Everton points deduction: Sean Dyche says Toffees are 'aggrieved' at 'disproportionate' punishment

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
We're shocked over 10-point deduction - Everton manager Dyche

Sean Dyche says Everton feel "aggrieved" at their "disproportionate" 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules.

The Toffees were given the biggest sanction in Premier League history last week, dropping them from 14th to 19th, joint-bottom alongside Burnley.

The club has said it intends to appeal.

"Like everyone in these parts, I was shocked. [From] the wave of noise it seems like everyone in football was shocked,"said Dyche.

"The enormity of it. Disproportionate is a word being used and obviously we are going to feel aggrieved by that."

Despite the punishment, Dyche says his job "hasn't changed" and his players are prepared "for the next challenge".

The Toffees host Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday (kick-off 16:30 GMT) and, after a poor start to the season, go into the fixture having won six of their past nine games in all competitions.

"It doesn't change the focus, which is sorting things out on the pitch, getting the team to win and the performances to feel different," said former Burnley boss Dyche.

"We were on the right lines for that and delivering strong performances - [the punishment] has given us a push back to go forward again. The job hasn't changed for me, [but] it has made it more difficult in the current circumstances until the appeal.

"I spoke to the group and said the league table is one thing - the final league table is the truth. [The deduction] enhances what we are doing [because it means] we have to go harder for longer. They are the rules of football."

The Football News Show: Are Everton fans right to feel aggrieved over points sanction?

Dyche insists on 'us against the world' mentality

Everton say the financial breach centres around interest payments for their new £760m stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

The club believed those interest payments represented permissible 'add backs' for profit and sustainability calculations in the 2021-22 financial year, but the investigating commission disagreed and did not accept the club's claim of mitigating factors.

Director of football Kevin Thelwell said Everton's spirit remains "strong" and "unwavering", and insists the club is "united".

Meanwhile, a group of fans has raised more than £40,000 for anti-Premier League protest material for Sunday's game.

Dyche said: "I can't get involved in all of that, but [there is a] swell of Toffees getting behind the club, and the feeling of Evertonians is one of [injustice].

"There is a feeling of standing stronger more than ever, and all we can ask for is their backing and support in the stadium. They will be supporting that team and we need to continue building the connection.

"What happens on the pitch is the vital thing. We have been changing that, the results have shown that."

Football Focus: Jack Harrison says Everton can avoid relegation battle after points deduction

Asked by BBC Sport if there is an 'us against the world' mentality at the club now, Dyche replied: "I don't think it is an internal thing - it should be the mentality anyway.

"I understand why fans are [feeling that way now] but I have been searching for that mentality regardless - the inner belief of being able to take anything on.

"I want that mentality, not just in adversity but when it is good as well. The real bond of a group [is] to be true to what it is."

A group of Everton fans protested against the 10-point deduction outside the Premier League's London headquarters on Friday evening.

Protests banners and cards will also be displayed in the stands at Goodison Park before and during Sunday's game with Manchester United.

As darkness will have fallen by the 16:30 GMT kick-off time, a plane with a message to the Premier League will be flown over Etihad Stadium during Saturday's televised lunchtime game between Manchester City and Liverpool.

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