Everton should accept their 10-point deduction by the Premier League and use it as fuel to avoid relegation, according to former title-winning keeper Neville Southall.
The Merseyside club was docked points with immediate effect on Friday after being found to have breached profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) relating to losses.
It means Sean Dyche’s side dropped to second from bottom with four points, above only Burnley on goal difference.
“All it will do is galvanise the players, the manager and the fans into one, which is a good thing, but they must appeal as that is what everyone does,” Southall told the BBC.
“However, if I was them I would just take it and get it out of the way. They are playing well and the Premier League is not a great league from the bottom half down, so we have a chance of winning that little bit of a league.
“It sounds harsh and horrendous but if you broke the rules, you broke the rules — just suck it up.”
Everton described the decision as unjust and said it would appeal, adding that they would “monitor with great interest” the decisions made in other cases relating to the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.
Earlier this year, champions Manchester City were also referred to an independent commission over more than 100 alleged breaches of finance rules since the club were acquired by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group.
No verdict has been reached yet in the case related to City.
“It has been coming so it is no surprise,” added Southall of Everton’s predicament. “But at the end of the day they knew it was coming and if they are doing Everton they are doing other clubs as well. Otherwise it is discrimination against one club.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, now a Sky Sports pundit, described the deduction as excessive — especially in the light of the Premier League’s treatment of the six clubs who threatened to join a breakaway European Super League.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham agreed to make a combined contribution of 22 million pounds for their actions and were threatened with 30-point deductions if they joined unsanctioned leagues in the future.
“No doubt relegated clubs will have put big pressure on the Premier League to deal with Everton, but when you consider six clubs tried to leave the Premier League and there was no sanction at all it doesn’t feel right,” Carragher posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday.