Manchester Mayor Criticizes Premier League CEO Over Everton Penalty

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UK (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham hits at Premier League CEO Richard Masters for his Denial to release minutes of Everton hearing into their 10-point penalty despite Parliament request

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has criticized Richard Master’s decision to disavow Parliament’s request to unleash his witness statement to the independent commission and questioned ‘What are they trying to hide’. 

The Premier League chief executive had been questioned by Dame Caroline Dinenage, the MP who is the head of the DCMS committee, to give minutes of the board meeting that had given Everton a 10-point conclusion for financial breaches. 

The Merseyside club violated the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules and was presented with the heftiest points liability in the division’s history last year. 

In his reply to the request from the Culture, Media, and Sport committee, Masters stated that Everton was given two months’ notice of their likely penalty and stressed that it is not their ‘practice’ to publicize minutes of meetings as they are a ‘private business’. 

However, Burnham, who is a Toffees backer, reacted to the league chief’s letter – which had been made public on Friday – with a harsh rebuke in which he insisted it proved the case for the intro of a statutory regulator. 

‘”… being a private business, it is not our practice to provide or publish minutes of Premier League Board meetings …”’ Burnham began, citing Masters’s comments in a post on X.

‘The [Premier League] could not have made a better case for a statutory regulator for football if they had tried. What are they trying to hide?

The Premier League’s CEO had attracted the ire of fans during his government grilling last month when he directed to ‘small clubs’ while speaking about Everton and Nottingham Forest‘s spending charges.

Masters replied to a question about fairness by demanding that the rules are ‘standard directions for everybody – not just small clubs’.

He reacted to the backlash he received from his comments in the earlier mentioned letter published by DCMS, denying the apology and seemingly pressing what he said was not his intention. 

“As I said in my evidence, Everton and Nottingham Forest are valued and respected members of the Premier League” he stated. ‘Both Clubs enjoy successful histories, have strong and passionate fanbases, and make a significant contribution not just to the Premier League’s vibrant competition, but also to their cities and local communities.

“By reflecting on the Committee Member’s framing of the question, I did not intend to suggest otherwise. It would be incorrect to infer from this that there is any unfair treatment based on Club size, as suggested in the Committee’s media statement.” 

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“Indeed, the point I made was the opposite, in that the Premier League Board applies the Rules consistently, irrespective of the Club in question.”

Everton demanded their 10-point deduction, with the ruling likely to be announced next week. The club faces the prospect of additional sanctions, however, after being charged for a second violation.  

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.