Credit to the Premier League for coming down hard on Everton. Next: Man City…

Editor F365
Sean Dyche and Pep Guardiola on the touchline while Everton face Manchester City.
Sean Dyche and Pep Guardiola on the touchline while Everton face Manchester City.

The Mailbox reacts to Everton’s points deduction and what it might mean for Manchester City. Also: plenty on England going through the motions against Malta.

Get your views in to

Who replaces Southgate?
Was meant to be at Wemberly this evening but had to bail at the last minute – phew!. Amazing how quickly we have become the Jude Bellingham team. I (just about) get Henderson as a squad player but starting him in matches like this makes no sense. Tomori at left back was worse than Trippier playing there and Gallagher is nowhere near good enough. The whole thing was very flat, and take Bellingham and Rice out of our midfield options it looks very thin indeed. Trent will never work, fantastic player but forever destined to underwhelm at England level. All that said, I have nothing but love for Southgate. We may never win anything but I can never impress upon my son enough that these are halcyon days for England, those of us that remember Carton Palmer, Geoff Thomas and the like will know what I mean. ‘Can we not knock it’ and ‘he’s going to flip one’ are burnt into our memories. Dark days indeed. Who could possibly succeed Southgate? looking at the odds is it not a case of better the devil you know? Pep? No chance. His system is a thing of beauty, fine tuned to perfection but if he can’t get the players, it won’t work. Potter? Nope. Eddie – maybe. After that we are into the famously attacking Tuchel, Gerrard, Lee Carsley and Steve Cooper (????). The search for an English Jurgen Klopp starts now!

With that in mind, what possible benefit can we gain from ditching Southgate? If the answer is more attacking football then I don’t see anyone that will bring that.
Tom, Not at Wembley


Not impressed
1 decent pass does not a great midfielder make yet media and Gareth alike are lauding him like some modern day Beckham

The only people who played well last night were Guehi and foden, the rest couldn’t be f*cked. And what you lot see in Gallagher is also beyond me.

We were dogsh*t in midfield last night and it’s no surprise that Gallagher and Trent were the 2 mainstays. Awful, overrated sh*te and yet everyone is lapping it up again.

This was Malta and if you think that shows how good England’s midfield is then you are dumb.

Rice, Bellingham and AN other for England’s midfield and it isn’t and should never be a failed right back and a tryer.
Fat man


…Gareth, Stop trying to make Conor Gallagher happen. Conor Gallagher is NOT going to happen.

Every single non-Chelsea fan with a working pair of eyes
Darryl Drummond


…My two thoughts from the Malta game are:

1. Phil Foden is our best, creative and most dynamic player.
2. Harry Kane was deservedly booked for diving to get a penalty. Not “buying contact” – a dive. Against Malta. Just embarrassing really.

Read more: Foden, TAA, Guehi, Palmer shine but Gallagher and Rashford flop: rating England players v Malta

PGMOL made to look good
Everyone in the mailbox seems to moan about the international break (interlull is an absolute dog-egg of a word)..

.. at least it’s done a service to the Premier League ref’s mob by showing them how to be truly inept.

After Tomori’s yellow I found myself googling if Euro qualifying games actually had VAR.. never mind the penalty shouts.

Granted England were pretty abysmal and Southgate is to blame for that, but it was a crap performance from the officials. Did the PGMOL slip them a tenner to make them look better?



…That Stark pun in the England player ratings?

Outstanding work.
Jon, Lincoln


Everton punished
You couldn’t make this up but here we are.

Are we seriously thinking that with all the shenanigans that go on in this league, that Everton are the problem and Everton should be the first to be punished?


If there was any doubt about how this league favors certain teams over others in order to “maintain the best league in the world” status, those doubts have to be utterly obliterated.

If you’re a fan of any team in this league, this has to concern you. We’ve worked with the league on this. We’ve been given the ok by the league over the past several years on our finances. Now this???

Let’s make an example of little old Everton shall we. It shows the league means business when it comes to club finances and spending.

Absolutely and utterly laughable.
TX Bill, EFC


…The recent developments in the English Premier League concerning Everton and Manchester City are not just alarming, they’re downright infuriating. In a glaring display of injustice, Everton, a club with a rich history and loyal fan base, has been slapped with a brutal 10-point deduction for breaching financial regulations. This decision by an independent commission has dragged Everton into the depths of the relegation zone, a nightmare scenario for any club.

The fans, players, and everyone associated with the club are now facing the harsh reality of potential relegation – all because of a breach in the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs) for the 2021-22 season. This is more than just a penalty; it’s a devastating blow to the heart and soul of the club and its supporters.

