Appeal board upholds Nottingham Forest points deduction

Appeal board upholds Nottingham Forest points deduction

Nottingham Forest have failed with an appeal against their four-point punishment for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

The club’s case was held on 24 April and an appeal board has upheld the original decision of an independent commission to impose the sanction.

The commission found Forest’s losses to 2022-23 breached the threshold of £61m by £34.5m. It means Forest remain 17th and three points clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play.

The three-person appeal board arrived at a “unanimous” decision to uphold the original ruling by the commission, describing it as “commendably clear and comprehensive”.

“Some of the criticisms of the [original] decision have involved a minute examination of the words used by the commission,” the board said of Forest’s appeal. “Decisions such as these should not be subjected to microscopic forensic examination and interpreted as if they were statutes which have been drafted by parliamentary counsel.

“Allegations of infelicities of language or errors which are not material to the ultimate decision add to the complexity and costs of proceedings and are rarely likely to lead to a successful challenge of a decision.” In March, Forest dropped into the Premier League’s relegation zone after the initial points deduction.

The Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules permit clubs to lose £105m over three seasons – or £35m per campaign – but Forest’s maximum loss was limited to £61m as they spent two years of the assessment in the Championship.

The club’s net transfer spend in the 2022-23 season was £142.8m. They lost an average of £3m across 2020 and 2021 with a further £40m loss in 2022 and £52m in 2023, amounting to a total of £95m.

Forest had been due to receive a six-point deduction – three points for the initial breach and a further three for the size of the breach – but their “early plea” and “cooperation” saw the ban reduced to four points.

Forest host Chelsea on Saturday (17:30 BST) and end the campaign at relegation-threatened Burnley (16:00 BST) on 19 May.

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