As expected, Nottingham Forest is going to appeal the points deduction that subtracted four points from the club’s Premier League point total. The English top flight ruled that Forest violated the Profitability and Sustainability Rules in its first season back in the Premier League. According to financial analysis from the league, Forest was $44 million above the loss limit the Premier League allowed.

Now, Forest is appealing the decision on the grounds that the punishment is too excessive. Interestingly, the Premier League prepared to give Nottingham Forest a six-point penalty, one that would have equaled Everton’s penalty. However, excellent cooperation from Nottingham Forest reduced the punishment.

The principal issue Nottingham Forest has is that the Premier League did not consider the extraneous situation that Nottingham Forest had compared to a club like Everton. Other clubs had a considerably higher spending limit. For reference, Nottingham Forest had a loss limit of $77 million. Traditionally, the Premier League sets the parameters at $133 million over three years. Since Forest had spent two of those three years in the Championship, that loss limit was lower. By comparison, the two clubs that came up with Forest, Bournemouth and Fulham, benefited from parachute payments from the Premier League.

“We were extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions before the Commission,” Forest said in a statement. “After months of engagement with the Premier League, and exceptional cooperation throughout, this was unexpected and has harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League.”

Forest appeal on points deduction includes Johnson sale

During its defense, Nottingham Forest pointed to the sale of Brennan Johnson as a means of revenue. Tottenham Hotspur paid over $60 million for Johnson after the PSR year closed. In the Premier League, the calendar runs from July 1 to June 30. With Forest violating PSR regulations for the 2022/23 season, Johnson’s sale in August 2023 was too late to help its cause.

However, when it heard the points deduction, Forest said the Premier League sets clubs up for failure. It is a challenge to compete with the transfer spending of clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City.

“Of wider concern for all aspirant clubs is the disturbing effect this decision will have on the operation of the player trading model. This is the only model by which clubs outside of the small group at the very top end of the Premier League can realistically advance up the football pyramid.”

Everton previously successful in its appeal

The only other instance of a club suffering a points penalty was Everton. That was earlier this season. The Toffees also issued an appeal against the Premier League’s ruling. That was successful, as it reduced the penalty from 10 points to six.

For Forest, its placement in the table is at the mercy of this appeal and penalty. The four-point drop plunged the club into the relegation zone with 10 games remaining this campaign. Even a reduction by one point to a three-point penalty would pull the club out of the bottom three. Currently, Nottingham Forest trails Luton Town by one point. A better goal differential is a positive for Forest. Still, games are dwindling this season, and Forest needs every point it can get.

Moreover, the Premier League still has to make a ruling on Everton’s second PSR violation charge. The Premier League claimed Everton had another instance of going against financial fair play. That could lead to a second points deduction for Sean Dyche’s side. Everton is currently four points above Nottingham Forest in the table.