Can Everton survive if they get a 12-point deduction?
While those with recency bias or lack of knowledge about English football might deem Everton a smaller club, no team in England has played as many seasons in the top flight. Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal have all made fewer appearances in England's top division than Everton, who boasts 70 consecutive seasons in the top flight of English football.
This is despite their woeful and disastrous tenure under their late chairman, Bill Kenwright, who oversaw the most prolonged, trophyless period in the club's history. Having stayed in the Premier League by the skin of their teeth in back-to-back seasons, it might seem as though, on paper, a 12-point deduction would be the final nail in the coffin for the Merseysiders.
What Do The Sportsbooks Say?
Sheffield United, Luton Town, and Burnley are the three frontrunners to go down this season with the sports bookmakers. More often than not, it is the teams who have been promoted who find themselves in trouble again. However, if Everton does end up on the receiving end of this point deduction, they'll likely be right in the mix and may even replace Sheffield United as the favourites to get relegated. You can explore bonuses from Unibet if you're looking to place a bet on an outright market. This includes relegation odds as well as outright Premier League winners and a host of betting markets in between that you can place a wager on.
The Difficult Case For A Points Deduction
Once the media began reporting that Everton could face a significant punishment, many Premier League pundits and fans started questioning the legitimacy of such a ruling - given that multiple other teams in the league have been accused of even greater financial misconduct and spent far more significant amounts than Everton. Some journalists have argued that if Everton gets a points deduction, it could open up a barrel of worms that means either a string of other clubs face the same wrath or inconsistencies with how the richer clubs are treated could bring the legitimacy of the league into disrepute.
One thing that seems to be unanimous amongst Everton fans and football fans in England is the outrageous amounts spent by the club on mediocre or limited players over the last eight years. Looking at the structure of teams like Brighton, who have spent a fraction and are consistently challenging for Europe, there's been decades of systemic, poor leadership at Everton. This has ultimately culminated in the potential for a disastrous points deduction; it's been years in the making.
You'd have to say that Everton would be unlikely to stay in the league if they got hit with a deduction of this magnitude. Despite Sean Dyche's men playing much better football this season, they have still dropped points to some of the relegation favourites, drawing with Sheffield United and losing at home to Luton Town. Although they've put together a stream of good performances of late, they would have to have the form of a top 7 or 8 team to escape the relegation zone with a 12-point deduction, and that's not the level they're currently playing at.
However, if there is one team that understands how to survive in the top division, then it is Everton. If they can keep Dominic Calvert-Lewin at full fitness and pick up points on the road, then there's every chance they could stay up, even with the points deduction, but they will be hoping to avoid it.
If they were to go down with a new state-of-the-art stadium close to completion, it could be the end of England's most historic clubs. Due to the lack of direction at the club over the last 25 years, a points deduction accompanied by relegation could be the cherry on the cake of their worst-ever era. Still, if they can avoid relegation this season, there could be brighter days on the horizon.