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Every points deduction in top-flight history as Premier League sanction Leicester City

Before this season the Premier League had only ever dished out a points deduction on two occasions, but by the end of 2023/24 they may have handed out four of them this term alone. 

Leicester City are the latest club to be sanctioned, despite being a Championship club, for an alleged breach of Profit and Sustainability Rules. Their case has been referred to an independent panel and their punishment will be learned in due course.

This comes off the back of points deductions for both Everton and Nottingham Forest earlier this season, with the Toffees could lose more points following another alleged breach.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester City are still awaiting judgement from the Premier League on their alleged infractions.


We’ve had a look through the history of the English game to see which clubs were penalised in the form of a points deduction and why.

Every points deduction in English top-flight football:

Nottingham Forest – 4pts

After spending a ludicrous amount of money signing a million new players upon gaining promotion to the Premier League, it’s little surprise that Forest were sanctioned for PSR breaches. Anyone could have seen it coming.

Clubs who come up from the Championship are permitted to lose £61m over a three-year period, but they exceeded this by £34.5m, earning a four-point deduction.

The punishment could have been worse, though. The Premier League wanted them to be docked eight points, while the commission felt six points was appropriate. This was revised down to four owing to the club’s “early plea and the cooperation together”.

Still, Forest were “extremely dismayed” by the decision and are appealing it.

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Everton – 6pts

The Merseyside outfit were originally hit with the biggest points deduction in English football history after they were docked 10 points for breaching profit and sustainability rules, specifically relating to the three-year period ending with the 2021/22 campaign. The Premier League determined that Everton lost £124.5 million over that time, whereas clubs are only allowed to run a loss of £105m over three years.


However, this was reduced to six points on appeal. The appeal board found the original commission was wrong in finding Everton had been “less than frank” in relation to what they told the Premier League about debt linked to their new stadium, and also found it was wrong of the commission not to take into account available benchmarks for sanction, such as EFL guidelines.

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Portsmouth – 9pts

Less than two years after winning the FA Cup, Portsmouth went into administration during the 2009/10 season after being unable to pay outstanding debts. It was the first time it happened to a Premier League club and they subsequently suffered relegation to the second tier.

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MIddlesbrough – 3 points

In December 1996, Middlesbrough decided to call off their game against Blackburn Rovers as 23 members of their squad were reportedly ill or injured – but did so without the approval of the Premier League.

They were hit with a three-point deduction, which would prove costly. They ended the campaign two points from safety and were relegated to the Division One, despite boasting the likes of Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli among their numbers.

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Arsenal and Man Utd – 2pts & 1pt

Players from Arsenal and Manchester United engaged in a massive brawl at Old Trafford in October 1990. The schmozzle led to both teams being sanctioned by the Football League, with the Gunners receiving a two-point penalty while the Red Devils were docked a single point.

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Sunderland – 2pts

The first, and for over a century the only top flight English team to have received a points deduction was Sunderland. In 1890/91 the Black Cats were deducted two points for fielding an ineligible player. Everton, of all teams, went on to win the league title that year.

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