THE current joke doing the rounds on Merseyside is from Liverpool fans mocking their rivals Everton — as you would expect and hope.
It’s a fake weather report with people claiming that in some parts of the city it’s minus ten. Geddit?
GettySean Dyche’s Everton have been docked ten points and are second bottom of the Premier League[/caption]
GettyThe Toffees still find themselves above Vincent Kompany’s Burnley[/caption]
But if the outlook is gloomy for Evertonians coming to terms with the massive points deduction for breaking financial rules, there is one sliver of optimism.
Step forward Burnley.
If you thought that traditionally morose and cynical Evertonians (trust me, there are one or two) had it bad, what does it say about Burnley that they are still looking up at 19 other teams?
Even with the equivalent of three wins and a draw taken away from them after only a dozen league games this season, Everton boss Sean Dyche can laugh and say it could be worse — he could be Vincent Kompany up at Turf Moor.
Burnley have lost six games in a row, have one Prem victory this season and have scored just nine goals in the league and let in 30.
To a hugely complex and highly tuned mind like mine, with years of experience, this suggests the team might be struggling a bit.
In their most recent financial report, Burnley declared net assets of £104million. Manchester City boast £790m. That’s more than just coincidence.
Like Everton, City are under the cosh for the way they are spending their cash.
Prem chiefs have laid 115 charges of dodgy dealing at the door of the Etihad Stadium — with firm denials in place.
Chelsea have spent £1billion on an entirely new squad and are now being investigated for financial wrongdoing under the previous owner.
They have already been fined more than £8.5m by Uefa for irregularities in their accounts from when Russian Roman Abramovich was running the show.
Cash flying between Stamford Bridge, Moscow and the British Virgin Islands during Red Rom’s era of trophy gathering seems to have gone hand in hand with iffy spending.
The new American owners were so worried that they even flagged it up to the authorities when they took over last year. Football’s equivalent of handing yourself in at the local nick.
As far as we know Burnley have practised good housekeeping — with no suspicions around their fiscal conduct.
Crikey, if they had been fiddling the books and were still this bad there’d be some serious questions to answer.
There are numerous arguments that points deductions merely punish innocent players who know nothing of what goes on upstairs, likewise for the supporters.
GettyChelsea and Man City are now anxiously waiting to see if they are hit with punishments[/caption]
Fines can be batted away by super-rich clubs, even ones like Everton.
So how about trying to balance things out between the haves and the have nots whenever a slippery board of directors is found to breach rules on spending?
Future sentences for syphoning off cash to pals in faraway tax havens, or over-inflating sponsorship deals, even running at an excessive loss could be judged on the size of the club’s bank balance.
Weigh up the punishment against turnover or revenue and whack the rich harder.
Redistribute the money on a sliding scale among those less well-off teams who have done things by the book.
If the rich clubs were aware that every time they get done for playing Del Trotter in the transfer market their money was going to a direct rival, it might make them think twice.
We could even call it levelling up.