Everton fans march in protest at 10-point deduction in Premier League
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton fans marched in their thousands to Goodison Park ahead of a match against Manchester United on Sunday, protesting against the decision to dock their team a Premier League-record 10 points for breaching financial rules.
Supporters on the march held up pink cards featuring the word “corrupt” and the logo of the Premier League, and chanted “We shall not be moved.” On one huge banner read the message: “Where there is power, greed and money ... there is corruption.”
There is widespread anger at the Merseyside club at the severity of the sanction handed out by a disciplinary commission after Everton went less than 20 million pounds over the maximum losses allowed of 105 million pounds ($130 million) across a three-year period, according to the league's profit and sustainability rules.
This was Everton's first match since the club received a punishment that many in soccer feel doesn't fit the crime. It made for a hostile atmosphere inside Goodison Park as fans jeered the Premier League anthem and waved the pink cards when the players came out of the tunnel before kickoff.
There was a huge chant in the 10th minute — marking the 10 points docked — accusing the league of corruption.
Everton started the game tied for points with last-place Burnley, five points from safety, and stayed there after losing 3-0 to United, despite an encouraging performance for large parts of the game.
Everton manager Sean Dyche said it had been “a tough 10 days to take the news.”
“Most people think how unjust it is, including our fans, myself and the football club. We have to perform and win games."
Dyche said his team showed character in the circumstances.
“It is the glue that holds the group together,” he said.
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