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Why the Premier League trio are in this mess and what relegation could do | premier league

Everton Pts 33 (GD -24), Bournemouth (h)

Why are they in this mess? Everton’s billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri has made a succession of erratic and misguided decisions since buying into the club seven years ago, starting with retaining members of an unsuccessful board to keep pace with its competitors. Everton’s descent has since accelerated with abysmal recruitment, poor management and inconsistent strategy, hallmarks of the Moshiri era. The owner’s generosity is beyond reproach – around £700million has been spent on transfers and the never-ending stadium problem has all but been solved, with an impressive new home being built at Bramley Moore’s quay – but he has spent without a plan or patience. Sean Dyche is Everton’s eighth permanent manager in seven years, there have been three directors of football and huge financial losses have inevitably caught up with them. The club started the season without an established goalscorer – with Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured and Richarlison sold – and compounded that serious mistake by failing to sign in January. They paid a price that everyone saw coming.

What impact would relegation have? Moshiri has signed an exclusive deal with US investment firm MSP Sports Capital as it seeks funds to complete Everton’s new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey. Whether he would proceed with a deal for a club in the Championship, at least on Moshiri’s current terms, is open to question. Yet relegation would have even greater repercussions. Everton have recorded combined losses of £305.5million over the past three financial years and are being investigated for an alleged breach of Premier League profit and sustainability rules, which they deny . The club also owes Rights & Media Funding Limited £150m. His “ability to continue as a going concern” will be in “significant doubt” if relegated, according to Everton’s own auditors. There would be a fire sale of gambling assets such as Jordan Pickford and Amadou Onana, followed by a potentially catastrophic financial downturn. Oh

Everton's Jordan Pickford makes a save on a shot from Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins
Jordan Pickford, here saving Ollie Watkins from Aston Villa, is set to leave Everton if relegated. Photo: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Leicester Pts 31 (GD -18),

West Ham (h)

Why are they in this mess? Until Monday at St James’ Park, Leicester were the only side in Europe’s top five leagues not to have a clean sheet since November. This stat is indicative of a major factor in their slippage – the porosity of their defense – but there are others. Brendan Rodgers gave Danny Ward the chance to establish himself as the Premier League’s first-choice goalkeeper after Kasper Schmeichel’s departure, but Ward struggled and his replacement, Daniel Iversen, didn’t either. convincing. Last summer’s failure to reinvigorate the squad due to financial constraints meant they were left behind by their rivals and too many important players, such as Wilfried Ndidi and Jamie Vardy, failed to reach previous peaks. The poor recruitment of the last windows has also caught up with them. This summer will see a huge turnover of players, regardless of what division they play in next season.

Quick guide

Last day relegation swaps

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Everton Points 33 Goal difference -24 Goals scored 33
Bournemouth, home
Victory guarantees survival. A draw will suffice if Leicester do not win and Leeds do not win by at least three goals. One defeat will suffice if Leicester and Leeds do not win.

Leicester Points 31 Goal difference -18 Goals scored 49
West Ham, home
It takes a victory to hope to avoid relegation. That will be enough if Everton draw or lose.

Leeds Points 31 Goal difference -27 Goals scored 47
Tottenham, home
Must win to have any chance of standing. If Leicester then fail to win and Everton lose, Leeds will be safe. If Leicester don’t win and Everton draw, Leeds will survive if they beat Spurs by three or more goals.

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What impact would relegation have? Leicester would likely lose the ability to attract a favored manager such as Graham Potter and caretaker manager Dean Smith could therefore be seen as a sensible permanent appointment. The team would see their wages cut by up to 50 per cent, but top earners such as James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are expected to leave whether Leicester stay up or not, and players such as club captain Jonny Evans, midfielder Youri Tielemans and defender Caglar Soyuncu. are out of contract. Leicester posted a club-record pre-tax loss of £92.5m for 2021-22, but much of that was due to failing to sell an asset for a big profit the way they previously sold Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire. The commitment of Leicester owner King Power International Group to the club – and the community – is beyond doubt. In February, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, the chairman, wrote off £194million in debt. BF

Harvey Barnes (left) and James Maddison
Harvey Barnes (left) and James Maddison are set to leave Leicester this summer. Photo: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images

Leeds Pts 31 (GD -27), Tottenham (h)

Why are they in this mess? A fixation with philosophy; namely the high-energy pressing game introduced under Marcelo Bielsa. The obsession with sticking to Bielsa’s system – or at least a version of it – prompted former football director Victor Orta to replace the Argentine with Jesse Marsch last year. The only problem was that Marsch’s love of pressing wasn’t matched by his ability to win Premier League games. Leeds, however, delayed sacking the American until February and Javi Gracia, his extremely caretaker successor, struggled to turn things around before Sam Allardyce was installed for the final four games. While neither Gracia nor, crucially, Allardyce have had time to repair one of the most porous defenses in the league, the club’s decision to make inexperienced French striker Georginio Rutter its record £35million in January remains extremely confusing. He may be promising, but he’s far from ready for top-flight English first-team football. This money could have been much better spent.

What impact would relegation have? The long-talked-about complete takeover by the San Francisco-based 49er Enterprises would be in jeopardy. Although in principle some – but not all – of 49er Enterprises group investors remain keen to buy if relegated, they would want Leeds for around £150m rather than the £400m agreed with the owner majority, Andrea Radrizzani. Doubts remain as to the possibility of reaching a satisfactory compromise. If the takeover failed, the much-needed redevelopment of the extremely dated Elland Road would once again be on the back burner. While it helps that many players have relegation clauses involving 60 per cent pay cuts if relegated, some key staff including Illan Meslier, Robin Koch and Luis Sinisterra would almost certainly be sold. Although Leeds have indicated they want to keep Tyler Adams and Wilfried Gnonto, the American midfielder is much admired by Newcastle and the Italian striker is widely coveted. Championship football may limit the choice of a longer-term manager and possibly deter boardroom favorites including Rodgers and Potter. LT


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