If Everton were guilty of wilfully deceiving the Premier League, failing to be transparent about their financial difficulties, or basically lying about the amounts they are really spending and ‘cooking the books’, I would feel differently.
My sympathies are extended because they have been the opposite of this. It is hard to understand how the Premier League could be working with a club to ensure they remained compliant, watching them complete signings such as those for Nathan Patterson and Vitalii Mykolenko for a combined fee of around £30 million in January 2022, only to later suggest the club has lost around £20 million too much. Why not intervene at that point?
The impact of interest rates on the new stadium seems a reasonable defence, too. The purpose behind Profit and Sustainability rules has to be questioned if clubs are to be penalised for spending on much needed infrastructure projects designed to help long-term financial sustainability. The new Everton stadium will be used at Euro 2028, benefiting all English football in some way, as well as regenerating one of our biggest cities. To penalise Everton for having to pay an increasing amount for the arena in the current economic climate is unfair.