinakis sanctioning a transfer spend of around £250 million ($318 million) to help the club establish themselves in the elite.

Forest believed they had complied with the regulations when it came to allowable losses, with much of the problem centering around the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham Hotspur.

Selling Johnson was key to Forest’s initial filing (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The club’s argument – ​​which they put forward in conversations with the Premier League – was that they could have sold Johnson earlier in the window, but doing so at that stage would have meant accepting a significantly lower price. Its sale only took place on September 1, well after the end of the financial year, for £47.5 million.

New guidelines aimed at speeding up PSR decisions have been introduced to ensure that any fundamental breaches of the regulations are dealt with in time for sanctions, such as points deductions, to be imposed in the same season as the charge is made .

All clubs were required to submit their accounts for 2022-23 by December 31 – rather than in March as they previously did – with any subsequent breaches and charges being confirmed 14 days later.

go further


What is PSR and why do Premier League rules only allow clubs to lose £105m?

(Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

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