Contrast this with the situation at Manchester City. Here’s a club facing a staggering 115 charges for allegedly breaking financial fair play rules over a span of almost a decade. Yet, what do we see in terms of repercussions? Virtually nothing in comparison. The charges, which include a range of offences and are part of an investigation covering the years 2009 to 2018 – a period where City clinched six significant trophies – seem to be hovering in a limbo of sorts. The club has acknowledged these charges in their financial report, but the lack of immediate, impactful action is startling. There’s no deduction, no immediate sanction, just a note under the ‘Risks and Uncertainties’ section of a report.

This discrepancy is not just unfair, it’s a slap in the face to every fan who believes in fair play and justice in
#football. How can the same league, governed by the same set of rules, impose such a harsh penalty on one club and yet seemingly tread so lightly with another? Where is the consistency? Where is the integrity? This situation reeks of double standards and raises serious questions about the equality and fairness of the governing body’s decision-making process. It sends a message that some clubs are perhaps ‘too big to fail’ or ‘too powerful to punish’ adequately.

For Everton fans and football lovers who cherish fairness, this is a bitter pill to swallow. It’s a reminder that the beautiful game is not always played on a level playing field, and sometimes the scales of justice are unfairly tipped. This isn’t just about points and regulations; it’s about the spirit of the game being trampled upon. It’s a call to action for those who care about the integrity of football to stand up and demand fairness and transparency in the enforcement of rules, irrespective of the club’s stature or success.
Alexander Kirk, 25, Fan and Anti-Corruption Activist


Mystic Manc
As the international break is as tedious as ever, I’ve recently taken up a new hobby to keep the hours ticking by. Mainly the study of esoteric Pagan witchcraft up to and including astral projection, remote viewing and clairvoyance. And I thought that a fun idea would be combine my new and old hobbies by attempting to answer points of the Mailbox readers before they’re even published. So with crystal ball in hand, I say:

1. Because counting to 1 and counting to 115 takes a different amount of time.

2. Allegations are allegations and you can’t punish someone unless you’ve actually proven those allegations.

3. The PL “being corrupt” towards City and then levelling them with 115 accusations is contradictory and makes no rational sense.

4. You’re correct, it is somewhat suspicious how these announcements seem to coincide with the football regulator politics.

5. No, you still don’t understand time barring and its effect on the CAS judgement.

Paul the Mystic Manc


City next
Regarding Everton’s punishment (which feels harsh considering they cooperated), I know defensive Man City fans are going to be flooding the mailbox.

Let’s be honest, a club with no history of achievement was flooded with cash by a foreign power and they bought the league.
Of course the rest of us are hoping to see them fall.

Kind regards


Why Everton?
Last time I checked the Everton ownership group doesn’t have bases in the Persian Gulf vital to the Royal Navy.
Stephen – USA


FA show teeth
Leaving aside the fact that the FA are basically doing this to try to reduce the need for the incoming independent body – this is a good move for them and football.

For years they and uefa have looked utterly toothless while Italy (for all its flaws) showed everyone what you should do with cheats. They took the biggest club in their league and relegated them. It’s not even the first time they’ve harshly punished cheats. Corruption may be rife there but it is punished swiftly and harshly while up until now the FA basically just asked cheaters for a bit of pocket money so they could buy some pic n mix.

It’s a good move. But what does it mean for City and Chelsea (also nobodies mentioned it but arsenal too were playing some creative accounting for a while so maybe we see something there too)

Firstly Everton got a ten point deduction for their one charge so you might be (incorrectly) assuming city an Chelsea will get 10 points for every offence… Chelsea will probably get that for two reasons –
1. Chelsea when taken over by boehly basically went to the FA and said “look at all this rule bending we found out Roman was doing while we were looking for ways to bend rules”
2. It is genuinely different owners and punishing new owners for something the old one did being unfair is a legal case that could be competently made.

The unifying factor in Chelsea and Everton case and why they will get lesser punishments than city – they cooperated. Something the FA noted in their write which meant they went easier on everton than they would on people that don’t cooperate.

City…just like in their case against uefa..have obstinately refused to cooperate. A tactic which helped them run out the clock on the uefa charge but sadly won’t help against the FA as there is no clock to run out. I imagine their best tactic will be to disqualify those leaked papers on the grounds of stolen confidential information – but you can use stolen confidential papers in court so long as the prosecuting team had no part of the obtaining of said papers. Which they did not.
And since they’re not cooperating 10 points per offence is really the lowest figure but not the most likely. It’s likely to be a tougher punishment due to city not cooperating.

