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Premier League table may NOT be decided on final day of season after Nottingham Forest’s points deduction

BUCKLE-UP and brace yourself for the great relegation roller coaster – it’s going to be one helluva white-knuckle ride!

The confirmation that Nottingham Forest have been deducted four points for breaching Profit and Sustainability Rules, saw them swap places with Luton Town to plunge into the Premier League’s relegation zone.

Nottingham Forest were hit with a four point deduction today

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Nottingham Forest were hit with a four point deduction todayCredit: Rex
But, with Everton also facing a second deduction, the fate of the league may not be confirmed until after the season ends

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But, with Everton also facing a second deduction, the fate of the league may not be confirmed until after the season endsCredit: Alamy
Luton could drop back below Forest on merit if a Forest appeal is successful

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Luton could drop back below Forest on merit if a Forest appeal is successfulCredit: Reuters
Here's how the table looks after today's news
Here’s how the table looks after today’s news

They are now experiencing the same sinking feeling Everton felt earlier in the season when they were docked 10 points – later reduced to six – and also plummeted into the bottom three.

As things stand, Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side are now on 21 points – one point adrift of Luton, who they drew with on Saturday, while they trail Everton by four points.

With nine games left they now face the scramble of all scrambles to claw their way out of the drop zone, with Brentford (26 points) and even Crystal Palace (29 points) not in the clear yet.

So if you’re an armchair fan, get the popcorn ready and settle down for a feast of frantic dog-eat-dog football.

Meanwhile, if you are a fan of any of the competing clubs, consult your doctor to make sure you are fit enough to handle the finale …. and say goodbye to your fingernails!

There is already a hell of a lot of fury from fans of Everton and Forest over why they have been singled out.

They rightly rage at the fact Manchester City have 115 charges hanging over their heads, while Chelsea owner Todd Boehly flagged up concerns he had at some of his own club’s financial dealings before he arrived.

Then there is the extremely large elephant in the room which makes this year’s relegation bun fight an even bigger circus than ever before.

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Everton and possibly Forest still have unfinished business with the Independent Commission.

Everton, remember, still have another Premier League charge hanging over them.

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The Toffees could be made to wait until April 8 to discover their fate, with another points deduction potentially heading their way.

Meanwhile Forest are currently consulting with their legal team as they ponder whether to appeal their four point penalty.

If Forest go down the route that worked so well for Everton, they have until March 25 to notify the Premier League of their intentions.

Then a new Independent Commission would need to be appointed and sift through the evidence again to judge on whether Forest have been faily or harshly treated.

There is the possibility they could find in Forest’s favour – or they could find in favour of the Premier League and impose an even greater points deduction.

In the meantime, Luton will be left hanging to discover if they are still above Forest or below them when the final decision is made.

It’s why Rob Edwards has a League table pinned on his wall which only charts the points every club has collected on the pitch – in case there are further appeals.

While Forest’s fate will be known before the end of the season, Everton still have that second judgement hanging over them.

No-one knows if they will be deducted yet more points.

No-one knows if they will appeal if they do receive a second points penalty.

Confused? Well be prepared to be further bamboozled.

Because if Everton do decide to launch a second appeal, the latest possible date for that hearing to take place is May 24.

And as any footy fan knows, that is five days AFTER the final day of the Premier League season!

It means the seven clubs currently involved in the relegation dogfight could go into their final fixtures with no idea of how many points they will require to dodge the drop!

There is a real possibility Everton could celebrate staying up – only to be relegated five days later if their appeal is thrown out.

Or Forest and Luton might believe they have escaped relegation – only to be crushed if Everton win their appeal and have points restored.

It’s a dog’s dinner.

But there can be no doubt it guarantees a nerve-shredding end to the season for all concerned.

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