Premier League CEO Richard Masters is in hot water after referring to Everton and Nottingham Forest as ‘small clubs.’ The exec made the comment in front of a sports committee during a recent meeting. Both English top flight teams were recently charged with violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Committee member Damian Green initially asked Masters if there are separate rules for “very big clubs” compared to the seemingly ‘expedited’ approach to Everton and Forest.

“I have said that there are standard directions for everybody, not just for small clubs.”

“So if anybody was in breach then we would be doing exactly the same thing on exactly the same time frame.” replied Masters.

Manchester City face a charge of over 100 instances of breaking financial rules. Nevertheless, the reigning European champions have not yet faced a penalty. An official trial on the issue will not place until later this year.

Even though their charges came after City’s, Everton have had a 10-point deduction given by an independent commission. As a result, the Toffees currently sit just one point away from the relegation zone. The latest round of charges are in addition to the previous violations.

Everton, Forest have collected major silverware in their histories

Committee chairwomen, and Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Caroline Dinenage has now publicly asked for Masters to expound on his comment regarding the two teams. “I would be grateful if you could clarify what criteria the Premier League uses to classify ‘small clubs’ and which clubs it regards as small,” claimed Dinenage.

Everton fans have felt particularly aggrieved over their club’s treatment by the Premier League
Everton fans have felt particularly aggrieved over their club’s treatment by the Premier League

Everton fans have felt particularly aggrieved over their club’s treatment by the Premier League

The elected representative also referenced both Everton and Forest’s historical success in the sport. “Richard Masters’ implication that nine-times league title winners Everton and double European Cup winners Nottingham Forest are ‘small clubs’ will have raised eyebrows with fans,” continued Dinenage.

Everton’s nine English top flight titles are the fourth-most championships in the entire country. Interestingly enough, the Toffees are currently level with City on historical league titles. Along with their previous league success, Everton has also racked up five FA Cup titles and two League Cup trophies.

Forest may only have one league triumph in their history, but they do have significant European success. As Dinenage previously stated, the East Midlands team has collected two European Cup titles. This competition eventually morphed into the UEFA Champions League. Top teams such as Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, and Atletico Madrid have never collected silverware in this competition.

MP also asks for clarification on Everton’s FFP penalty

Along with qualms about Masters’ comments, Dinenage also raised an issue regarding Everton’s initial punishment. Premier League officials, including Masters, reportedly asked the commission to utilize a starting penalty of six points. An additional one-point deduction would then be put on top of the punishment for every $6.3 million a club goes over the spending limit. Nevertheless, the commission gave Everton the 10-point penalty.

Everton is currently appealing the initial punishment. However, they also now have to deal with the aforementioned second charge as well. The Toffees have since denied any wrongdoing regarding breaking the current financial laws in place.

Photo credits: IMAGO / PA Images : IMAGO / PA Images.