As reported by The Times, both clubs wrote a letter to the governing body asking whether the Premier League investigated Everton, who lost £371.8 million over the last three years, what the outcome of the investigation was and if they intend to impose any sanctions.
Premier League clubs are allowed to lose a maximum of £105 million over three years as part of the profit and financial sustainability rules. COVID-related losses can be written off.
However, Leeds and Burnley have pointed out that Everton’s pandemic-related losses were more than three times that of other similarly sized clubs. Everton said £170 million of their losses in their annual accounts were related to the pandemic. Aston Villa, for example, put their own figure at £56 million.
The Goodison Park club also only generated £14 million a season from matchday income before the pandemic and the forced closure of football stadiums.
Both Leeds and Burnley are at risk of relegation this weekend. Everton secured Premier League survival with a win over Crystal Palace on Thursday night.
The letter was sent prior to Thursday night’s games.
It is understood there are no active legal proceedings, although it could go down that route. There is also no timescale on when this will be dealt with.
If it went down a legal route, it would have the potential to be the biggest legal challenge the Premier League and a club have faced since West Ham United paid £20 million to Sheffield United after being fined in 2007 for a breach of third-party rules around the signing of Carlos Tevez.
Leeds, Burnley and the Premier League declined to comment when contacted by The Athletic.
An Everton spokesman said: “We have worked so closely with the Premier League to make sure we are compliant and we are comfortable we have complied with the rules.
“External auditors have told us what we can and cannot claim against the pandemic. If clubs want to take legal action that’s their decision.”
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