There is a strong chance that Chelsea and Manchester City will get harsher fines than Everton and Nottingham Forest next season.

Since its implementation, Financial Fair Play has been a heated subject in English football. Two teams have already faced point deductions for FFP violations in the 23/24 season.

The criteria used to determine the point deductions has perplexed some supporters; for example, Nottingham Forest received a penalty six points less than Everton‘s original sanction. Sanctions for violating profit and sustainability standards (PSR) put both clubs in much more jeopardy of relegation.

Chelsea and Manchester City in FFP hot water

Since Todd Boehly assumed control of Chelsea in May 2022, the club has spent over $1.26 billion on new players. Despite concerns, they have not faced charges related to financial infractions.

Premier League teams must adhere to PSR, limiting losses to $132 million over three years. Suspicious payments to agents outside official records during the Roman Abramovich era were revealed last summer.

Todd Boehly set aside $189 million upon acquiring the Stamford Bridge club to cover potential legal fees, per reports. The league also filed 115 allegations against Manchester City last year, and the club awaits the verdict.

City officials have scheduled a trial date, but this has not been formally verified. Now, the Commission has effectively warned the two Premier League heavyweights that they might face the ultimate punishment.

What do experts say?

Robert Glancy KC, sports legal expert Mark Hovell, and accounting expert Steve Holt laid out the possible consequences for Premier League teams in their 52-reason analysis of the Forest scenario.

The Commission said that expulsion from the Premier League was one possible penalty, among others. “Where a PSR breach is ‘minor’, then it will be for other Commissions to determine if any points deduction is necessary, appropriate or proportionate.

“But if the breach is properly described as ‘major’ then it may be the case that even a very severe sanction such as expulsion is more appropriate”. City and Chelsea seem to be facing charges that might be classified as “major” based on the accusations.

Forest tribunal’s ruling would not bind subsequent commissions. Nonetheless, it serves as a chilling message to the two English giants.

The Etihad club has denied every one of the 115 claims leveled against them since February 2023. Initial proceedings in the protracted Commission case are likely to begin in either October or November, with a final ruling not anticipated until either March or April of the 24-25 season.

Meanwhile, members of Chelsea’s executive team brought attention to illegal payments made to agents and others by Roman Abramovich. Even though the Premier League is conducting an inquiry, they have not officially charged them, despite UEFA fining them $10.8 million.