The Premier League has recommended a deduction of up to 12 points for Everton over alleged breaches of financial rules.
Reports suggest the league has asked an independent commission hearing charges against the Merseyside club to impose a severe sanction.
A 12-point deduction would leave Everton on minus-five points in this season’s league table. The club and the Premier League have not commented on the report.
The league referred the Toffees to the commission in March over an alleged breach of its profitability and sustainability [P&S] rules over a period ending with the 2021-22 season.
The league’s P&S rules allow clubs to lose a maximum of £105million over a three-year period or face sanctions.
Everton said in a statement issued on the day that news of the referral was confirmed: “The club strongly contests the allegation of non-compliance and together with its independent team of experts is entirely confident that it remains compliant with all financial rules and regulations.
“Everton is prepared to robustly defend its position to the commission. The club has, over several years, provided information to the Premier League in an open and transparent manner and has consciously chosen to act with the utmost good faith at all times.”
Everton have recorded annual losses for five consecutive years — more than £430m in total over the period.
The club are the subject of a takeover bid by American private investment firm 777 Partners, which last week denied a report that its bid had stalled because of a failure to supply information to the Financial Conduct Authority.
The Toffees face West Ham on Sunday and head coach Sean Dyche will be making sure his players’ focus is on the football in front of them rather than the issues off the pitch.