Nottingham Forest’s appeal against their four-point deduction for breaking Premier League financial rules is set to be heard in the week commencing April 22, the PA news agency understands.

Forest were sanctioned in March for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) by £34.5million above their permitted threshold of £61million.

They immediately cited their unhappiness at an independent commission’s ruling, with their defence centred around the sale of Brennan Johnson to Tottenham on the final day of the 2023 transfer window, which occurred a short period later than necessary.

They soon confirmed their intention to appeal, which will now be heard in the week after they visit Everton in a crunch Premier League game next Sunday.

The result is not expected straight away, however, and with the Toffees also appealing against their second points deduction of the season, there is a real prospect of the relegation fight being decided by boardroom litigation.

Forest will again argue their case, with the hope their penalty is reviewed and therefore giving themselves breathing space at the foot of the table,

They were plunged into the relegation mire by their deduction but moved a point clear of Luton in 18th following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wolves.

The Premier League has recommended a deduction of up to 12 points for Everton over alleged breaches of financial rules, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that the league has asked an independent commission hearing charges against the Merseyside club to impose a severe sanction.

A 12-point deduction would leave Everton on minus-five points in this season’s league table. The club and the Premier League have not commented on the report.

The league referred the club to the commission in March over an alleged breach of its profitability and sustainability (P&S) rules over a period ending with the 2021-22 season.

The league’s P&S rules allow clubs to lose a maximum of £105million over a three-year period or face sanctions.

Everton said in a statement issued on the day that news of the referral was confirmed: “The club strongly contests the allegation of non-compliance and together with its independent team of experts is entirely confident that it remains compliant with all financial rules and regulations.

“Everton is prepared to robustly defend its position to the commission. The club has, over several years, provided information to the Premier League in an open and transparent manner and has consciously chosen to act with the utmost good faith at all times.”

Everton have recorded annual losses for five consecutive years – more than £430million in total over the period.

The club are the subject of a takeover bid by American private investment firm 777 Partners, which last week denied a New York Times report that its bid had stalled because of a failure to supply information to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Yorkshire have been hit with points deductions in two formats and fined £400,000 over the racism scandal linked to their former player Azeem Rafiq.

A Cricket Discipline Commission panel said £300,000 of the fine imposed had been suspended for a period of two years.

The club have also immediately been docked 48 points from their County Championship total, and a further four from their tally in the T20 Blast.

Yorkshire, who had admitted four charges following the conclusion of an England and Wales Cricket Board investigation, released a statement confirming they accepted the sanctions.

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