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Nottingham Forest appeal against four-point deduction in Premier League for PSR breach

Nottingham Forest have lodged an appeal after being deducted four points over breaches of the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules; the appeal will take place in the next three weeks, with any potential points restoration coming into play immediately

A general view of the City Ground in Nottingham

Nottingham Forest have appealed against their four-point deduction in the Premier League.

Forest were plunged into the relegation zone last week after an independent commission ruled they had breached the league's Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

The Premier League and Forest confirmed the appeal on Monday.

Sky Sports News has been told it is highly unlikely they will be given a higher points penalty as a result of their appeal, which will be heard within the next three weeks before the April 12 deadline.

If Forest win their appeal any restoration of deducted points will happen immediately.

Forest's hierarchy have been keen throughout the process to conclude the process as soon as possible so there is clarity for Nuno Espirito Santo and his side, as well as other teams in the relegation battle.

The Premier League said Forest admitted breaching PSR by £34.5m above their permitted threshold of £61m.

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What have Forest said?

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Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett 'myth-busts' the biggest questions around Nottingham Forest's four-point deduction

Forest, who consulted lawyers before deciding to appeal, were disappointed with the ruling and said the process has "harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League".

Forest had no further statement to make about the matter on Monday when they confirmed their appeal.

"Nottingham Forest can confirm that it has today lodged an appeal against the four-point sanction imposed by the commission in relation to the club's breach of the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR)," the statement read.

"The club will not be making any further statement at this time."

The Premier League also released a statement on Monday which read: "Nottingham Forest Football Club has appealed the decision of an independent commission to impose a four-point deduction on the club, after its admission of a breach of the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

"The club lodged the appeal to the chair of the judicial panel today, who will now appoint an appeal board to hear the case."

Could Forest's points deduction increase or decrease?

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Kaveh Solhekol explains why Nottingham Forest have been deducted only four points and not six

The decision whether to reduce, maintain or increase (very unlikely) Forest's points deduction is entirely at the discretion of the independent appeals panel, which will be convened at some point in the next three weeks.

The situation is a complex one. Forest exceeded the financial limit by a much greater margin (£34.5m) compared with Everton (£19.5m), and yet Forest's penalty was smaller (four points deducted rather than Everton's six, which was itself reduced from 10 points on appeal).

That would suggest Forest's lawyers are optimistic in thinking they might be able to reduce their points penalty.

However, because Forest's PSR calculation included two seasons in the Championship, they were permitted to lose a much smaller amount over the rolling three-year period (£61m) compared with Everton (£105m).

As a result, Forest's total losses (£95.5m) were much smaller for the three-year period compared to Everton's (£124.5m). This is likely to form part of Forest's case to be presented to the appeals panel.

In their original hearing in front of an independent disciplinary panel, Forest were given a standard three-point penalty for breaching the PSR rules, with a further three points deducted because it was a serious breach.

However, the panel felt Forest had co-operated fully with both the Premier League investigation and the appeals panel hearing, and their six-point penalty was reduced to four.

Forest say their situation was unique - why?

Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirto Santo plus club crest and owner.
Image: Nottingham Forest want a decision on the matter as quickly as possible

Forest's original mitigation claimed they were in was a unique situation - winning promotion from such an unexpected position (they were bottom of the Championship when Steve Cooper took over in September, in the season they won promotion via the play-offs), stressing that they didn't have parachute payments to increase their revenue, and that they had a host of loan players on their books when they went up.

As such, the club claimed, it was a bigger step into the Premier League than for many other Championship clubs, meaning they had to spend more on players than their situation allowed, otherwise they had no chance of surviving in the top division.

This was reiterated in their statement, when they criticised the Premier League for bringing a case against them, saying it "raises issues of concern for all aspirant clubs".

Forest will reiterate these beliefs in their presentation to the new appeals panel.

Will Forest face the same panel as Everton?

It is also worth noting the independent panels convened to decide Forest's and Everton's fate involved different people adjudicating the cases. It will again be a new independent panel, with different personnel, that hears Forest's appeal.

These panels tend to look at precedent - what punishments have been handed to other clubs in similar situations.

But because both Forest and Everton are the first to have been punished under the new fast-track PSR rules, voted through by Premier League clubs before the start of this season, there is little precedent to inform the appeals panel's decision this time.

All of that makes it very difficult to predict whether Forest will be successful in their attempt to reduce their four-point penalty.

But Forest - along with Sheffield United, Burnley, Luton, Everton and Brentford - will await the outcome of the appeal with interest, because it is likely to have a crucial impact on the Premier League relegation battle.

Nottingham Forest fixtures

  • Crystal Palace (H) - Saturday March 30, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Fulham (H) - Tuesday April 2, Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm
  • Tottenham (A) - Monday April 8, Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Wolves (H) - Saturday April 13, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Everton (A) - Saturday April 20, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Manchester City (H) - Saturday April 27, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Sheffield United (A) - Saturday May 4, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Chelsea (H) - Saturday May 11, Premier League, kick-off 3pm
  • Burnley (A) - Sunday May 19, Premier League, kick-off 4pm

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