Leeds & Burnley want Premier League to order Everton not to delete data

By Alistair Magowan & Simon StoneBBC Sport
Everton pitch invasion
Everton confirmed their Premier League status for next season with a comeback win over Crystal Palace on Thursday night

Leeds and Burnley have asked the Premier League to order Everton not to delete any data or communication relating to their commercial, sponsorship or transfer business.

The two clubs are stepping up their attempts to get Everton's financial accounts independently investigated.

Both have written to the league about the Toffees' latest accounts, which show losses of £120.9m for 2020-21.

Everton have posted losses of £372m over the past three years.

League profitability and sustainability rules allow for losses of £105m over a three-year period but Everton say Covid-19 losses over the past two seasons amount to £170m, which can be deducted from their total.

That figure has caused surprise among some Premier League teams because it dwarfs clubs of a similar size.

Earlier this week, Newcastle posted Covid-19 losses of £40m over the past two seasons, while Aston Villa said theirs amounted to £56m.

Everton, who have been involved in a relegation battle with Leeds and Burnley, secured their Premier League status on Thursday with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.

They are confident they are compliant with the rules and have been "working formally" with the league.

Burnley and Leeds want an independent commission to urgently assess Everton's finances.

It is understood they are viewing the matter as one of sporting integrity given the Toffees spent more money in the last transfer window by signing Dele Alli, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson in deals worth an initial £35m, rising to as much as £70m.

Burnley, Leeds and the Premier League declined to comment when contacted by BBC Sport.

When releasing their accounts in March, Everton said their actual losses were about £170m over three years because Covid losses can be written off, with the figure calculated as an average over the past two seasons.

They said other costs, which can also be deducted, include spending on their new Bramley Moore Dock stadium and on the club's academy and the women's team, bringing their finances into line.

Everton said in March they remain in a "secure financial position" after further support from their owner Farhad Moshiri, who has put more than £600m into the club since he first bought shares in the club in 2016.

But they have suspended sponsorship deals with companies owned or part-owned by Alisher Usmanov, after the Russian billionaire was sanctioned by the UK government and European Union following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Usmanov is a close business associate of Moshiri and also paid Everton £30m for an option on the naming rights of their as yet unbuilt stadium, which is set to open in 2024.

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