Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has called for the Toffees to show “unity and togetherness” in the wake of their 10-point deduction, starting with Sunday’s home clash against Manchester United.
After an independent commission found that Everton breached the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules during a four-year period ending with the 2021-22 season, the Toffees were hit with an immediate 10-point deduction.
Everton have announced their intention to appeal the penalty, which is the largest in Premier League history. In a statement, the club said the punishment was “neither a fair nor a reasonable reflection” of the case, after they were found to have exceeded the maximum allowed loss of £105million by £19.5m.
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Sean Dyche’s team are back in action against Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday, with fan protests against the ruling sure to contribute to a raucous atmosphere.
Calvert-Lewin says news of the punishment did not faze the players, who are simply focused on matters they can control.
“I’ve played in a lot of games against United at Goodison, and the atmosphere is always incredible. I expect the weekend to be no different, if not more electric,” he told Everton’s website.
“I’m sure the fans will be ready. Us as players, we’ll prepare the same as normal and make sure we’re ready to put in a performance and collect the three points.
“I think, given the circumstances, I’ve sensed a lot of unity and togetherness.
Our Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, has written to Evertonians on the recent ‘wholly disproportionate and unjust ruling’.
— Everton (@Everton) November 22, 2023
“We were off on the international break when the news broke, but coming back in this week, I don’t feel like it’s fazed us players.
“We know, as a group, we can’t affect that. All we can affect is what’s in front of us, and that’s the game on Sunday, so we’re looking forward to that.”
Despite the severity of their punishment, many have suggested Everton still have what it takes to avoid relegation, with a run of four wins in their last seven games ensuring they are still only two points adrift of 17th-placed Luton Town.
“Confidence is as high as it can be, and as high as it should be,” Calvert-Lewin added. “Within those games, we’ve ground out a couple of results, but we’ve also won convincingly in some of them.
“We’re taking the momentum into this weekend, and not letting the external things that we can’t really affect have an impact on us in the camp.
“We have to focus on how we have been winning games and how we have been playing well. The weekend should be no different.”