I wonder why someone wouldn’t cooperate with an investigation? Hmmmm

In a couple of years city could well get a points deduction so large they’ll be playing Sunday league football for a few years. If their backs are really against it I’m sure they’ll take a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Whatever happens it’s nice to see the governing body doing some err…governing.

Finally if they’re found guilty let’s not have silly conversations about handing Thier titles to second place instead. Just write CHEATED next to their name in all the official records instead.


​The point of such punishments
Seeing the decision that Eveton have been docked 10 points, I’ve had a think about what a strange punishment (or not) that is.

Everton apparently broke the rule about permitted losses over a three year period in the 21/22 season. A ten point deduction that year would have seen them relegated. Same if the sanction applied last year – so long Everton.

This year though, they’ve dropped to 19th for now, but are only three points from safety. Obviously form can change but given Everton’s form this year under Dyche and the relative…quality…of the three other teams at the bottom of the table, they’ll probably be out of the relegation zone after about three rounds of fixtures and go on to stay up quite comfortably.

Another website made the point that only three teams have ever had four points after 12 games and stayed up… but that’s not a useful statistic because the usual reason for only having four points after 12 games is that the team in question is too crap to accrue points. That’s not the reason here, Everton should continue to accrue points at a much better rate than the other teams currently around them.

Over the course of this season, it’ll probably only cost them two or three places in the league table in that comfortable mid-table and about £4-6m in lost prize money… not a huge deal for a PL team in Everton’s position.

If their transgression was really serious, a 10 point penalty is barely a punishment because of the timing.

Of course, for a different club on different facts it could be completely different. Last season United or Asenal would’ve lost their champions league places, with the massive financial consequences of that – Tottenham would’ve only dropped on league place but not missed out on anything else.

Had Man City (no accusation here… just a thought exercise) been punished for cheating to the extent Everton had…

Last season they’d of finished second, so lost out on the title, but only a couple of million financially. Same in 21-22. In 20-21, they would’ve still won the league with a ten point deduction. The year before that, they’d still finished second. In 17-18 they’d of still won the league by nine clear points!

You’d have to go back to the 16-17 season for a time when a 10 point deduction would’ve cost them a Champion’s League place…

What’s the point of this missive? There are two.

I don’t think a points deduction is a great way of punishing teams for their indiscretions. Ten points sounds like a really strong punishment but, when you step back and look at it, depending on timing it could be catastrophic for a club or a barely noticed smack on the wrist. Going straight to relegation would be more appropriate.

Even if you think a ten point deduction is an adequate punishment for a breach of financial fair play, the punishment for being found guilty of anywhere between two breaches and, plucking a number out of the air, 115 breaches should get a punishment that’s orders of magnitude greater – like kicked out of the football pyramid level stuff.

Because if a hypothetical football team really really wanted to cheat, like on a brazen and industrial scale for over a decade, then such a team would laugh at you over a ten point deduction… hypothetically speaking.
Andy (MUFC)


Pep’s mis-steps
Your of the opinion Pep and city never make transfer mistakes? Really have you forgotten one of the worst keepers to ever play in the premier league? Claudio Bravo the man with the same goalkeeping skill as a fire hydrant who pep brought in at the expense of the perfectly adequate Joe Hart. Or we can look at Danillo another useless player who they somehow managed to swap for Cancello and don’t come at me with the look at the clubs he played/plays for the same argument can be made for the useless Alvaro Morata or Mr offside as he’s known in the business. There was Angelino who hasn’t looked like a competent footballer anywhere except Germany. But yeah Pep and City are flawless when it comes to transfers.
Aaron CFC Ireland.


…F365, get your heads out of Pep’s backside. We know you think he’s some sort of god at everything but you are ignoring a lot of transfer mis-moves. Inevitably these get overlooked because 1) City are so rich they just sell and replace and 2) City invariably win because of point 1. and therefore hindsight tells you Pep’s transfer record must be great. However, the below must raise some serious questions:

Danilo (£30m), Kalvin Phillips (£49m), Mendy (£50m), Nolito (£20m), Claudio Bravo (£20m)…. Zlatan (£70m + Eto’o), Chygrynski (£25m), Hleb (£25m), Caceres (£18m), Kerirrison (£15m), Affelay (£10m), Adriano left back (£10m)…… Vidal (£40m), Goetze (£40m), Douglas Costa (£30m), Benatia (£30m). One must also remember that the Barca / Bayern signings were before the money got really silly so as an example £18m on Caeceres looks very negligent considering in 2008 the big transfer fees were only c. £30m.

I would argue, that if you look through Transfermarkt – at least 50% of the players Pep has signed have been flops. History is just kind to him because at Barca he inherited Messi & co, at Bayern he won a lot domestically because Bayern always do, and at City he has just replaced his mistakes.
Tom (Guardiola cant always be faultless)


ETH v Klopp
Well done Calvino on completely missing the point
So Liverpool had NO INJURIES in the first half of the season?

VVD- out for the season from 4th October.
Gomez-out for the season from early November.
Matip-out for the season in December.

Despite all that Liverpool were top in January.
They lost 8 out of 12 from January to March but, with the same players still out injured, won 8 of their last 10.
In those games they beat Arsenal 3-0 away and Man Utd 4-2 away.
They also made the last 8 of the CL.

Utd currently have a negative gd in the PL AND the CL and the top scoring forward in the PL at OT is Haaland.
Utd have scored 13 goals in 12 PL matches.
Liverpool were 3rd highest scorers in the PL that season, topped their CL group and never had a negative gd in any competition.

Klopp is the quickest manager in PL history to win a CL and a PL as a PL manager.
He also beat a team with 115 FFP charges hanging over them to the league by 18 points. When Pep beats a team with 230 FFP charges hanging over them to the league by 18 points AND wins the CL before them than we can compare the. 2 managers . Comparing Klopp football to the dross Houllier served up in 01/02 is also cringe.
Houllier made ETH seem flamboyant.
Gussy, Ireland

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and predecessor Unai Emery.

Emery at Arsenal
Just wanted to add to Lee, AFC, Bristol’s mail about Emery at Arsenal. It’s worth pointing out that by the end of Emery’s tenure at Arsenal, his team were playing some of most dire football I’ve witnessed Arsenal play in my time as a fan. When they had possession the players would pass the ball around conservatively and produce very little in the final third. The defence was a complete shambles.

I think Emery may have had a language barrier at Arsenal and I’m not saying this because of the “good ebening” memes. His English was still in development and it’s likely that he couldn’t adequately communicate his tactics to the team. This may explain why towards the end of his time at Arsenal the team was totally lacking in confidence, terrified of taking risks and playing a very rigid style of football. We looked stiff, lacking in creativity and clueless.

Stewie’s problem is that he’s so blinded by his irrational hatred for Arsenal and Wenger that he’s incapable of understanding that decisions must be judged based on the context that those decisions were made in. With the team looking hopeless and winless in 7 games it was quite understandable to sack Emery at the time. Similarly because Wenger had achieved incredible premier league and FA Cup success in the past, he had revolutionised diets and regimes in English football and he was consistently qualifying for the Champions League which he could use as a benchmark for a better next season (you can laugh in retrospect), it was understandable to keep him as a manager for much of the 2010s.

And of course because he was dropping out of the Champions League, failing in the Europa League and his football was clearly surpassed by fresh, younger managers he was justifiably sacked in 2018. I genuinely think that Stewie has a serious psychological issue with his obssessive hatred of Arsenal and his fixation on Wenger as if the man personally killed his father. Please seek help Stewie and have a lie down more often.
Vish (AFC), Melbourne, Aus


Ten joys of football
Very long time reader, first time mailer. I was once credited on Mediawatch for sending in a NSFW news story, so its not been all take on my part. Anyway, i’m sick of talking about whats wrong with the world. So I’ve complied a purely personal list of the little things which makes Football a huge part of my life.

A rocket launched shot cannoning off of the crossbar (when im buried, i want that sound on loop in the coffin). With the attached “GO ON” then hush followed by a “ARGHGHGH” from the fans.
A last ditch goal saving tackle, away from home 1 nil up in the 90th minute.
An academy player (who has been at the club since 10) breaking into the team and being brilliant.
The smell of onions and “meat” as you walk to the stadium on the High Road.
A beautiful nonchalant nutmeg.
A left footed player curling in a cross from the bye line. Think Edman to Larsson at the Euros.
Trapping the ball dead from a ball launched into the sky. Think Berbatov or Zidane.
The World Cup. The last hold out against the Americanisation of football.
The fact that “systems” and natural characteristics can be identified. Life is chaos but at least i know what a Dyche team will look like or that Neymar will always dive.
The community and friendships which football enables. What a way to distract yourself from the misery shown by the media day in day out.
I would love to hear what other Mailboxers top things about football are.
Brendan, Spurs, London